This simple cake is elevated by a delicious caramel sauce. You can make the sauce ahead of time and keep in a jar in the refrigerator for several days, then reheat before pouring over the cake when it comes out of the oven.
Makes 8 servings
- 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter (1⁄2 stick)
- 1 cups unbleached all-purpose organic flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon granulated sea salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1⁄2 cup unbleached organic granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 cup local honey
- 1⁄4 cup walnut oil
- 1⁄2 cup boiling water
- 1⁄4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- A few extra walnuts for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-inch-round cake pan.
Melt the butter over low heat in a thick-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Whisk the butter as it melts and remove from heat once it turns light brown and has a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, spices and salts together. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the sugar and honey, and mix until incorporated. Pour the oil, water and reserved brown butter over the mixture. Stir to combine and then fold in the chopped walnuts.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35–40 minutes or until the top springs back when touched or a tester comes out clean.
Meanwhile, put the sugar in a medium, heavy saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, swirling the pan occasionally as the sugar melts. After it is melted, continue cooking until it reaches a rich amber color or until it reaches 350° on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and add the butter and cream all at once but carefully—it will bubble up vigorously. Whisk in the sea salt until combined and let cool slightly.
Pour some of the sauce over the cake and garnish with walnuts. Serve with additional caramel sauce as needed.