One of my favorite things is finding uncommon uses for common ingredients. Case in point: goat cheese in frosting. Like in this Honey Cake with fresh figs and goat cheese frosting! I absolutely love goat cheese, and have since I was a kid. Goat cheese dip, pasta primavera with fresh goat cheese, and, of course, fried goat cheese. Eeeeeee!
My favorite goat cheese has always been Vermont Creamery, because it’s the creamiest, made locally in — yep, you guessed it — Vermont, and is made 100% from fresh goats’ milk from family farms. So when Vermont Creamery asked me if I’d come on as one of their food blogger partners for the year, I was like “DUH.”
Well OK I probably replied to their email more like “I’d be so flattered, of course!” …but in my head it was “duh.”
I mean, what better company is there to partner with than a company whose products you’ve been happily eating since you were a little girl? Especially when that company is so family-farm oriented, and when their products are consistently amazing? Riddle me that, friends. Riddle me that.
So! I wanted to create an absolutely delicious dessert that really highlighted the creaminess of Vermont Creamery’s goat cheese. And especially with the launch of their new goat cheese with clover blossom honey, I knew exactly what to do. The result is this insanely moist honey cake, topped with fresh figs and a goat cheese frosting. It’s very similar to cream cheese frosting, in that you get that tangy factor, but with the goat cheese it’s just slightly more pronounced.
It makes for a wonderful topping to the softer, more mellow honey cake below. But don’t let the word mellow fool you; this honey cake is amazing even on its own. I owe that to using strongly steeped black tea, cinnamon, and orange zest for flavoring. It’s really fantastic.
Plus, don’t you just love the name Honey Cake? It just rolls off the tongue 🙂
Tips for making homemade honey cake
Making the batter for this honey cake is so easy, and because the cake is baked in a loaf pan you don’t have to worry about stacking layers or anything like that. If you keep these few things in mind when making this honey and fresh fig cake, it’ll turn out perfectly!
De-clump the brown sugar — Brown sugar tends to clump up as it sits in your pantry (so annoying!), so it’s important that you take the time to break up the clumps as best you can before adding the sugar to the cake batter. If your fingers can’t do the job well enough, use the back of the fork to break up the sugar. And if you have any clumps remaining —no matter how small — just toss them in the trash. You do NOT want to bite down on a random clump of sugar when enjoying this honey cake, trust me.
Use local honey, if possible — For the strongest, freshest honey flavor, buy your honey locally if you can. Farmers markets usually have at least one honey supplier, and some major grocery store chains now have a local foods section. Local honey often has a better flavor than the mass-produced stuff, plus you’ll be supporting local businesses this way. Win-win, right?
Brew really strong tea — Strongly brewed black tea is crucial in this honey cake recipe. To achieve a strong brew, I steeped a few tea bags in boiling water (2 or 3 tea bags should be plenty, if you’re using a quality tea). Make sure you’re brewing plain black tea and nothing flavored. And if you’re not a black tea drinker and don’t want to commit to buying a whole box at the store, hit up your local coffee shop and buy a few bags from there!
How to store honey cake
If you’ve already frosted the honey cake with the goat cheese frosting, I recommend keeping it wrapped up in the fridge so that the frosting doesn’t become too soft. When you’re ready to serve the chilled cake, let the slices come to room temperature on your countertop before digging in for the best flavor and texture.
And just like quick breads, you can also freeze the honey cake itself for later. Once you’ve baked the cake, let it cool completely on your counter before wrapping it up in plastic wrap and some foil (sans goat cheese frosting, that is). You can also seal it tightly in a freezer bag if you have one on hand. When you’re ready to enjoy this cake, pop the frozen cake into the fridge overnight to thaw completely. Let the cake warm to room temp on your counter and whip up a fresh batch of goat cheese frosting just before you serve it!
Please let me know if you have any questions about making or serving this honey cake with fresh figs and goat cheese frosting. It’s unbelievably good, and is a nice break from your typical chocolate and vanilla cakes!