Milk and honey cake & The Cookbook

I’m so excited to share the recipe for this Milk and honey cake with you today. It’s about a very special birthday (four years of blogging!), a layered sponge cake filled with plum mousse and The Bibby’s Kitchen Cookbook. So much to celebrate! Yes, there’s a cookbook in the pipeline and it’s going to be filled with beautiful food that’ll make cooking and eating, an absolute joy. You know the feeling when you’ve been sitting on a secret so huge but you’re sworn to silence? That’s been me the past year, processing the enormity of it and frantically cooking my way through hundreds of recipes, making sure that only the best ones make it onto the pages.

Milk and honey cake & The Cookbook

I started this blog 4 years ago, not quite sure in which direction it’ll go or the commitment required to build a successful food blog. It’s taken me on many turns, some not so good and others, beautiful, rewarding and surprising, but all necessary for defining goals and positive growth. Which brings me to the book deal….

There’s so much more to writing a book than one could ever imagine. Most days, the cooking starts at 4am and by 11pm I’m still in the same get up, my pj’s. I’m thinking of calling the book, Cooking in Pyjamas! Jokes aside. I’d love to hear what kind of recipes you’d be excited to see in the book and some suggestions for a catchy book title. Let me know in the comments section below.

Milk and honey cake & The Cookbook

Now for the cake. My very first blog post was this Raspberry cake, so I thought we’d celebrate the blog’s 4th birthday with another cake, a sort of naked milk and honey cake. It’s based on a hot milk sponge recipe and couldn’t be easier. If you’re looking for a cake that bakes in under 30 minutes, this is it. I’ve flavoured the sponge with honey and it’s just lovely paired with the plum mousse filling. I usually make double the quantity mousse and serve it as dessert, with hot roasted plums. Very summery. If all the fillings, frosting and drizzles are too much of a bother, layer the cake with freshly whipped cream and top with summer berries.

Milk and honey cake & The Cookbook

Milk and honey cake & The Cookbook

Milk and honey cake & The Cookbook


Milk and honey cake

Serves 12-14

Cake ingredients
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 180g castor sugar
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) honey
  • 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 300g (2 cups) cake wheat flour (all-purpose)
  • 2  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 250ml (1 cup) milk
  • 125g (1/2 cup ) butter

Plum mousse Filling

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) fresh cream
  • 45ml (3 tablespoons) castor sugar
  • 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 1 gelatine sheet, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes
  • 125 g (1/2 cup) creme fraiche
  • 90g (1/3 cup) plum jam
  • 60g butter, (1/4 cup) softened
  • 120g (2/3 cup) icing sugar, sifted

Chocolate drizzle

  • 80g white chocolate, chopped
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) full cream milk
  • a drop of pink food colouring


  1. Preheat the oven to 180º C. Grease and line 3 x 20cm round cake tins.
  2. Place the eggs, castor sugar, honey and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until pale and thick. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and beat to incorporate.
  3. Heat the milk and butter in a saucepan. Once the butter has melted and tiny bubbles break the surface, remove from the heat. With the mixer running, slowly add the hot milk to the batter and beat on a low speed just until the milk is incorporated.
  4. Divide the batter between the tins and bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before icing.
  5. For the filling, soak heat the gelatine sheet in cold water for 5 minutes. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and castor sugar. Once the milk is hot and the sugar dissolved, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add to the cream. Whisk until dissolved. Set the cream aside to cool.
  6. In a mixing bowl, combine the creme fraiche and 3/4 of the plum jam. Add the cooled cream and stir to combine. Cover and chill until firm, about 3 hours.
  7. Spread half the plum filling over the first cake layer. Lay the 2nd cake layer on top, spread with the remaining plum jam and filling. Place the 3rd cake layer on top.
  8. For the frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar together until light and pale, about 5 minutes. Cover the top and sides of the cake, sparingly, scraping most of the sides off to show the cake beneath.
  9. To make the drizzle, place the chocolate, milk and food colouring in small bowl. Heat for about 30-40 seconds in the microwave. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with fresh flowers.

