Bourbon Honey Bundt Cake

Whisking Wolf
by Whisking Wolf
12 servings
55 min

Dripping with vanilla glaze and garnished with pomegranate seeds this moist, tender cake has it all. From bourbon-splashed batter and the sweetness of honey to comforting fall spices, Bourbon Honey Bundt Cake is wonderful for any occasion.

Honey is a produced by an insect with five eyes. That’s your fun fact for the day. Don’t ask me to elaborate because I know nothing else about honey except the obvious: it tastes amazeballs with bourbon.

Sadly, drinking honey with Maker’s Mark until I’m buzzy drunk isn’t a way to earn a queen bee’s respect. So when a friend hooked me up with honey straight from the hive, I wanted to make bee royalty proud. Trading an alcoholic beverage for a baked good seemed like a good compromise so I turned Ina Garten for a honey cake recipe.

Of course the queen of cookbooks knew just the right cake to make for the queen of bees. In fact, the Barefoot Contessa even had bourbon in her freaking recipe. It was like having all my honey bourbon wishes granted by a shoeless chef.

Ina had me at hello with the honey and bourbon. However, I was a bit hesitant about hot coffee appearing on the ingredient list. Nevertheless, I made a pot of Illy and followed Ina’s recipe with a few minor tweaks. The biggest change was swapping olive oil for vegetable, reducing the overall amount and adding unsweetened applesauce to offset the difference.

Baking with applesauce is awesome, not only because it’s a nutritious fat replacer, but also because it adds mega moisture. One thing I noticed about honey cake recipes is all the complaints about no bees baked into them. Just kidding, people keep making a fuss about their cakes being drier than Saharan dust.

As long as you properly measure the flour and don’t overbake, the probability of dry cake is zero percent with this recipe. You can’t argue with statistics. Contrary to other honey cakes, this recipe is exceptionally moist and tender, sweetened with pure honey, splashed with bourbon and perfectly spiced. Not to mention it’s dripping with a vanilla glaze and garnished with pretty pomegranate seeds.

All in all, this honeylicious cake is a sweet treat for any occasion.

Recipe details
  • 12  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 40 Minutes Total time: 55 min
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  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cup orange juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Vanilla Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla use clear extract for whiter glaze
Pomegranate Garnish
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine applesauce, eggs, honey, orange zest, orange juice, vanilla, coffee and bourbon. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, spices and salt.
Add dry ingredients to wet, one cup at a time stirring with a wooden spoon after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Whisk in olive oil. Note: batter will be much thinner than traditional cake batter.
Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Rap pan on counter a few times to release air bubbles.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes. Cake is done when a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Do not overbake.
Cool for 10 minutes in pan then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Vanilla Glaze
Whisk glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth. If a thinner consistency is desired, add 1 more tablespoon of milk. Immediately drizzle over cake. Garnish with pomegranate seeds if desired.
  • Use freshly squeezed orange juice for this recipe. It will enhance the flavor so much better than store-bought.
  • Even if your bundt pan has a nonstick surface, always grease and flour to be safe. Greasing and flouring takes all the stress out of releasing the baked cake.
  • Batter will be more liquidy than traditional cakes. Trust me, the wet batter bakes up an ultra moist cake.
  • After pouring batter into the bundt pan, rap the pan on a counter a handful of times to release air bubbles. Be forceful with the raps, but not so forceful that you splash and spill the batter.
Whisking Wolf
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