Baking · Cakes

Honey Walnut Cake

Delicately tender cake flavoured with cinnamon, fresh orange zest and chopped walnuts. Soaking with honey sugar syrup whilst still warm gives this cake its unique flavour and texture.

Recipe posted in August 2015, photos updated in May 2018. 

Matilda the Musical is running a bake off competition and we want you to get in the kitchen and bake something inspired by Matilda!

The prize for the competition is two tickets to Matilda the Musical, an afternoon tea at the Radisson Blu Edwardian and a night’s stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Mercer Street, London. To take part and have the chance to win, click here to go to the official site and find out more! #MatildaBakeOff

It’s great fun to be involved in this baking campaign with Matilda the Musical! So when I brainstormed some recipe ideas inspired by Matilda, I had many ideas of recipes that were influenced by the story. Some favourites like chocolate fudge cake sprung straight to my mind, but it was my sister who suggested I baked honey cake for this blog post. If you’ve read Matilda then you will know one of the main characters in the story is Miss Honey. So a honey cake seemed the perfect bake to choose!

This honey and walnut cake is wonderfully sweet with beautiful flavour from the cinnamon and orange zest and fantastic texture from the chopped walnuts added to the cake batter.

Now it’s your turn, so grab your apron and mixing bowl. It’s time to get baking and come along and join the Matilda Bake Off!

(Serves 10-12)



170g butter (salted or unsalted), softened

150g caster sugar

Zest from one large orange

3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

120g plain flour

1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons milk

125g walnuts, chopped into small pieces

Honey Sugar Syrup: 

175g honey

100g caster sugar

90ml water

Squeeze of fresh orange juice (optional)


  1. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line the base of a 23cm springform cake tin with parchment paper. Grease the base and sides of the tin well with butter and set aside.
  2. Mix together the sugar and orange zest until fragrant – doing this releases the natural oils in the orange. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and orange sugar together until light and fluffy (this should take about 2-3 minutes).
  3. Now add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and fold through along with the milk. Finally, fold through the walnuts.
  5. Transfer the cake batter to the cake tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester when inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. leave the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes – in this time you can start preparing the honey sugar syrup for glazing the cake.
  6. To make the honey sugar syrup: Place the honey, sugar, water and orange juice in a small saucepan. Gently simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the syrup over the cake and leave the cake to cool completely, as it cools the syrup will soak into the cake.
  7. I recommend leaving this cake overnight as it allows the syrup to moisten the cake and the flavour will develop. Once ready to serve, slice up and serve with Greek yoghurt and fresh berries such as blackberries and raspberries.
  8. Cake will store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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