This simple but moreish loaf cake is a great accompaniment for an afternoon tea or picnic and is an ideal way to use up an excess of dandelion honey.
Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are great sun-lovers and when they are used as an ingredient, their ray-like yellow heads seem infuse everything with a little bit of sunshine. This cake has a double-dose of dandelion, being sweetened and flavoured with the hay-like notes of some golden dandelion honey, while also adding some fresh petals to the mix for extra flavour and texture.
Dandelion honey is a simple flower syrup which makes a great vegan replacement for honey and will keep for at least six months unopened, or a few weeks in the fridge. While it has all sorts of uses as a sweetener or topping, it is particularly brilliant in baking, adding a unique flavour to everything from simple loaf cakes to our nettle seed and dandelion honey bread. Because dandelions are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, some people claim the syrup is useful as a vitamin tonic - we think this is an even better excuse to have a slice of cake!
What's great about a loaf cake in late spring and early summer is that it's robust enough to be portable, so is a handy treat to wrap up in some tinfoil and take on a picnic, or even out foraging. This recipe also makes a perfect accompaniment to a cup of dandelion coffee.
175g butter, allowed to soften
175g self-raising flour
125g golden caster sugar
4 tbsp dandelion honey (half for the cake mixture and half for the drizzle)
3 large eggs
2 tbsp dandelion petals
Grated zest of one lemon
- Preheat an over to 180C/160C fan and grease and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy
- Alternate adding the eggs and flour into the mixture to prevent splitting, and then lightly beat with a hand whisk or stand mixer.
- Stir in the lemon zest, dandelion petals and 2tbsp of the dandelion honey
- Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 40min-50min. When the cake is done, it should spring back when depressed and a skewer placed into the cake should be clean when withdrawn.
- Leave the cake to cool and then pierce several times with a skewer. Drizzle over the remaining 2tbsp of dandelion honey and leave to soak into the cake, ideally for 24hrs.
Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!