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Honey Cakes for Saturnalia

Happy Saturnalia!

I've talked a bit before about recreating Roman recipes, which is admittedly not very easy for me. Mostly because I am a terrible cook. If a recipe calls for more than five ingredients, and actual prep time, I'm out. I definitely appreciate living in this century, where we have electric frypans and microwaves, that's for sure. Also, the last recipe I tried had lovage, and I don't even know what that is. That's probably partly because I'm a terrible cook, but I'm also going to blame it a little on geography. I've never seen lovage in an Australian grocery store.

But today's recipe is an easy one! Four ingredients, very minimal prep time, and it's a perfect sweet treat for Saturnalia.

Roman Honey Cakes



PREP TIME – 10 minutes

COOK TIME – 1 hour





3 eggs

200 grams honey

50 grams spelt flour (you can use plain white flour if you don’t have spelt flour.)

Butter or margarine for greasing your cake tin





1.              Start your oven heating. Grease and line a cake tin.

2.              Start heating oven to 170 C.

3.              Beat eggs well, get lots of air bubbles in. Use an electric mixer or blender if you have one.

4.              Pour in honey a little at a time. The mixture will thicken.

5.              Sift the flour, then fold it in gently (you want to keep all the air you’ve worked into this.)

6.              Pour into prepared cake tin and bake in oven.

7.              Check after 45 minutes. Don’t open oven door much before then or the cake may fall. The cake will be a dark brown from the honey. It should be done by 55 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean.

8.              Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes in tin, then remove from tin and place on a rack to cool a bit.

9.              Best served warm, with honey drizzled on it.


Oh, and what's Saturnalia without buying a gift for the people you love? An audiobook, perhaps?

Yeah, that was a very unsubtle hint. Sub Rosa is now out on audio, narrated by Vikas Adams, and he does an amazing job! It's available at all your favourite retailers, or you can find the links here:

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