Wild Food Foraging - Cultivating Skills &
Confidence through Inspiring Forays in Nature

Delicious Nettle and Honey Cake

Image of nettle and honey cake with fresh nettles around it

Delicious Nettle and Honey Cake

Nettles, in a cake?! I know what you’re thinking – what a bizarre combination, and to be honest, even the kids were adamant they weren’t going to try it; “Yuk” – was apparently their response on their way to meet me.  However, at a glorious Spring foraging walk, the whole big, green(ish) cake was devoured, and yes, the children were practically in it before it was cut, and ate every last smidgen.

“That’s possibly the best cake I’ve ever eaten” commented one participant – well even I was bowled over by that! So I thought it was time I shared the recipe with you.

I was brought up around baking - friday was baking day in our household, with cakes and snacks being made by mum for the coming week. Three hungry daughters, all with a sweet tooth – we were familiar with kneeling on chairs to stir large bowls of cake mixture, placing dollops in paper cases. Carefully ensuring a fair amount missed the cases for us to clean up with light fingers and sticky mouths.

As an adult, my love of cake making, and the alchemy of cooking has remained with me. I can’t boast my mother’s finely honed skills, though I can slowly line a cake tin, and since my teens have experimented with a broad range of cake recipes, from the classic sponge to sweetening with malt barley to adding wild twists.

Nettles, you may know, are a personal favourite of mine, and I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate them into both savoury and sweet dishes. Why miss out on their fabulous nutrition just because you favour cake over soup? No need I say, here’s the recipe. Based on a Devonshire honey cake, it’s rich, sweet in a wholesome way, and utterly, enjoyably cakey;

Nettle Cake

Ingredients

300g self-raising flour
250g clear honey
100g dark muscovado sugar
225g butter
3 large eggs beaten
2 (gloved) handfuls of raw nettles

Weighing Butter     

225g butter                     300g self-raising flour         100g dark muscavado sugar

Weigh out the ingredients, next preheat the oven at 140C, 160C, gas mark 2. Line a 20cm diameter cake tin with grease proof paper.

Line a Cake Tin

Lining a Cake Tin

Grease the sides and base of the tin with a little butter. Cut around the circle of the tin, with a couple of centimetres extra. Cut into the circle, just as far as the size of the tin base. Place inside, folding the paper up where the cuts are so they are rising up the tin sides. Do similar with measuring the cake sides, cutting into the edges again, and holding onto the base. You may need to add a little butter to the cut edges so the paper sticks to each other and holds the shape of the tin.

Using gloves, place nettles in a vegetable steamer (or saucepan with minimum water in) and steam or simmer for 5 minutes. Remove excess liquid (through a sieve or squeezing with a wooden spoon) and blend with a food blender, once blended, squeeze a little extra liquid out, though not too much that you remove all the flavour!

  

Raw Nettles                          Blended Nettles in Sieve

Next, break the butter into pieces & put in a pan with the sugar & honey. On a low heat, stir until melted, transfer contents into a mixing bowl,adding the nettle pulp & put aside to cool for 15-20 minutes.

    

Beat the eggs and add into the butter/sugar/nettle mixture, then stir in the flour. Pour into the cake tin & bake for about 1 hour 10-20 minutes.

   

 

Or until the cake is golden brown, springs back when pressed & a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean. Remove & leave to cool a little before slicing. Delightful while still warm. Or until the cake is golden brown, springs back when pressed & a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean. Remove & leave to cool a little before slicing. Delightful while still warm.

Fresh Nettle and Honey Cake

4 comments:

  1. I am definitely going to try this recipe. Yesterday I had a slice of Nettle and Lemon Cake, which was absolutely delicious.
    I would recommend that anybody with any doubts should put them aside, as this type of cake really is delicious, as is Beetroot Chocolate Cake.
    Perhaps one should serve these cakes to people and not tell them what they contain until they have devoured every last crumb!

    Comment by Nigel P. Herbert — 5 June 2016 8:00 am

  2. Hi, I am interested in making this recipe. Can you tell me, do you know if it freezes well? And what can I expect from the batter, before cooking, is it very loose? Thanks, Lisa.

    Comment by Lisa — 1 February 2017 9:47 pm

  3. Hi, yes it will be loose as you’ll see in the image, hence baking it for over an hour to get a lovely, springy sponge. I’ve no idea about freezing it. My preference would be to serve it fresh. I hope that helps.

    Comment by Rachel — 2 February 2017 10:16 am

  4. Could you tell me approximately how much nettle pulp is added. For instance was it the size of a golf ball or. A bar of soap? I would greatly appreciate this information.
    Thank you
    Konnie Kleparek

    Comment by Konnie — 14 May 2017 9:25 pm

Leave a comment

Other updates

Winter Warming Sloe Treacle Tart - 25 November 2017

Hawthorn Berry Fruit Leather - 13 November 2017

Edible Storm Debri? Sugar Kelp Seaweed after the Storm - 11 October 2017

Rosehip and Custard Tart - 29 October 2016

LAUNCH: New Seaweed Book - 8 June 2016

A Hearty Snack – Savoury Alexander Muffins - 22 February 2016

Cod with Creamy Shellfish and Wild Spices - 5 October 2015

1st Foraging Book for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly - 29 June 2015

Foraging, Yoga and a Paleo Diet - 28 April 2015

Alexanders and Three-Cornered Leek Frittata - 23 March 2015

Foraging on the South West Coast Path - 6 November 2014

What if Everybody Foraged? - 16 July 2014

Delicious Nettle and Honey Cake - 7 April 2014

Valentine Foraging - 5 February 2014

Winter Foraging - 2 January 2014

Foraging Muppets-style - 17 December 2013

Mackerel and Blackberry Salad - 21 September 2013

Elderflower Cordial and Elderflower Sorbet Recipes - 10 July 2013

Comfrey, to eat or not to eat? - 24 June 2013

Corporate Foraging - 2 May 2013

Alternative Wild ‘Asparagus’ - 2 April 2013

Making coffee from cleaver/goosegrass seeds - 5 February 2013

Wild Swimming & Christmas Chocolates - 26 December 2012

Wild Apple Curd & Hogweed Seed Meringue Pie - 2 November 2012

Making Rosehip Fruit Leather - 29 October 2012

Wild Berries in Austria - 27 September 2012

Catching the last of the Elderflowers… - 23 July 2012

Eclectic Foragers & Spaghetti Seaweed - 1 July 2012

Mad March Spring Foraging - 1 April 2012

I’m in Love with Nettles! - 12 March 2012

Plant inspired Poetry – Common Sorrel - 22 February 2012