Pecan and Burnt Honey Cake #CakeSliceBakers

Like all the rest of you, life has been...different. I thought about titling this post "Cake in the Time of Covid" (a little Gabriel Garcia Marquez joke), but I (probably like most of you) am weary of anything having to do with the Coronavirus.

So enter this Pecan and Burnt Honey Cake.

I was drawn to this cake out of the other March selections for several reasons. 

Reasons 1 and 2: honey and pecans. Yum.

Reason 3: it is only a 6" two layer cake. Usually, I take my bakes over to hungry college students, since my husband is a collegiate minister. But, for now, it's just gonna be us eating these sweets.

I guess I knew this about myself, but it has been confirmed that I am a stress baker--that is, baking is a stress reliever for me. I have seen multiple articles about this recently. Apparently others, too, find baking relaxing and are doing quite a bit of it in this current season while we are being responsible and staying at home. I am mostly trying healthy stuff (like the zucchini muffins my 3 year old said were "scusting"), so that we don't have to be rolled out of isolation in a couple of months.

But overall, I call the strategy "fattening the curve."

Actually, my friend called it that in reference to supporting local restaurants at this time--which we are also doing. But I think it applies here too;)

So, all that to say, this recipe makes a cute little six-inch cake. 


But what it lacks in size, it sure makes up for in flavor and richness.

It is like buttercream baklava.
What baklava would taste like if it dressed up as a cake for Halloween.

A fluffy, buttery sponge dotted with crispy pecans, and a decadent buttercream bursting with honey flavor.

In the past, I've bemoaned the fact that many recipes don't make stars out of the ingredients they supposedly feature.  That was not a problem with this cake. One bite confirmed that it celebrates honey and pecans.

My one criticism was that I did find the buttercream a bit sweet. There is a cup of honey in addition to the powdered sugar. The recipe call for "burning" the honey in a saucepan to concentrate flavors and add a "hint of bitterness." In fairness, I don't think I caramelized the honey enough, because I was afraid of scorching it. And honey ain't cheap, y'all. I didn't want to waste a whole cup of it.

If you ever find yourself in a position where you must play a game of "chicken" with someone, I'd be a good opponent--you'd probably win. I chickened out on this stage, and most likely took it off the heat too soon. Achieving the proper caramelization might have really cut back on the sweetness. But even at the lightly browned stage I achieved, the honey flavor was beautiful.

All-in-all, this cake was a success! If you like Middle-Eastern honey-soaked sweets (like I do!) give this Pecan and Burnt Honey Cake a go. It's delicious, you only eat it in small slices, it comes together fairly easily, and it will leave you room in the refrigerator to continue baking to your heart's content. Stay safe out there, and prayers as we navigate this "new normal" for a while <3

Pecan and Burnt Honey Cake

from The New Way to Cook  by Benjamina Ebuehi

1 c pecans, chopped finely
1/2 c butter (reserve 1 tsp for toasting pecans)
1 1/2 flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 c sugar
2 eggs
3/4 c milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease and line with parchment rounds 2 six-inch pans.
2. Using the reserved teaspoon of butter, use a frying pan to toast the pecans over medium heat. Stir them frequently until they are fragrant, then remove from the heat and cool.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the rest of the butter and sugar together until creamy and pale. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together.
4. Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl down to make sure it is all incorporated.
5. With the mixer running, pour in in half of the flour and mix until *just* combined. Add the milk and vanilla, and then the rest of the flour.
6. Fold in the toasted, cooled pecans, and divide the batter between the prepared tins. Bake for 32-38 minutes, or until nicely browned and a toothpick comes out cleanly. Allow the cakes to rest in the tins for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack. When cooled, wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and let them firm up in the fridge.

Honey Buttercream:
1 scant c honey
1 c butter
1/2 teaspoon salt (I added a few pinches more)
1 1/3 c powdered sugar
1/4 c warm milk
1/2 c pecans (for decoration)

1. In a large saucepan, heat the honey over medium heat. It will start to caramelize turn dark brown with a faint burnt sugar smell. Don't be a chicken like me and remove it from the heat too soon. When it's ready, take it off the heat and stir in the butter and salt. Stir until the butter is completely melted.  Allow to cool in the fridge until it is the consistency of soft butter.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cooled honey mixture and beat 3-5 minutes. It should be smooth and light. Add the powdered sugar and beat for 5 more minutes. Add the milk as needed to get the buttercream to the correct consistency (I only needed a tablespoon or so).


Slice each cake in half. Spread buttercream over the first layer, and top with another layer of cake. Repeat. Top the cake with a spoonful of buttercream, and smooth with an offset spatula. Put the cake in the refrigerator to firm up a bit, then frost the sides with honey buttercream using a bench scraper. Decorate as desired with pecans.


Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is The New Way To Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes! Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the thumbnail pictures below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details. The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.
It is a new year and a new book - The New Way To Cake - and our choices for March 2020 were ~ Pecan and Burnt Honey Cake
Citrus Poppy Seed Cake


  1. We were talking about how happy we are that we can still get out for walks and hikes, because all these baked goods are weighing us down LOL. This cake looks lovely and I'm sure your muffins were not scusting at all.

    1. Thanks, Wendy! SO thankful for walks and sunshine. The Mexican Poppies are blooming out here and are just stunning. They also provided some much needed time outside and exercise;) Haha, the zucchini muffins had chocolate in them--which I though might appeal to my 3 year old, but the kid is like Sherlock Holmes when it comes to finding vegetables.

  2. I am definitely a stress-baker too, and also suffering from the issue of not being able to take my baked goods to work where it was devoured before lunch anytime I took something to the break room. Evening walks are definitely a part of our new normal - I think my treadmill probably needs to be too!

    1. Haha! Yes! I was googling whether it was possible to send slices of cake through the mail today. Probably not going to attempt it--unless I end up making a HUGE cake, or it is so devastatingly delicious I can't bear not to share it, lol. I'll just have to make those recipes for the massive party I'll throw when life is communal again.

  3. Fattening the curve, lol! Yes, I'm a stress baker and everyone is out of flour! Your cake sounds amazing. I have some 6 inch cake pans too!

    1. Thanks, Karen! Oh no! Hopefully flour will be back in stock soon!

  4. A Buttercream Baklava is the perfect description and count me in as a stress baker.Unfortunately, I'm a stress eater as well. Stay safe!

  5. Yum! Too funny about you "scusting" muffins! I add mini chocolate chips to my healthy muffins, and that seems to trick them into eating them.


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