My mom is a barber in a small town, which means her customers become her friends – which then leads to receiving gifts in the form of food. One of the gifts that I get to benefit from is raw honey. She gets a couple large Ball jars full of liquid gold every spring.
The dilemma I always finds myself in is trying to find a use for it. I can only drink so much chamomile tea. So I tasked myself with coming up with a recipe that would substitute honey for sugar.
I came up with Honey Strawberry Pound Cake (after three attempts).
The first trial had great flavor, but the texture just wasn’t quite right. Well, remember that saying ‘Measure twice, cut once’? Yeah, that applies to baking as well. After a sleepless night with a sick baby, apparently I forgot that a stick of butter is only 1/4 lb (4 oz).
So on my second attempt I looked to my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook to see where I had missed the mark. After converting all of the ingredients on the list (flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and sour cream) to ounces I quickly realized my mistake. So, I decided to make their recipe exactly to see how the flavors stacked up and if I would try substituting sour cream for that stick of butter I had originally missed.
The recipe had the texture that I was aiming for, but not the exact flavor that I wanted. The BHG recipe had a floury (is that a word?) flavor. So in came attempt three and I decided to just add that extra stick of butter rather than sour cream to my original recipe and it was perfect.
The first step was roasting my strawberries. I know – roasting fruit… seems weird. But it brings out the richness of the strawberries. It also works to pull liquid from the fruit so that your batter doesn’t get too runny when baking.
While the strawberries were roasting, I creamed two sticks of butter on medium speed for a couple of minutes until fluffy. Then I added a combination of sugar and honey.
Next, I added four large eggs one at a time. When you add an egg and start beating it, the batter will look like cottage cheese. Keep beating at medium speed for about a minute and it will become smooth.
Add pure vanilla extract.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. I used a combination of all-purpose flour and pastry flour. This will help to make the cake fluffier. But if you don’t have pastry flour, using just all-purpose flour would still work.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients just until combined. Then add the most important ingredient – the strawberries. I tried a cupcake without the strawberries and it was still delicious, but didn’t have the same bright flavor. Strawberries make it taste like spring time. Blue berries and raspberries would be equally as scrum-didily-umpious.
I used an ice cream scoop to measure into cupcake liners. One scoop was perfect for a traditional liner. One and a half to two-ish scoops worked better for the parchment lotus cups. I then baked for 20-25 minutes.
A little drizzle of honey on top and it was mouth watering bliss.
The full recipe is below. Let me know if you try it!
325 degree oven
1 C quartered strawberries (or slightly more)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. honey
1 C unsalted butter (2 sticks) room temp.
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/4 C plus 2 tbsp. honey
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C pastry flour
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Quarter strawberries and toss with olive oil and honey. Pour strawberries onto parchment lined pan in an even layer. Roast for 10 minutes.
With paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed for a couple of minutes until fluffy. Add sugar and honey and beat for an additional 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Beat for about one minute after each or until batter becomes light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, soda, baking powder and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients. Beating just until incorporated.
Sprinkle a 1/2 tbsp. of flour onto strawberries. Using a slotted spoon (so excess liquid isn’t added to batter) add strawberries to batter. Mix just until combined and strawberries are evenly distributed. You can also mix in by hand.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into cupcake liners. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove cupcakes to a cooling rack and drizzle honey on top.