Chocolate Honeycomb Cake

Rich layers of spongy chocolate cake, sandwiched between a thick fudgy chocolate buttercream and topped with shards of golden homemade honeycomb make this dessert the ultimate in party cakes.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Australian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Assembly 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Author Sally


Chocolate Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 80 grams dairy-free spread*
  • 1 cup hot coffee

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 125 grams dairy-free spread*
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch salt


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda


  • Preheat oven to 170°C and line the bottom of 3, 8 inch cake pans with baking paper and spray with cooking oil.
  • Make the cake. In a large bowl sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt. Mix together and set aside.
  • Place 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in a 1 cup measuring cup and fill to the top with vanilla almond milk. Milk will spilt but that is ok. In a small bowl, whisk milk with eggs and vanilla. In a separate small bowl, melt dairy-free spread* in the hot coffee.
  • Using an electric mixer on low beat half the milk mixture into the dry ingredients, followed by half of the coffee mixture, alternating until everything is combined. The mixture will be quite thin.
  • Evenly pour the mixture into the three prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Set aside to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Make the chocolate buttercream. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted, beat dairy-free spread and vanilla for 1-2 minutes until creamy.
  • Add in 3 cups of the icing sugar and the cocoa powder and beat on medium until combined. As mixture thickens, add in almond milk a tablespoon at a time. If frosting is too thin, add in an extra ½ icing sugar until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency. Add pinch of salt to taste if frosting is too sweet.
  • Make the honeycomb. Line a baking pan with baking paper and set aside next to your stove top. In a small saucepan place sugar and golden syrup and heat on medium until sugar has dissolved, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon. Once sugar is dissolved turn up the heat and allow mixture to start boiling. You want it to be a steady rise of bubbles rather than rapidly so adjust temperature as necessary. Watch the caramel mixture as bubbles for about 5 minutes until it becomes a dark amber colour. Take pan off heat and add in bicarbonate soda, stirring rapidly with a wooden spoon and pour mixture immediately onto prepared pan. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool. Once completely cooled, break apart.
  • Assemble the cake. Using a bread knife, level the cakes so they have a nice flat top. Eat the off-cuts or save them to have with ice cream for dessert. On a plate or cake stand, place a layer of cake, topped with a scoop of the buttercream about ⅓ of the total. Smash up some of the honeycomb pieces so they are small and sprinkle on top of the buttercream (large pieces will impact cutting). Add the next cake layer and again top with buttercream and smashed honeycomb. Place the final cake layer and top with remaining frosting. Decorate with larger shards of the honeycomb and add some dark chocolate shavings to finish it off, if you want.


*I use Nuttelex Buttery to replace butter in most of my recipes as it is dairy-free and gives a 'buttery' flavour without being greasy. As this is an Australian product, the closest US alternative I believe is Earth Balance. Otherwise any dairy-free spread will work.
Storage: Cake should be stored in the fridge but can be left on the bench for a couple of hours to come to room temperature for serving. Honeycomb is best eaten fresh, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.
Tip! Eggs must be room temperature for this recipe. Speed up the process by soaking the eggs in warm water for 10 minutes.
Adapted from Food & Wine