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Honey Wheat Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Honey Wheat Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

It's a common practice, when one is feeling under the weather, to partake in retail therapy. Buying expensive shoes or a new shirt, in those moody moments, makes the weight of the world seem a little lighter. It's hard to say exactly why spending loose change can turn a mood from blue to bright. For some reason, it's easier to face the world with a cheery face when you're working a new pair of blue jeans. Whenever my mood is headed toward melancholy, I like to go food prop shopping.

I doubt you will find anyone get more excited about dirty, thrift store silverware than me.

Honey Wheat Cake with Cream Cheese Icing Honey Wheat Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Thrift stores and yard sales are the holy grail of food prop shopping. Not only is everything exceptionally inexpensive (as a young woman, extra cash is something I do not have), but the kitchen tools and dinnerware are each a unique find. Certainly this type of shopping can be the definition of hit-or-miss, but when you stumble across something you didn't know you'd been searching for, the union feels fated.

I've recently been caught up in old bakeware. Scratched and blackened, only years of dedicated cookie making could have turned these baking sheets into the perfect state of used. Old jam jars become glasses for milk and vases for stray wildflowers. Glass candle holders become cups for serving puddings or containers for jam.

Honey Wheat Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Though I have an entire closet filled with baking gear and food props, I find myself using the same things over and over again. The old cotton sugar sack in the photos above is used so often, you could easily spot it in every other post (go play a game of I Spy—I wish I was joking). The white rimmed plate holding the honey cake is another find that frequents the pages of this blog whenever a slice of cake or a stack of cookies need to be held. Lately I've been wondering why all my photographs seem to look the same. I think I have my answer.

Last weekend I found myself on a food prop shopping spree. I came home with so many bags of old dishware, I began to wonder if I'd need another closet to hold it all. Plates so old they have the appearance of broken egg shells and colorful silverware now fill the shelves of my closet. Now to wait for inspiration to strike...

Honey Wheat Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

This Honey Wheat Pound Cake with Cream Cheese Icing is a real treat. The cake is a simple one, made with part whole wheat flour, buttermilk, and honey. The honey, however, turns this cake into magic when it hits the oven, caramelizing on the bottom and sides of the pan. Topped with a honey sweetened cream cheese icing, I found myself eating this cake for breakfast and lunch. I used a dark honey for this cake and I suggest you do the same to get a deep caramelized flavor. However, if dark honey isn't available, regular honey will work just fine.

One Year Ago: Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

Honey Wheat Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook

Yields 9x5-inch pound cake

Honey Wheat Pound Cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup honey
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees F). Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and honey until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the buttermilk and continue mixing until the batter is smooth.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Icing
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, honey, and vanilla extract until smooth. Chill in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to thicken before spreading onto the cooled cake.

Store cake in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for 3-4 days (and taste more delicious each day that passes).

Reader Comments (19)

This is a beauty! I love the sound of that frosting!
Your pictures are absolutely stunning!

05.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie
I absolutely love the taste of honey. This cake looks so amazing, especially with the cream cheese frosting on top. It looks so good!

And don't worry about your photos looking the same. I adore your photos. They are beautiful and breathtaking and I wish I had props, and photography skills such as you. :) I really like that honey wand too. It looks so cool!
Beautiful! Now since there's wheat in here, that means it's TOTALLY healthy, right? :)
I was looking at my cookie sheet the other day thinking, "You've become the perfect blog prop." It's used, stained, nasty in most people's mind. But ot me, it's awesome! This cake is awesome too. I'd love to have a slice with my coffee right now!
05.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
What a great recipe. I love honey. And I love my honey dripper. I use it for so many things. I did a few flea markets last year and found a few cool props. I need to try scouring garage sales.
05.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim Bee
What a terrific cake! It will be a prefect way to use some of the freshly gound whole wheat flour my bother has sent me. And the frosting will be included!
05.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeb
This cake looks absolutely beautiful. I love honey in anything and in a dense moist cake with pillows of cream cheese frosting? Heaven.
05.7.2012 | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf
I looks delicious!! My husband loves honey. I'm sure he'll love this cake, too!!
Thanks for sharing!


I love your blog! Your recipies are always something that tickles my taste buds and I feel inspired to make.

Quick question, is there anything special you do to keep your cake from deflating or sinking after it comes out of the oven? I find sometimes with my loaf cakes, they rise beautifully when in the oven but sink after taking them out.

05.7.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRani
Hi Rani-- I've noticed that with loaf cakes too. There's nothing special I really do to prevent it. This cake did sink a little bit until it leveled out, but the cream cheese icing totally covered that up.
05.7.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Being bored in class makes a highschool student do odd things, one of them being taking up your offer of the ispy the sugar bag game. I wasn't thinking about the game especially but when iwas reading through some of your earlier posts i began to spot it and soon bean trawling through them trying to find the bag. I should stop soon though, i have maths next
05.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLizzie
may i replace the buttermilk for ricotta? (i have some left in the fridge hahaha)
:) this looks delicious!
06.26.2012 | Unregistered CommenterValentina
Valentina-- I would not make that substitution. Ricotta and buttermilk are very different (ricotta is solid, buttermilk is liquid) and using ricotta would result in a cake batter that was both lumpy with cheese and much too thick and dense. Instead, you could substitute milk. I'd find another use for the ricotta, however.
06.26.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Came across your blog and I must say you have the prettiest pictures and such interesting recipes! Planning to make the Cinnamon sugar cake with buttercream cake this sat! Thank you :D
08.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSivashankari
Im making these! Looks heavenly! Can I use white whole wheat? I find that it is less dense. Thanks!
03.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBunmi
Bunmi-- You may certainly do so! It should come out just great.
03.28.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
The cake is amazing but I'm having problems with the frosting. It's incredibly liquid-y even though I've used the exact ingredients and the exact amount as you stated. It's like a slightly thick liquid. Will it get thicker when I put it in the fridge or what else might be the problem?
04.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterArchie.
Archie-- Yes, the directions state that you do need to refrigerate the frosting for at least 15 to 20 minutes before spreading on the cake. It will thicken significantly the longer it stays in the refrigerator.
04.13.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau

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