Cast-Iron Honey Cake with Pecans and Sage

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honeyCast-Iron Honey Cake with Pecans and Sage

By Rochelle Billow

For those who prefer cheeses, nuts and fruit for dessert over sugary confections, this cake is a winner. It’s barely sweet, thanks to the elimination of sugar, and gets its nuttiness from finely chopped pecans. Serve it with a dollop of plain yogurt or an assortment of Finger Lakes cheeses and ice wine. Locally ground flour is, of course, preferable.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flourSage

1 cup pecans, chopped very finely

Pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped finely

1/2 cup butter

2 medium-sized eggs

1/2 cup whole milk

1/3 cup buckwheat honey

Preheat the oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, pecans, salt, baking soda, baking powder, ginger and sage. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine and set aside.

Melt the butter in an 8-inch cast iron skillet and set aside to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Pour the melted butter into a separate mixing bowl, leaving any residual butter in the pan. Add the eggs, milk and honey to the butter in the bowl and whisk vigorously to combine. Note that being too quick to combine the wet ingredients will cook the eggs as a result of the hot butter; patience pays off.

Use a rag or paper towel to rub the skillet bottom and sides with the residual melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, using the wooden spoon, until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared skillet. Bake in the middle of the oven until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool before serving.

Rochelle Billow is a food writer and a cook. Her recipes and writings can be found at

This recipe originally appeared in our Winter 2013 issue. If you’re a subscriber you can access the issue on our online archive!

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