Honey, fig and thyme layer cake

A summery twist on a Donna Hay recipe. The batter is thick, almost like cookie batter, so use a wet spoon to spread it out into a thin layer.

45 minutes (plus chilling time)

Serves 6-8


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  • ½ cup (125g) cold butter, chopped 
  •  cup (115g) honey 
  • ½ cup (110g) castor sugar 
  • 2 tsp (10ml) vanilla essence or extract 
  • 1 tsp (5ml) bicarbonate of soda 
  • 4 extra-large eggs 
  • figs, finely chopped  
  • 4 sprigs thyme, leaves finely chopped 
  • 3¼ cups (485g) cake flour 
  • 1 tsp (5ml) fine salt 



  • ¼ cup (60ml) honey  
  • ¼ cup (60ml) water 



  • 2 blocks (500g) cream cheese, whisked to soften 
  • 1 tub (500g) sour cream 
  • 1 cup (160g) icing sugar, sifted 
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) honey 
  • Honeyfigs and thyme sprigs, for serving 



  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. 
  2. Line a 42x30cm baking tray with baking paper. 
  3. Melt butter in a pot and cook until browned.  
  4. Add honey, castor sugar and vanilla and stir until dissolved. 
  5. Cook for 4-5 minutes until thickened slightly.  
  6. Remove from heat, cool for a minute, then whisk in bicarbonate of soda.  
  7. Whisk eggs in a bowl, using an electric whisk, until pale and fluffy. 
  8. Add cooked honey mixture in a steady stream and stir in figs and thyme.  
  9. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl, add egg mixture and stir until a stiff dough forms.  
  10. Spoon onto baking tray, spreading out roughly with a wet spoon.  
  11. Cover with a sheet of baking paper and roll dough out with a rolling pin into a 28x40cm rectangle. 
  12. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.  
  13. Cool on a wire rack. 
  14. Cut cake into four equally sized rectangles.  
  15. Make syrup by heating honey and water until honey dissolves. 
  16. Lightly brush cake pieces with syrup. 
  17. Mix icing ingredients together using an electric whisk until smooth. 
  18. Line a 25x10cm loaf tin with baking paper.  
  19. Spread ¼ portion icing evenly over entire base, then lay a cake rectangle on top. Repeat to create four layers. 
  20. Wrap tin thoroughly in clingfilm and chill for 1-2 hours until firm.  
  21. Unwrap cake, turn over onto a serving plate, drizzle with honey and top with figs and thyme. 


Browse more festive dessert recipes here.


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