Honeycomb Cake

Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 15 mins

Honey lovers, this cake's for you! The batter and double glazes get their sweetness from the golden liquid produced by hard-working bees. Savory sage and citrusy lemon zest offer balance to this crowd-pleasing dessert.


Final Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • Sugared Sage, for serving (optional)

First Glaze

  • 1 large lemon, zested into strips

  • 3 sprigs sage

  • ¾ cup honey


  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pan

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

  • ½ cup fine cornmeal

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • ¼ cup firmly packed finely chopped fresh sage

  • 2 large eggs

  • ½ cup packed light-brown sugar

  • ½ cup honey

  • ¼ cup milk

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


  1. First glaze: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat.

  2. Cake: Butter and flour an 8-inch hexagonal (or round or square) cake pan. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and sage. Beat eggs and brown sugar on medium-high until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in honey, milk, oil, and zest. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 2 batches; beat until just combined.

  3. Spread batter in pan. Bake until golden and a toothpick comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven; poke holes with toothpick all over cake. Remove zest strips and sage from first glaze; brush over top. Let cool completely in pan.

  4. Final glaze: Whisk together honey, confectioners' sugar, and lemon juice. Remove cake from pan and brush final glaze over top; continue until all is used. Garnish with sugared sage. Cut into wedges with a serrated knife, wiping knife between cuts; serve.

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