24 Comments. Leave new

  • Cooking with my friend

  • That’s exactly what I hope this book will be Claudette. Like being in the kitchen with you, cooking alongside.

  • Linell Nyakutsikwa
    16 October 2018 9:18 am

    Cooking with Friends…….just like the cooking class set up 😜

  • Di’s delights!

  • Where can we buy the book.?

  • Hopefully there’ll be plenty of delightful sighs of pleasure from cover to cover.

  • Ah Linell, the cooking classes are where my heart’s at. Piling loads of strangers together and they become friends – one of the great rewards to sharing food.

  • Hi Maud. The book will be out next year. I’ll keep you posted.

  • I cannot wait to see your beautiful book!! This cake looks OUT OF THIS WORLD, by the way. Just stunning!

  • Huge congrats! Can’t wait for it

  • Cheryl Wegener
    16 October 2018 11:17 am

    Book title : Bibby’s kitchen. Well what recipes to include, You will never please all of us…… but I have successfully used many of your recipes and recommended your blog to friends. I have moved back to basics, but want it to be the tastiest.. After buying loads of recipe books and fashion fads over the years, a book I am enjoying is called For Friends & Family by Nicky Stubbs. and of course I am a fan of Ottolenghi and Greek, middle eastern. I have been buying lots of local cook books now. But I am sure whatever you dish up will be fabulous and of course beautifully presented. Best wishes and looking forward to the exciting book. .

  • What a beautiful cake, resembles a painting and almost too gorgeous to eat! Love the roses too

  • Thank you Merle. Somehow a celebration cake just begs for blooms. There’s a sense of anticipation when you slice into a cake and I just love that moment!

  • Thank you Hein. There are so many recipes I’d like to squeeze into the book. Choosing the favourite, favourites is quite a dilemma.

  • Ah Ilze. Thank you for your kindness. I think the flowers do all the work for me.
    My hope is that the images on the pages will tell as powerful a story, as the words.

  • I’m so pleased to hear that the recipes are useful and practical. The cookbook will be filled with diversity and colourful food, made with seasonal and available ingredients. They will of course be vegetable dense with a good dose of chocolate for special occasions. Thank you for your input. I love hearing what people are making and why.

  • Oh, this is a beautifully romantic looking cake, Di, something to serve at high tea, for a very special occasion, or just because it will bring such joy to behold. Like others here, I am looking forward to your book. If it was mine it would have to be entitled “Cooking Fun in Jammie Pants.” Cheers to all, Ardith

  • I love the Jammie pants, Ardith! Now that’s a sassy title. Fortunately I’m behind the lens and not in front. So lovely of you to pop in. Wish I were sharing an actual slice of this pink cake with all you lovely people out there.

  • ” Freaking FIERY Wors ” and….pap 😉

    Congrats Di, can’t wait to see your book and my sausage published ! Pleease

  • Thank you Graham. I think we’ll have to run a competition to see which reader’s recipe to include. So far we have fiery wors & pap and venison with foraged wild berries!

  • If this is just a foretaste of what we are going to get in your book, all I can say is WOW, can’t wait for my bedtime reading and I am sure whatever you are going to put in the book is going to be mouthwatering. Congratulations on four years of blogging ….. you have spoiled us with all the yummy recipes. Much love xx

  • It’ll give me the greatest joy to think of the book being read late into night, when the house is calm and quiet, mentally making shopping lists of all the ingredients needed for tomorrow’s cooking. This is what I do and it’s my best down time. I’ve been so privileged to share my table with you, Antoinette. x

  • Ah Di – I am absolutely thrilled for you and will definitely buy your book on first run. I love the title Cooking in pajamas – perfect!

  • Thank you Sam. Somedays I still have to pinch myself. Such a thrill to put onto paper, that which you love.

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