Honeycomb Banana Layer Cake

Honeycomb Banana Layer Cake | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë François

This Honeycomb Banana Layer Cake is inspired by Cadbury Crunchie Bar candy my husband ate as a child growing up in Montreal. He’s been asking me to recreate the chocolate covered honeycomb (sponge toffee) candy and I am finally getting around to it. Now that I’ve had it, I regret not making it decades ago. I made this banana cake with a coffee flavored honey meringue buttercream, the honeycomb candy seemed just the right garnish for the top. The name comes from the honeycomb look of the candy and not because honey is in the ingredients. I added a touch of honey, just because it seems like it should be in there, but that’s not the traditional way Cadbury Crunchie Bars were made. You can watch me make this cake and honeycomb candy in my instagram video.

Honeycomb Banana Layer Cake | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë FrançoisHoneycomb Banana Layer Cake | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë François

Honeycomb Banana Layer Cake

See my instagram video to watch me make this entire cake.

Banana Cake – from Lee Bailey’s Country Desserts

2 1/2 cups (250g) sifted cake flour (this means you sift the cake flour into the measuring cup then sweep the top to measure it)

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch ground cloves

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups (260g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas

Several bananas for slicing on the inside

Coffee Flavored Honey Buttercream

3/4 cups (260g) honey

1/2 cup egg whites

1 1/2 cups (339g) unsalted butter, softened

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 shot very strong espresso or 2 teaspoons espresso powder diluted in 1 tablespoon water (optional)

Honeycomb Candy (sponge toffee)

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (for bottom of the pan. Optional.)

1 1/2 cups (330g) sugar

1/2 cup (266g) light corn syrup

2 tablespoons (30g) honey

1/3 cup water

1 tablespoon baking soda, sifted

Pinch sea salt

To make the cake: Watch my instagram video

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and line three 6-inch cake pan (or two 9-inch) with parchment

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a bowl.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl after each one. Stir in vanilla. Mix in the flour mixture, alternating with the mashed bananas. (flour, bananas, flour, bananas, flour).

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes or until the tester comes out with a moist crumb, but not wet. Allow to cool.

To make the buttercream: Watch my instagram video

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the egg whites and honey.

Put the bowl over a double boiler and stir it with a rubber spatula until the mixture is melted, hot (140°F) and thin.

Put the bowl on the mixer and beat with the whip attachment on medium high speed.

Whip until it is light, fluffy, glossy and the bowl feels just about room temperature. If the egg whites are not cooled off sufficiently it will melt the butter when you add it.

Once the egg whites are whipped and cooled, add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time on medium speed.

WARNING: After you have added about half of the butter, it may look curdled and runny, this is normal and you should continue adding the rest of the butter.

Once you have finished adding the butter and it has mixed on medium speed for about a minute the buttercream will be creamy and glossy looking again. Add the espresso and salt.

To make the honeycomb: Watch my instagram video

Honeycomb Banana Layer Cake | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë François

Line an 8-inch square cake pan with butter and parchment, making sure the parchment covers the sides and is well buttered, so the honeycomb won’t stick to it. Add the chopped chocolate to the pan. As you can see from the above photo, you also want to place the cake pan on a baking sheet, just in case. 😉

In a large pot heat the sugar, corn syrup, honey and water without stirring until the mixture reaches 302°F on a Candy Thermometer. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda. It will foam up as you stir. Quickly pour it into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the salt. Allow to cool completely. Remove from the pan and break into pieces.

Round honeycomb topper: I greased and lined a 6-inch round cake pan, just as I instructed for the square one, then added 4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate. When the honeycomb was ready, I poured a portion of it into the round pan and after it cooled I placed the chocolate coated honeycomb on the cake like a crown. Watch my instagram video

Honeycomb Banana Layer Cake | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë François

Honeycomb Banana Layer Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: Desserts
 
This Honeycomb Banana Layer Cake is inspired by Cadbury Crunchie Bar candy my husband ate as a child growing up in Montreal. He’s been asking me to recreate the chocolate covered honeycomb (sponge toffee) candy and now that I’ve had it, I regret not making it decades ago. I made this banana cake with a coffee flavored honey meringue buttercream, the honeycomb candy seemed just the right garnish for the top.
Ingredients
  • Cake
  • 2½ cups (250g) sifted cake flour (this means you sift the cake flour into the measuring cup then sweep the top to measure it)
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups (260g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups mashed ripe bananas
  • Several bananas for slicing on the inside
  • Coffee Flavored Honey Buttercream
  • ¾ cup (260g) honey
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • 1½ cups (339g) unsalted butter, softened
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 shot very strong espresso or 2 teaspoons espresso powder diluted in 1 tablespoon water (optional)
  • Honeycomb Candy (sponge toffee)
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (for bottom of the pan. Optional.)
  • 1½ cups (330g) sugar
  • ½ cup (266g) light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) honey
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda, sifted
  • Pinch sea salt
Instructions
  1. Cake: Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and line three 6-inch cake pan (or two 9-inch) with parchment
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a bowl.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl after each one. Stir in vanilla. Mix in the flour mixture, alternating with the mashed bananas. (flour, bananas, flour, bananas, flour).
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes or until the tester comes out with a moist crumb, but not wet. Allow to cool.
  6. Buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the egg whites and honey.
  7. Put the bowl over a double boiler and stir it with a rubber spatula until the mixture is melted, hot (140°F) and thin.
  8. Put the bowl on the mixer and beat with the whip attachment on medium high speed. Whip until it's light, fluffy, glossy and the bowl feels just about room temperature. If the egg whites are not cooled off sufficiently it will melt the butter when you add it.
  9. Once the egg whites are whipped and cooled, add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time on medium speed. WARNING: After you have added about half of the butter, it may look curdled and runny, this is normal and you should continue adding the rest of the butter.
  10. Once you have finished adding the butter and it has mixed on medium speed for about a minute the buttercream will be creamy and glossy looking again. Add the espresso and salt.
  11. Honeycomb Candy: Line an 8-inch square cake pan with butter and parchment, making sure the parchment covers the sides and is well buttered, so the honeycomb won’t stick to it. Add the chopped chocolate to the pan. You also want to place the cake pan on a baking sheet, just in case.
  12. In a large pot heat the sugar, corn syrup, honey and water without stirring until the mixture reaches 302°F on a Candy Thermometer. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda. It will foam up as you stir. Quickly pour it into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the salt. Allow to cool completely. Remove from the pan and break into pieces.
  13. Round Honeycomb Topper: I greased and lined a 6-inch round cake pan, just as I instructed for the square one, then added 4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate. When the honeycomb was ready, I poured a portion of it into the round pan and after it cooled I placed the chocolate coated honeycomb on the cake like a crown.