Peanut Butter Cinnamon Honey Cake

“I only love my bed and my momma, I’m sorry” – Drake

I’ve been thinking along the same lines as Drake lately… this time of the year always has me clinging to the little scraps of hope that get me through the last winter days.  There’s a short list of things (yes, such as my bed and my mom) that have the uncanny ability to anchor me when I’m feeling spread thin.  Well, I’m adding this cake to that list.

I recently collaborated with Peanut Butter Americano, a feel-amazing peanut butter brand that has donated over $14,000 towards economic and community development initiatives in 19 countries.  The brand concept originated when the founder was volunteering with TECHO, a non-profit group, in Uruguay.  The peanut was first cultivated in that area over 3,000 years ago, but the locals still grabbed for the less nutritious (but tasty!) spreads like dulce de leche… Peanut Butter Americano’s founder vowed to change the peanut butter landscape by making a peanut butter that not only had nutritional value, but was also drop-everything-and-grab-a-spoon delicious.   You really haven’t experienced peanut butter until you’ve sampled Peanut Butter Americano!

The cinnamon honey peanut butter that I used in this cake’s frosting was subtly sweet with just the right amount of crunch.  It tastes like a listening to a James Blake song on a Saturday afternoon, with the entire weekend still unfolding before you.  New York weekends tend to be frenzied for me; because I don’t know how long I’ll stay in New York, I feel like I need to soak up everything that it has to offer while I can.  Despite the constant scurrying, it’s good to slow down sometimes and just acknowledge where I am, from the comfort of my apartment, with a big slice of homemade cake staring me down.

This three layer honey cake is covered in cinnamon honey peanut butter frosting and has a peanut butter sauce pattern on top that almost looks like zebra stripes!  A few pieces of Honeycomb cereal add just the right about of texture to offset the fluffy peanut butter buttercream.

Scroll down for the recipe!

For the Honey Cake


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup warm coffee or strong tea
  • 3/4 cup orange juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 6 inch round cake pans. Line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add the oil, honey, sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee, and orange juice.
  3. Using an electric stand mixer, combine the ingredients well to make a thick batter.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans.  Place the cake pans in the oven and bake until the cake springs back when you touch it gently in the center. Bake for about 45 minutes.
  5. Let the cake stand for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

For the Peanut Butter Americano Frosting:



  1. Beat the butter in an electric stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar until well incorporated.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy.

For the Sauce:


  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light Karo syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or chunky Peanut Butter Americano!)


  1. Combine all ingredients except the peanut butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until all ingredients are dissolved.
  2. Let the mixture cool completely.  Add the peanut butter and stir thoroughly.
  3. Keep stirring until smooth.  The end product will have a slightly grainy texture from the peanut butter.
  4. Let cool before topping your cake, otherwise the cake’s buttercream will melt!


When cool, torte the two cakes to create three even layers.  You will have an extra layer left over that you can use to make cake pops.  Alternatively, you can always build the cake one layer higher!  Make sure that it will fit in your fridge first… Distribute the cinnamon honey peanut butter buttercream between the cake layers using a large round piping tip.  I applied frosting to the outside of the cake in thick strokes to create a billowy, fluffy look.  Because the Peanut Butter Americano contains chunks of peanuts, achieving a super smooth look can be frustrating; the solids leave indented trails in the buttercream when you’re smoothing the sides with a bench scraper.  I suggest a loose, fluffy technique instead for this cake!  When complete, drizzle the cooled peanut butter sauce over the top in your desired pattern.  Garnish with Honeycomb cereal.  Enjoy!





Lemon and Spiced Hibiscus Cake

“Perhaps very late, our dreams joined, at the top or at the bottom, up above like branches moved by a common wind, down below like red roots that touch.”  -Night on the Island, Pablo Neruda

Need a dreamy show-stopper for your upcoming Galentine’s Day celebration?

Last week’s burst of warm January weather triggered all sorts of ideas, and because my baking is in step with my thinking, I came up with this!

This blooming beauty is anchored by two layers of lemon cake with lemon curd sandwiched in between.  The real zing to this fling is the spiced hibiscus buttercream that I whipped up using a marvelous spiced hibiscus jam produced by Stagg Jam & Marmalade!  The borderline fruity/floral subtlety of hibiscus provides the alluring antidote that balances the tart bite of all that lemon. Don’t take this jam at face value; spicy notes of cinnamon, clove, and bay leaf are swimming just beneath the surface flavor.    I am super excited that I was given the opportunity to collaborate with a brand that generates such a nuanced specialty.

I used dry hibiscus petals found in a hibiscus tea to decorate the top of the cake.  I recommend the brand Teapigs (for the biggest petals!).

I’ve been hyper focused on the world of food this past year, and I’ve found that it’s easy to start feeling one dimensional toward your craft.  One of my goals for 2018 is to infuse more contemplative depth into my culinary creations.  A bite of this lemon hibiscus cake is like taking a bite out of a summery poem that melts on your tongue.  What books, music, or other types of art inform your baking?

Scroll down for the recipe!

Lemon Hibiscus Cake

For the Cake: (Originally seen on Martha Stewart)


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour one 6 inch round cake pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
  4. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until just combined.
  5. Pour batter in pan; smooth the top. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, around 40 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack.  When cool, torte the cake into two separate layers.

For the Buttercream:


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Spiced Hibiscus jam from Stagg Jam & Marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Beat the butter in an electric stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar.
  3. Add hibiscus jam and vanilla to taste.
  4. One batch covers a 6 inch naked style cake.  Consider doubling the batch if you don’t want to see any cake peeking through on the sides.