Brown Butter Honey Tea Cake

August 16, 2016
4 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes 1 (7-inch) cake, 8 to 10 slices
Author Notes

When I think of my mum, I always think of tea parties. She loves them! But then, what’s not to love about a tea party? Little sandwiches, baby scones, maybe a sausage roll or two. Oh, and let’s not forget about the delicious cake. After all, that’s what this page is all about.

Reprinted with permission from Butter Celebrates!

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup butter

  • 1 3/4 cups pastry flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons liquid honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Enough hot water to make a thick glaze, approximately 1 tablespoon
  • Candied flowers (optional)
  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. It will start to foam, but this should subside after a few moments. Continue stirring the butter until you notice brown bits forming in the bottom of the pan. These are the milk solids browning, which creates a wonderful nutty aroma and taste. Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the butter into a small bowl. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes, or until the butter has set up again.
  2. Once the butter has set, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  3. On a large piece of parchment paper, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the brown butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times. Add the honey and vanilla and beat again.
  6. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and continue mixing until well combined. The batter will be quite thick.
  7. Place the batter in the prepared pan and use the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula to evenly spread it.
  8. Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before placing it on a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. In a small bowl, combine the icing sugar, honey and
 1 tablespoon hot water. Whisk until you have a smooth
 and glossy glaze. You want the glaze thick enough that it coats the top of the cake without running down the sides (but not to worry if it does, because that would look lovely too!).
  11. Once the cake has cooled, use a small offset spatula to glaze the top of it and add a candied flower or two if you have them. Allow the cake to sit for about 30 minutes until the glaze has set.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • FrugalCat
  • Trishington
  • amberkg
  • beejay45

7 Reviews

FrugalCat June 4, 2020
I made it with turbinado sugar and baked in in muffin pans. No glaze- just sliced blanched almonds on top. Loved the brown butter.
beejay45 December 4, 2018
Could I use a thick syrup instead of the honey. I have an allergy to all things bee. ;)
Hedel October 24, 2016
Would cake flour work as a substitute for pastry flour?
vicentebistro May 28, 2022
Yes, they are the same thing generally.
Trishington October 24, 2016
amberkg - I have this very excellent cookbook (you should also check out Rosie's first book, Butter Baked Goods - the chocolate cake in there is to die for! And Food52, it is Rosie, not Rose.) At any rate, the info for "prepared pan" for the Tea Cake is indeed missing here. It should read "1 (7-inch) springform pan, buttered and floured"
amberkg October 24, 2016
Thank you so much!
amberkg October 24, 2016
Is the "prepared pan" from step 7 the same as the skillet in step 1? I don't see any other mention of cookware in this recipe.