This stunning Mulled Apple and Honey Layer cake, is made with our own Salisbury honey. For those of you looking for a break from the traditional Christmas fruit cake or mince pies, this airy and elegant creation carries the sweet clover honey flavour, the warm aroma of the spices, without being too heavy. Delicious festive flavours with a difference!

Thanks to Emily @sweeterbytheseason


Serves 8-12. 
You will need 3 x 6 inch tins, cake turntable and palette knife

Ingredients:
Sponge:
90g Unsalted Butter
200g Caster Sugar
120g Light Brown Sugar
3 Medium Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla 
240g Plain Flour
200g Buttermilk
4g Bicarbonate of Soda
4g White wine vinegar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Mixed Spice

Syrup:
100g Salisbury Honey
50g Water

Compote:
3 Bramley Apples (roughly 400g)
2 tbsp. Salisbury Honey
1 tsp. Cinnamon
20g Light Brown Sugar 
Juice of 1 Lemon

Honey Caramel:
80g Double Cream
80g Salisbury Honey 
80g Light Brown Sugar

Buttercream:
277g Caster Sugar
80g Water
150g Egg White
330G Unsalted Butter, softened
2 tsp. Mixed Spice

         

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius (fan). Grease and line the tins with butter and baking paper. 
  2. In a freestanding mixer or using an electric whisk, cream the butter, both sugars, and vanilla together until pale and fluffy.  
  3. Gradually add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. 
  4. Mix the flour and mixed spice together. Alternatively add the flour and buttermilk to the mixture. Continue mixing until all mixed together. 
  5. In a small bowl, combine the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar together, then add to the mixture and mix until well incorporated.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the 3 tins. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and when a knife comes out clean. 
  7. Whilst the cakes are in the oven, in a small pan heat up the water and honey together and bring to a boil. Then remove from the heat. 
  8. Brush the cakes with the honey syrup. 
  9. Now for the apple compote. Chop the apples into 2-3cm chunks. You want them not too small as you need a bit of texture. Add the apples and all the other ingredients into a medium pan and place on a medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the apples are starting to soften. You don’t want them mushy, it’s important for apples to still have a bite to them. 
  10. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool. 
  11. For the caramel, in a small pan, add the sugar, honey and cream and bring to a boil and mix until all incorporated. Leave to cool. 
  12. Now for the meringue buttercream, You will need a free standing mixer or electric whisk. Place the egg whites into the bowl of the free standing mixer with the whisk attachment. 
  13. In a small pan, add the caster sugar and water together and bring to the boil. Continue to cook to 117 degrees celsius. Then start to whisk the egg whites until stiff and foamy. Continue to cook the sugar to 121 degrees celsius and once the sugar has reached this temperature, slowly add the sugar to the egg whites continuing to mix the egg whites at a slow speed. Once the sugar has all been added, turn up the speed of the whisk to high and continue whisking the egg whites until it has cooled down and the mixture is stiff and glossy. 
  14. Once the egg mixture has cooled down until lukewarm (not cold). Slowly add the softened butter to the mix, making sure to continually whisk whilst adding the butter to make sure to emulsify the fat with the egg. Continue to whisk until it has come together and should look light and fluffy and glossy. Mix in the mixed spice. 
  15. Now for the assembly. Using a serrated knife, trim the tops off the sponge and discard. Place one of the sponges on top of a board. Using some of the remaining honey syrup, brush again the syrup over the sponges. 
  16. On top of the sponge on the board, add ½ of the apple compote and 1tbsp. Of the honey caramel. 
  17. Place the second sponge on top of this and repeat the step 16. 
  18. Bottom side up, place the final sponge on top and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or so to firm up. 
  19. Make sure your buttercream is soft and spreadable, you can soften your buttercream by putting it in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time. Whisking between each time to achieve the required consistency. 
  20. Place the cake on top of your turntable and add two big spoonfuls of buttercream on top of the cake. Using your palette knife spread the buttercream around the cake making sure to cover the whole cake in buttercream. Using a scraper or palette knife, scrape any excess buttercream off  the cake making the buttercream smooth around the cake. 
  21. Use the palette knife to scrape off any excess buttercream at the top spreading the cream to the middle of the cake. It’s ok if you can see bits of the cake as you want to have the ‘semi-naked’ effect. 
  22. Leave the cake in the fridge to chill slightly. Fill a piping bag with a small star nozzle, and the remaining buttercream. Pipe swirls around the top edge of the cake. 
  23. Fill the top of the cake with the honey caramel. Don’t worry if it runs over the edge, it makes it look more yummy! 
  24. Decorate with fresh apples and spices. Store in the fridge and it will last for about 5 days. Enjoy!