Honey Cake with Elderflower Icing by Bake Off runner-up, Ian Cumming

To celebrate the elderflower harvest Belvoir has collaborated with Great British Bake Off finalist, Ian Cumming.

While he’s not baking us lovely cakes, he is helping us in our campaign this year to support Friends of the Honey Bee and the British Beekeeper’s Association in a mission highlight the importance of the honey bee to the environment and the threat they are under through the use of pesticides and certain farming methods. Pev Manners, MD of Belvoir Fruit Farms says: “We already support local bee keepers whose bee populations help pollinate our organic elderflower plantations and the naturally occurring elderflowers in the hedgerows around Belvoir but we wanted to do more to help beekeepers around the country. Working with the British Beekeeper’s Association seemed a good way to do it.”

Ian’s father keeps bees and so he has seen for himself the crucial role they play in nature: “Maintaining our honey bee populations is vital – without them there would be fewer crops, flowers or food. Of course honey is a delicious by-product of the bee’s work and my honey cake with elderflower icing demonstrates just how fantastically two natural, summer ingredients combine in one stunning recipe!”

Summer’s definitely ‘cumming’ so why not welcome it with open arms and give Ian’s recipes a try.

Serves 16 Prep time Bake time 25 mins
Honey Cake with Elderflower Icing by Bake Off runner-up, Ian Cumming


220g unsalted butter (room temp)
140g light muscovado sugar
140g honey
½ tsp of salt
4 large eggs
280g self raising flour
2tsp baking powder
3 balls stem ginger
3tbsp milk
2tbsp Belvoir elderflower cordial.

100g double cream
200g mascarpone cheese
50g Belvoir elderflower cordial
100g icing sugar


1. Grease and line two x 8 inch (20cm) cake tins.
2. Preheat the oven to 180C.
3. Finely chop the stem ginger.
4. Using an electric mixer beat the butter, sugar, salt and honey for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
5. One by one beat in the eggs making sure each is well and truly mixed in before adding the next.
6. Sift in the flour and baking powder and carefully fold in.
7. Carefully fold in the stem ginger.
8. Finally fold in milk.
9. Split between the two tins and bake for approx 25 minutes or until a knife comes out cleanly from the middle.
10. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before turning out from tins and placing on cooling rack.
11. Pour 1tbsp of cordial over the top of each cake.
12. Meanwhile put the double cream in a mixing bowl and whisk until just starting to thicken. Add remaining icing ingredients and very briefly beat until combined – be careful not to overbeat.
13. Place one of the cakes on the plate on which it is going to be served.
14. Put approx a quarter of the icing in a freezer bag or in icing bag. Snip off corner and then pipe 1 to 2 cm circles all around the edge of the bottom cake. Pipe the rest inside the circles and then use up to another quarter of the icing to cover the rest of the cake.
15. Gently place other sponge on top. Spread remaining icing over top. Pipe rosettes around edge if you have the necessary piping bags / nozzles.

Alternative: If you are not so keen on icing and prefer a less sweet cake then halve the amount of icing and spread some good quality lemon curd between the two layers of sponge.

Cooks tip: If you’re not keen on piping, simply spread the icing over the top of both cakes and sandwich together