Recipe: Honey cake with fresh ginger and sourdough

Recipe: Honey cake with fresh ginger and sourdough


  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 227g honey, like our beautiful Black Bee Honey
  • 260g whole egg (around 5 medium eggs)
  • 130g sourdough starter, ideally 24 hours since refreshment, or spent sourdough starter
  • 50g fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1.5 tsp (2g) ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp (2.7g) ground allspice
  • 1.5 tsp (2.2g) ground ginger
  • 190g Foricher’s Organic Farine Complète t150 Brun de Plaisir
  • 1.5 tsp (6g) baking powder 

This recipe has grown out of one I wrote back in 1998 for my first book, “Baking with Passion”, where I was making a honey cake and wanted it to have a fresh bright ginger flavour. The bran-rich nuttiness of the Foricher’s Organic Farine Complète t150 Brun de Plaisir flour suits this cake to a tee and helps to make a mixture that's high in natural fructose and glucose more stable, as the bran soaks up the honey and moisture as it bakes; if the cake was made with only white flour it might collapse upon itself during cooling. After baking, the crumb is very moist and slightly sticky, with a fragrant, gently spiced aroma. The amount of egg in the recipe needs to be accurate, so break them into a bowl, discarding the shells, whisk them, and just use what is required. 

Makes one large loaf cake


Line a 2lb loaf tin or similar with non-stick baking paper, and have a large mixing bowl ready. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then cook until a foam appears and the milk solids have turned to a light nut-brown colour. This is called “brown butter”, or in French cooking “beurre noisette”. As soon as you reach that point, tip it into a large mixing bowl to stop it cooking, and add the sugar and honey to reduce the temperature quickly. Stir together and leave for 5 minutes to cool slightly.

Next, whisk in the egg and sourdough starter until smooth then mix in the grated ginger and ground spices. Finally, whisk in the flour and baking powder until smooth. Let me warn you that the mixture will be very liquid.

Pour the mixture into the lined tin, then bake at 160°C fan for about 50 minutes or until a skewer poked-in comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before lifting out of the tin; peel off the paper and store in a cake tin.