Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide

Delicious Nettle and Honey Cake

Image of nettle and honey cake with fresh nettles around it
Delicious Nettle and Honey Cake

Nettles, in a cake?! I know what you're thinking - what a bizarre combination, and to be honest, even the kids were adamant they weren't going to try it.

"Yuk" - was apparently their response on their way to meet me.  However, at a glorious Spring foraging walk, the whole big, green(ish) cake was devoured, and yes, the children were practically in it before it was cut, and ate every last smidgen.

"That's possibly the best cake I've ever eaten" commented one participant - well even I was bowled over by that! So I thought it was time I shared the recipe with you.

This recipe is from my book 'Wild and Sweet' (p30) alongside 5 more nettle recipes, such as nettle energy balls, and 100 more wild desserts.

I was brought up around baking - friday was baking day in our household, with cakes and snacks being made by mum for the coming week. Three hungry daughters, all with a sweet tooth - we were familiar with kneeling on chairs to stir large bowls of cake mixture, placing dollops in paper cases. Carefully ensuring a fair amount missed the cases for us to clean up with light fingers and sticky mouths.

As an adult, my love of cake making, and the alchemy of cooking has remained with me. I can't boast my mother's finely honed skills, though I can slowly line a cake tin, and since my teens have experimented with a broad range of cake recipes, from the classic sponge to sweetening with malt barley to adding wild twists.

Nettles, you may know, are a personal favourite of mine, and I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate them into both savoury and sweet dishes. Why miss out on their fabulous nutrition just because you favour cake over soup? No need I say, here's the recipe. Based on a Devonshire honey cake, it's rich, sweet in a wholesome way, and utterly, enjoyably cakey;

Nettle Cake

I've since updated this recipe, you can see my most recent version here; Spring dessert: Nettle and Honey Cake with Gorse Flower Syrup. The full recipe is in my book; Wild and Sweet.

11 comments on “Delicious Nettle and Honey Cake”

  1. I am definitely going to try this recipe. Yesterday I had a slice of Nettle and Lemon Cake, which was absolutely delicious.
    I would recommend that anybody with any doubts should put them aside, as this type of cake really is delicious, as is Beetroot Chocolate Cake.
    Perhaps one should serve these cakes to people and not tell them what they contain until they have devoured every last crumb!

  2. Hi, I am interested in making this recipe. Can you tell me, do you know if it freezes well? And what can I expect from the batter, before cooking, is it very loose? Thanks, Lisa.

    1. Hi, yes it will be loose as you'll see in the image, hence baking it for over an hour to get a lovely, springy sponge. I've no idea about freezing it. My preference would be to serve it fresh. I hope that helps.

    2. P.S My aunt froze it last year (she fell in love with it) - I can now tell you it freezes well!

  3. Could you tell me approximately how much nettle pulp is added. For instance was it the size of a golf ball or. A bar of soap? I would greatly appreciate this information.
    Thank you
    Konnie Kleparek

  4. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I'm inspired!
    Extremely useful info specially the remaining section 🙂 I
    maintain such info a lot. I used to be looking for this certain information for a very long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

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