Home » Recipes » Desserts » Honey Gingerbread

Honey Gingerbread

This honey gingerbread bundt cake is a riff on traditional gingerbread but made with honey instead of molasses plus extra whole grains in the form of spelt flour. It’s a hearty, slightly spicy cake that is wonderful during the cooler months or as a holiday treat. Finish it with a simple lemon glaze.

I’ll begin this by mentioning that last night was a rather rough night: 3 wake-ups by a ravenous wee girlie (growth spurt!) so please forgive any incoherencies. It’s just that I don’t want to let too much time go by without sharing this recipe for a delightful ginger-honey cake, my version of a molasses-less gingerbread.

A few confessions to you, dear blog, on this holiday Monday when the sun is drifting in and our dryer is loudly pounding along downstairs. One: I have been eating far too many sweet things these past months, generally accompanied by multiple cups of coffee; and two: I’ve lately been experiencing not a few what my husband aptly describes as ‘low down in the trough’ moments. Perhaps these are related? I would not be surprised. Sugar has never been an addiction of mine but holy goodness it has become one. I am not proud of this but it’s true. My sister-in-law Emily emailed recently and mentioned she was doing a cleanse and thus was taking a break from coffee and this idea sounded so, so good to me I can’t even tell you. I need to do this myself: green tea only, no sweet treats, no snacks, just good vegetables and whole grains and the stuff I do still eat regularly but just more of that and less of the other. And yet … now is not quite the time. I still need a bit of a treat on these sleep-deprived days. I will get there. I hope.

The truth is that when you’re deeply tired, so tired that you put salt in your coffee instead of sugar (yes), and your morning dawns grey and with the memory of the three wake-ups you endured the night before still lingering you may find that you toss aside the idea of that long-anticipated run in favor of a strong cup of coffee and a piece of cake (or a batch of biscuits). A third confession: you can hardly bring yourself to care. I am not proud of this phenomenon but so it goes. This is an incredibly unique time in my life: not only am I a new mother but I have left comfort and familiarity (not to mention language fluency) behind to live on a new continent.

This honey gingerbread is not a true gingerbread and so I will not call it such but I do love the idea of a honey gingbread cake for these mid-winter days that might push us all a bit down into the trough no matter where we happen to live. This cake more than fits that particular bill. It’s a cake that’s wonderfully full of honey but is not overly sweet; I draped a lemony glaze over top to give a bit of additional oomph. I think crystallized ginger might be lovely, too, though I was very happy with my version. Not gingerbread, no, but a good sturdy ginger honey cake in its own right that was perfect for the holidays as well as this first month of the year.

I confess that if I had this cake sitting on my counter right now I might eat roughly one-half of it in one go. Maybe you will, too.

Honey Gingerbread

Nicole Spiridakis
This honey gingerbread is a riff on traditional gingerbread but made with honey instead of molasses plus extra whole grains in the form of spelt flour. It's a hearty, slightly spicy cake that is wonderful during the cooler months or as a holiday treat. Finish it with a simple lemon glaze.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings
Calories 360 kcal


  • 1 ¼ cups spelt flour , or all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup unsalted butter melted
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk , plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


Make Cake

  • Grease and flour a regular sized bundt pan. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
  • Melt the butter. In a small bowl, whisk the butter and honey together and pour into the dry ingredients in the bowl, stirring to moisten.
  • Add the water, stirring until everything is moistened. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Stir into the batter until evenly combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, place in the oven, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake just begins to pull away from the edge of the pan.
  • Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.

Make Glaze

  • Whisk together all of the ingredients until a smooth, thick glaze forms.
  • When cake is cool, pour the glaze over the top, letting it drip down the sides.


Calories: 360kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 5gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 265mgPotassium: 121mgFiber: 3gSugar: 41gVitamin A: 356IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know in the comments how it went!


  1. Sorry to hear about your sleep troubles. I have forgotten what that was like, and yet I will have a new little one in about 8 weeks and I’m slightly, um, what’s the word? Oh, terrified. But, it is just a phase in the long run; I think it helps to remember that. I know that probably doesnt help when you’re salting your coffee though! And also, you are so far from home with a baby; I know what that’s like, too. And I can tell you it gets better. Hang in there! And your cake looks lovely :)

  2. I am thinking of you, Nicole. Wish I could drop by for tea and cake with you. . .and long conversation! Holding your sweet baby would be the “frosting on the cake” so to speak. Blessings!

  3. Molasses is known as black treacle in Europe. You might also find it under that name in Morocco.

  4. This looks really, really delicious. I baked up two loaves of a cream cheese pound cake last night and do so intend to freeze one for after-baby, but if by any tiny chance it doesn’t make it to the freezer (ahem), then perhaps I should bake this up and throw it in there instead? Looks so, so good.

    I hope you can offer yourself some grace and love and tenderness in these hard months. The power of sleep deprivation is real, and every kid is so different – some throw us a bone sometime in their first year, and begin sleeping longer stretches, and others don’t. Also you’re lonely and isolated and away from so much comfort and support. And do you think there’s any chance this is more than just the sum total of all that transition and stress – could you be struggling too with PPD?

    RE the sleep thing … what helped me most was cosleeping, learning how to nurse lying down, and letting go of any ideas I had of when I might start sleeping in longer stretches. But for other people it’s some kind of sleep training, and there are so many routes you can go with that.

    Sending lots of restful thoughts!!

  5. now is *not*quite the time! also: coffee (mmmmm). hang in there, mama! sending lots of love from baltimore (where you can’t run in the dark either. or, you know, during the day. in some neighborhoods. which may or may not include ours. unless you are a really really fast runner, in which case you should probably be fine.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating