The Builders’ Cakes

I’ve been making a lot of cake in the past month. That is, in spite of a chaotic hit-or-miss access to the oven. We’ve had the builders in, re-structuring the now-antiquated additions from the 1960s to our kitchen. It’s amazing how well the original old Victorian structure has held up compared to those newer “improvements”. If you want to see some of the activity, have a look at my previous post, Kitchen Archaeology.

In the course of their work, I discovered that cake is something our Yorkshire builders appreciate – that is, beyond a strong cup of tea (known in the trade as a “cuppa”). Not wanting to miss the opportunity of taste-testing on site, they have been my baking guinea pigs.

I’ve blogged about a few of the baked goods they tested – Pumpkin Bread, Mrs. Moody’s Pecan Loaf, Pear & Cardamom Crumble Bars and Plum Jam Breakfast Muffins. The cakes all got thumbs up. So, In honor of the work’s near completion and unfettered access to my oven, I baked a honey and apple cake from a recipe given to me by a friend in University.


Spiced Honey & Apple Cake
This is a rich, moist cake with a dense texture. One of our builders likened it to a fruit-rich Christmas cake.

  • 1 cup (8 oz.) butter
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 lbs. apples, approximately 6
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and dust a bundt pan with flour.

Peel and core the apples. Coarsely grate the apples and set aside in a bowl until ready to add to the cake batter.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add one egg at a time, mixing well each time one is added. Add the honey and mix before adding the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and soda. Mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until it is smooth and well mixed. Fold in the grated apples, chopped walnuts and raisins. Spoon batter into the prepared bundt pan.

Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. If the cake begins to get too dark, place a sheet of foil over top. When done, remove from oven and cool completely in pan before taking the cake out.


Hurrah! I’ll have my kitchen back soon and cooking will resume to normal.


  1. I bet your workmen are happy to be working at your house.I believe there is or was a tea brand in Yorkshire called “Builder’s Tea.” It’s become a euphemism amongst my £10 pom friends for strong tea.


    • Spot on regarding “Builder’s Tea” – plus I use a brand called Yorkshire Tea which is a strong black tea blend. It’s necessary to keep builders happy when you own an old house in constant need to work!


  2. Mmmm… looks lovely! I still have loads of apples from out apple-picking expedition and I’m going to give this a try. Thanks for the shout-out!


    • You are welcome. Tried your Double Yummy Apple Cake and loved it. This one is much denser, but still very moist. Be careful of oven temperatures and timing. My oven is on the hot side (and in Centigrade), so had to keep testing with the knife to make sure it was fully baked even when the top looked lovely and brown. Hope you enjoy it!


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