Honey Cakes flavored with orange, ginger, and brown butter are moist without becoming dense. Many cakes sweetened with honey can become heavy or overly saturated, but these mini ginger loaves are perfectly soft. I suggest eating them warm with a butter spread!
My mother is the quintessential southern lady who gives baked goods as gifts for holidays, birthdays, new neighbors, and special occasions. She doesn’t just throw them in a tupperware or wrap a cake in aluminum foil, no she packages them with class and decorations. I wish I could say the same for my giveaway bakes, but I have yet to receive any complaints.
I’ve seen my mother bake eight cakes, decorate them with icing, berries, holly leaves, and then individually wrap in clear plastic adorned with homemade bows. She then delivers them door to door with a smile and genuine excitement. We should all be lucky enough to receive one of her baking gifts.
On the other hand, if you live next to me you might receive a half layered cake, several slices of pie, or an extra pan of brownies. Since I’m always recipe testing, photographing, and making food, leftovers are plentiful. I’ve even told neighbors to just bring over empty plates for me to fill with pie and cookies. Everyone seems happy, preventing me from eating all the goodies myself!
Now, back to the honey cakes. I chose to bake mini cakes for gifting to friends. (Don’t be to harsh on my simple holiday packaging.) Using winter flavors of browned butter, ginger, and orange create a rich cozy sensation. A bit different than your typical spice cake, but perfect for a chilly morning or evening treat by the fire.
I suggest you bake all four, wrap up three as gifts, and save the fourth for yourself!
What is Browned Butter?
Brown butter is made by cooking unsalted butter until the milk solids turn a medium brown color. This process cooks out any of the water in the butter resulting in a rich nutty or toasty flavor. A great technique for adding more depth to your baked goods.
To make brown butter (also called beurre noisette), simply place your butter in a light colored skillet so you can see the color change and cook on medium heat. First the butter will start to foam as it melts, then it will slowly change from a golden hue to a darker more toasty brown color. It should start to give off a nutty aroma as it browns.
Remove your brown butter from the heat and put in heat safe bowl to let it cool. Make sure not to overcook your butter to a dark brown almost black.
Can I bake this honey cake recipe in a loaf pan?
In short, yes you can convert this recipe to one large banana bread size loaf by using a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan. The only change will be the baking time. Increase your baking time to 40-45 minutes and check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the loaf. If the toothpick comes out dry with only a few small crumbs, your honey cake is baked.
Tips for Orange Ginger Honey Cakes:
- Make sure to use brown butter for a nice nutty flavor addition.
- Use fresh squeezed orange juice and fresh orange zest.
- Use local honey to help build you immunity.
- Place your mini cake pans on a cookie sheet in the oven.
- Use four 6 inch mini loaf pans. Try these mini loaf pans.
- Halfway through baking, lightly cover your row of cake pans with a sheet of aluminum foil. This will prevent the tops from over browning. The moist cake batter takes a but longer to fully bake through the center.
- Check each cake with a toothpick for crumbs to conclude completely bakes through.
- Let your cakes cool before removing from pans.
- Serve with butter spread or mix additional brown butter and honey for a drizzle!
How to Store Honey Cakes
Once cooled these honey cakes can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week. Make sure to keep in a cool location to prevent humidity causing mold on moist goods.
Alternatively you can wrap each cake individually in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
To freeze honey cakes, wrap in two layers of plastic wrap and or place in an air tight container in the freezer for up to 3 months of freshness. Allow cakes to thaw to room temperature before serving.
FAQ’s for Orange Ginger Honey Cakes
Can you substitute the Milk? The whole milk can be substituted for almond, oat, or soy milk evenly. Just make sure to use an unsweetened plain version to prevent added sweetness or massive flavor change.
Can this recipe make Honey Muffins? Yes, you can use a 12 cup muffin pan to make regular sized orange ginger honey muffins. Simply fill each muffin well 3/4 full with batter and bake at 350 F (176 C) for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Can the Orange Juice be substituted? If you’re not a huge fan of orange, simply swap the orange juice and zest for your favorite citrus. I would recommend going with lemon or grapefruit!
Orange Ginger Honey Cakes
- 2 Cups (250 g) All Purpose Flour
- 1.5 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 Tbsp Orange Zest
- 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter browned
- 3/4 Cup (270 g) Honey
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Orange Juice
- 1/2 Cup (125 ml) Whole Milk
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 Cup ( 50 g) Granulated Sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 F (163 C) and prepare four 6 inch mini loaf pans. (spray with non-stick spray or a thin coating of butter and flour.)
- In a medium bowl, hand whisk together sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and orange zest.
- Brown your butter by placing in a small skillet on medium heat. Stir until butter is melted. Continue to stir and heat until butter is foamy and brownish in color.
- Pour brown butter into bowl of stand mixer.
- Add honey, orange juice, milk, sugar, and slightly beaten eggs.
- Mix on medium with paddle attachment until smooth.
- Slowly spoon in flour mixture on medium speed until a cake batter is formed. (scrape sides and bottom of bowl to incorporate all ingredients.
- Divide batter amongst the four pans.
- Place pans on cookie sheet and bake for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. (cover loaves with a sheet of aluminum foil halfway through baking.)
- Place pans on cooling rack to completely cool before removing.
- Eat and enjoy!