Lilac & Honey Cake

Did you know that edible flowers work just as well inside a cake as they do decorating it? Particularly the fragrant blooms of Spring & early Summer. Fleeting as their moments are, there’s a sense of excitement & urgency with some seasonal ingredients & the spring lilacs are no exception. Beautiful as they are, blink & you’ll likely miss them, especially during a wet spring when we can’t get out & about as much. That’s why I take the first sighting of lilacs as my signal to never leave the house without a pair of secateurs & foldable bag until winter (sure you get some odd looks but it’s free food people!). Last week, out on my wanders, trusty secateurs in hand I found some beautiful lilacs that I swiftly turned into some simple lilac sugar. After sitting in it’s jar for over a week now, the blossoms have browned & the sugar is fragrant. I knew that I wanted to make a cake simple enough that it would let the floral taste of the lilacs shine through & so originally this was going to be just that, a basic sponge made using my lilac sugar but part of me wasn’t quite content with it & I really wanted to use their colour & blossoms in some way. I’ve paired my simple sponges with honey & mascarpone, both subtle enough to let the lilacs shine but each adding another dimension to an otherwise simple cake in both sweetness & creamy textures. For me, the resulting cake is wonderfully delicate & perfect paired with a cup of tea, outdoors weather permitting!

Lilac & Honey Cake

(makes one 18cm sandwich)


For the cake:

  • 225g butter
  • 225g lilac sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g wholemeal flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling & topping:

  • 750g mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • Optional: beetroot powder or a few drops or food colouring to colour

To decorate:

  • A handful of lilac blossoms
  • 1 tsp honey


  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter & sugar until light & pale
  • Add the eggs to the bowl one at a time, beating well after each addition
  • Sift the flour & baking powder into the bowl & mix everything together until well combined & no pockets of dry flour remain
  • Finally add the vanilla & honey the bowl & stir through
  • Divide the mixture between two 18cm sandwich tins, greased & lined with baking parchment
  • Bake at 180C for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown & a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake can be removed cleanly
  • Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes before removing & allowing to cool completely on a cooling rack
  • To make the filling & topping, simply beat together the mascarpone & honey until smooth
  • If colouring the frosting, remove 1/3 & set aside before adding your colouring to the remaining two thirds
  • Once the cakes are cool, use a spatula to spread the uncoloured third of the frosting on top the first cake layer before sandwiching with other
  • Use the remaining coloured frosting to cover the sides of the cake, using a palette knife to smooth the sides & top of the cake
  • Scatter the lilac blossom on top of the cake & drizzle over the tsp of honey to decorate

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