Chocolate-Honey Cake

Adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe:

Yield: one 9” cake

Note:  I made this cake in a 6” pan so the chocolate transfer sheet would better fit around the circumference of the cake.  The extra batter was baked into cupcakes.  The directions are for the 6” cake.


1/3 cups light brown sugar

2 sticks soft butter

1/2 cup honey

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tbsp.  unsweetened cocoa powder

4 oz. chocolate, broken into pieces (I used Valhrona milk chocolate)

1 cup very hot water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a 6” spring-form pan with shortening and line bottom with parchment paper circle.  Grease parchment.
  3. Melt 4oz. of chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals until smooth.  Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade add sugar, butter, honey, eggs, flour, baking soda and cocoa.  Process in a few short bursts until just combined. 
  5. Add melted chocolate and process again briefly.
  6. With the processor running, pour in the hot water.  Process until smooth.  Batter will be thin.
  7. Fill the spring-form pan 2/3 full and place into the oven.  Bake for 1 hour to 1hour 15minutes.   (Remaining batter can be used for cupcakes.)  When done, the cake will spring back when pressed in the center and a toothpick tester should come out clean.   Let cool completely in the spring-form pan. 


1/4 cup water

1/4 cup honey

6 oz.  Semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar


  1. In a small saucepan, bring water and honey to a boil. 
  2. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips.  Whisk until well combined.
  3. Add confectioners’ sugar and whisk again until smooth.
  4.  Run a knife between the cake and spring-form pan to loosen it, then unclip the pan and remove the ring to make sure it removes cleanly.   Pick up cake and remove the parchment circle, then place the cake back on the spring-form base.  Put the spring-form ring back around the cake, but don’t clip it tight. 
  5. Place cake in cake pan on a large length of wax paper.
  6. Pour glaze over cake inside pan, letting the glaze run down the sides of the cake.
  7. Let stand for 10 minutes, and then remove the cake ring.  The glaze will flow around the sides of the cake.
  8. Using a spatula, transfer the cake to a serving platter lined with strips of wax paper. 

Chocolate transfer sheet:

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 10x16 chocolate transfer sheet, honeycomb pattern


  1. Using an X-acto knife or pair of scissors, carefully cut transfer paper into two long pieces (two 5x16 pieces). 
  2. Measure cake and trim transfer paper to fit sides of cake exactly (or don’t – if you like my presentation).  You will use one strip and part of the other strip.  These will be pieced together upon application.
  3. Very gently – melt chocolate.   I rushed this process in the microwave, and the chocolate bloomed a little, so do this in a double boiler.
  4. Examine the transfer paper to make sure you are applying the chocolate to the correct side.  You should notice the correct side is less shiny and you can feel the design if you lightly touch it.
  5. Using an off-set spatula, thinly spread chocolate over the transfer pieces.   Let stand until chocolate loses its gloss  but is still malleable.   This takes 5-10 minutes, depending on the humidity in your house.
  6. Wrap cake with transfer sheet.  The large piece will go most of the way around the cake.  Place the smaller piece side by side (no overlapping!) in the gap the larger sheet did not cover.
  7. If you are using the same technique I did, you’ll need skewers or toothpicks to hold the transfer sheet upright above the cake’s surface.   Place them around the inside edge of the cake to hold the transfer paper in place.
  8. Let chocolate harden completely.  You’ll know it’s ready when the chocolate is completely rigid.  Peel of paper revealing the honey comb print and embellish as desired.  


Note: I created an organic shape by snapping pieces off the top edge of the chocolate and used the pieces to decorate the top of the cake.