Honey Bee Cake with Honey Caramel Drizzle

This great little cake from 1954 has a taste and texture similar to that of a rich pound cake, and is topped with a luscious caramel-y honey drizzle and toasted almonds. The cake stands beautifully on its own- it is dense, moist, and rich, and has a subtle honey flavor. The buttery honey caramel drizzle compliments and enhances the flavors of the cake, and the almonds provide a nice crunch. We really loved this cake!

Honey Bee Cake

2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch cake pan with cooking spray, line the bottom with parchment paper, and spray the paper.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then whisk the ingredients to mix well.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, honey, and vanilla on low speed until blended. Increase the speed to high and beat until very light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl frequently with a spatula. Blend in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, adding the next one as soon as the previous one has disappeared into the batter.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and scrape the sides of the bowl. Fold the last of the flour in by hand with a spatula so that you don't overbeat the batter.

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan, and rap the pan firmly on the counter to release any air bubbles. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Rotate the pan about halfway through baking time. The cake is done when it is firm on top, and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake will have a few moist crumbs attached.

Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for about an hour. Remove cake from pan, remove the parchment paper, and let it finish cooling. Serve barely warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with toasted almonds and drizzled with honey caramel.

Honey Bee Cake is delicious plain, but you may love it even more with this drizzle:

Honey Caramel Drizzle

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup natural sliced almonds, lightly toasted (for garnish)

While the cake is in the oven, you can make the drizzle. Combine the honey, brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan, bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring very frequently. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The next day it made the best strawberry shortcake!

Adapted from Julie Richardson's Vintage Cakes

We go to these fun parties~

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Down Home Grits Muffins

When I was a kid, I wouldn't eat grits. The name was just too weird for me; it conjured up visions of eating gritty dirt or sand. Back then, I didn't know that grits are just ground up hominy...which is just corn. "Grits" means coarsely-ground meal. 

You may not be familiar with grits. In the U.S., they are a Southern staple. Grits originated with Native Americans, and are similar to other thick, maize-based porridges from around the world such as polenta or farina. Most commonly thought of as a breakfast food, they are eaten as a hot cereal-type dish. 

I'm glad to say they also make delicious muffins. These muffins are slightly sweet; they're nice and moist, and have a flavor and texture similar to cornbread. Grits muffins are enjoyably chewy- not tough at all, but what you might call hearty. If you were talking about pasta, you'd use the term al dente. 

Serve these muffins at any meal. They'd be good at a brunch with eggs and sausage, or in the evening with beans, soup, goulash- just about anything.

Down Home Grits Muffins


1 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick grits (uncooked)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups sour cream (I used low fat)
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) honey (if you prefer your grits more savory than sweet, use 2 tablespoons)
3 large eggs


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick baking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, grits, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; whisk well to combine. 
3. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, butter, honey, and eggs; whisk well to combine. 
4. Pour egg mixture into flour mixture. Stir until just moistened. You may have some small lumps in the batter, but don't over-mix or the muffins will be tough.
5. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. 
6. Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool on wire rack. Serve with butter and honey, if desired.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

Grits Muffins may have been taken to some of these fun parties!

Meyer Lemon Margaritas

If you're a fan of margaritas, you owe it to yourself to try these! The Meyer Lemon, a cross between a lemon and an orange, gives this cocktail a fresh, citrusy taste, and provides a perfectly delicious sweet-to-tart balance.  This drink is strong but smooth, and stands up well to being poured over ice. 

Grab some chips and guacamole, and meet me on the patio!

Meyer Lemon Margaritas
Makes 8 servings

1 and 1/2 cups tequila

1 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
3/4 cup triple sec
1/2 cup Meyer lemon simple syrup

Combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about two hours. Stir and serve.

If serving right away, combine all ingredients, stir well, then pour into a cocktail shaker half full of ice. Shake well, and strain into glasses. Or just pour over ice.

Mix a little zest in with the salt

These margaritas are good with or without salt on the rim of the glass. For one batch, I mixed some finely grated zest in with the kosher salt. It's kind of labor intensive for a crowd, but if you have just a few to serve, it makes a pretty accent.

Recipe for Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup here

Adapted from Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles, and Snacks by Rick Bayless

May have been shared at some of these Fun Parties!

Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup

The Meyer Lemon is a citrus fruit native to China. It is thought to be a cross between a true lemon and either a mandarin or common orangeIn 1908, the U.S. Department of Agriculture sent Frank Meyer, an agricultural explorer, to Asia to collect new plant species. This particular find was named in his honor.

By the mid-1940s, the Meyer lemon had become widely grown in California. It was about that time it was discovered to carry a citrus virus, and most of the Meyer lemon trees in the United States were destroyed to save other citrus trees. A virus-free selection was released in 1975, and the Meyer lemon began to be cultivated again. 

Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup is easy to make, and can be used in many delicious ways:
  • Brush cakes or cupcakes with it for extra flavor and moistness. 
  • Add a boost of flavor to homemade lemonade
  • Delicious in tea
  • Use to flavor and sweeten cocktails (such as Meyer Lemon Margaritas!)
  • Drizzle lightly onto a fresh fruit salad
  • Add a sweet citrus layer of flavor to a marinade for fish or chicken

Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
peel of 2 Meyer Lemons

Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest (colored layer of skin only) from two Meyer lemons in large strips. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the zest, sugar, and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil , then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Strain out and discard the zest. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Keeps for several weeks.

Recipe by Rick Bayless

May have been shared at some of these fun parties!