1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups cake flour (or 1 3/4 c. + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour sifted with 1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. cornstarch)
1/4 cup milk (2% or higher)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
Zest of 1 small orange
FROSTING + FILLING
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
8 ounces mascarpone
2 tablespoons elderflower liquor (I like to use St. Germain; you can also use vanilla extract instead)
3 tablespoons blackberry jam
Honeycomb (click link to see recipe)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans and set aside.In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and yogurt and set it to the side.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a handheld mixer, cream the butter until it is silky and smooth, about 4-5 minutes. Add the honey and beat for another 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture looks like golden fluffy clouds. Add the vanilla and orange zest and beat just until combined, no more than 30 seconds.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl then begin adding the eggs and yolks, one at a time. Make sure to fully incorporate one egg before adding the next, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, then alternately, in thirds, begin adding the milk and flour mixtures to the butter mixture, use a spatula to fold the ingredients together. Once everything has been added, fold the mixture a few more times, but do not overmix it.
Divide the batter between the 2 cake pans. Gently run a knife through the batter, than drop the pans from about 3 inches off the counter a few times to help eliminate air bubbles.Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Whatever you do, do not overbake the cakes or they will dry out. You will also have to watch them closely at the end as the honey can cause the cakes to brown/burn faster. It should also be noted that one of my cake halves took about 2 minutes less to bake than the other one did. A final note, do not open the oven door until you are ready to check the cakes…opening the door will cause the cakes to fall flat.
Let the cakes rest in the pan for 5-10 minutes, before running a knife gently around the edge of the pan and flipping the cakes out on a wire wrack to cool completely.While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting.In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Add the liquor and beat for about 30 seconds more. Remove to cream to another bowl and set aside.
Add the mascarpone to the mixing bowl and beat it until it is soft and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the whipping cream and beat for another minute, then turn off the mixer and continue to fold the cream and mascarpone together by hand.
Take about 1 ½ cups of the cream mixture and place it in a small bowl. Gently fold in the blackberry jam and set aside.When you are ready to assemble your cake, place one half on a serving tray or cake stand. Spread the blackberry mixture on top, make sure to leave about ½ inch between the filling and the edge of the cake (so that the filling doesn’t ooze out when you put the top on). Place the second half of the cake on the filling and finish by spreading the mascarpone frosting evenly on top.
Sprinkle with crushed up honeycomb, and, if you wish, decorate the center with a few large pieces.