Monday, June 26, 2023

St. John the Baptist Honey Cake and Homemade Pesto

I have a lovely cake to share for today. 

My darling daughter gave me Cooking With the Saints for my birthday back in February.  Since June 24th was the Feast Day of St. John the Baptist, I made the recipe in the book for Honey Cake and set a tea time with my bee tablecloth that a friend had sent me, and covered my beehive cakes with netting to protect against flies.  My lantana are in a cleaned out local honey jar. 

This pretty Grace's teacup looks so bee-u-tiful with my teapot. 

This beehive teapot makes me smile; it's so cheerful and happy!


My dear friend, Pat, gave me a set of these most adorable bee napkin rings!!  Aren't they sweet as honey??

Any chance I get I love using my Nordicware beehive cakelet pan, and the Honey Cake was the perfect opportunity.

Yield: 10-12
Author: Kitty, but the recipe is adapted from Cooking With The Saints
St. John the Baptist Honey Cake

St. John the Baptist Honey Cake

History tells us that St. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness on a diet of locusts and honey. This incredibly delicious dessert is a reminder of the honey part. The cake has a long list of ingredients, but goes together quickly and is moist and reminiscent of gingerbread.


  • 3-1/2 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 T. cinnamon
  • 1 t. ground cloves
  • 1 t. ground allspice
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup strongly brewed coffee
  • 3 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar ( I omitted as I didn't see the need for this, and the recipe never said when to add it.)
  • 1/4 cup whiskey, brandy or orange liquor, optional (I omitted)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a bundt pan and one 8"x4" loaf pan, or three loaf 8"x4" loaf pans, with non-stick spray. Sprinkle them with flour and set aside. (I used Baker's Joy.)
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together until well combined. In a separate bowl, beat together the oil, honey, coffee, eggs, orange juice whiskey (if using). Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the liquid ingredients, whisking together until well combined.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans, filling them only 2/3 full. Place in the oven.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pans from the oven and let them sit for 15 minutes before removing the cakes from the pans. Turn them out onto cooling racks.


I made 6 beehive cakelets, 4 mini loaf pan cakes, and 4 mini bundt cakes from this recipe and was able to share with neighbors and family. The cakelets and mini bundt cakes took about 20 minutes, and the mini loaf cakes took around 35 minutes.

My friend Carol, shared her herb bounty with several of us, and I was happy to get some basil, thyme, oregano and lemon balm.  I do have some basil  growing in a pot, but didn't have enough to make some pesto.  Thank you, Carol!

Author: Kitty
Pesto Sauce

Pesto Sauce

I came up with my own version of pesto. Recipes usually call for pine nuts, but those are expensive. Walnuts make a good alternative, or even almonds. You can serve by adding it to cooked pasta and add cooked shrimp or chicken, if you like. It's fabulous!


  • ⅓ cup walnuts, toasted (See NOTE)
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


  1. Place the walnuts and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until coarsely chopped, about 10 seconds.
  2. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper and process for about 1 minute. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly blended. Add the Parmesan and process a minute more. Use pesto immediately.


You can store pesto in the fridge by covering it with a thin layer of olive oil, and you can also freeze it in ice cube trays to have for later.

I "toast" nuts in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes. Just be careful as they burn quickly!

Thank you for your visit!  xo


  1. Hello, Dear Kitty - I just love your pretty 'Honey' tea table today! Your teapot, tablecloth and napkin rings are really special. The black and white with the gold is very pretty. The honey cake sounds delicious, too. Eating locusts sound disgusting, though - sorry, St. John! Thank you for the pesto recipe, too. I am growing basil this year and was looking for ways to use it! Hope you are staying safe and cool this week. x K

  2. What a neat book your daughter gave you! My MIL would love that book. Would you be so kind as to write me and let me know how she acquired it? TY! Your bee honey cakes are soooo cute. And yum. Pesto. My basil is growing like crazy - think I will make pesto shrimp for dinner tonight. Appreciate your recipe and inspiration, as always! Hugs! ♥

  3. Both recipes sound wonderful! We used to make homemade pesto all the time and it freezes so well too.

  4. I Love the little cakes! And the dinnerware! So pretty...And look at the pretty honeybee napkin ring!! SO pretty...

  5. Your shrimp dish looks very "gourmet" and lovely. The honey cakes are adorable! The bee theme is such fun!

  6. What an adorable bee vignette Kitty! Love the napkin rings, it's all so cute and the bee skep honey cakes are perfect! Your homemade pesto sounds divine~ I hope you're able to keep cool in your very hot weather!

  7. That cake looks so good, Kitty, and what a cute theme setup! I'm wondering if you can taste the coffee or juice in the cake? It sure sounds moist. Love the cookbook. I found a Sinners and Saints drink mix recipe book for my son-in-law's homemade brewery and bar, lol. Not quite the same, I know.
    I hope things are cooling down a bit there, Kitty. Have a good week.

  8. Wow! What a BEE-U-TIFUL celebration! Those cakes look divine and I LOVE all the flavors in them! The teapot and napkin rings are just darling! So glad you shared. Have a blessed week ahead! XO

  9. Kitty, both of these recipes are perfect for a summer meal. I love pesto with pasta and adding in the shrimp sounds perfect. Thanks for the recipes and enjoy the week.

  10. What a sweet bee and honey themed tea time. Queen Bey(once) would approve!

  11. Your honey cakes are adorable! Such a cute theme and setup. Love the napkin rings. Pesto is a favorite of mine, and I mix it will all pasta in the summer and freeze some for the winter. Thanks for the recipes and have a good week.

  12. Your little beehive cakelets sound delicious Kitty!! I'm intrigued by the combination of coffee, orange juice and whiskey in the recipe! Of course I adore your bee-utiful new napkin rings, tablecloth and bee skep teapot...I have a matching cookie jar! I was just looking at our basil yesterday that's limping along wondering if it will produce enough basil by the end of summer for pesto. For some reason it's not happy where it is, or it could be our excess amount of rain. Wishing you a happy week ahead. ♥🐝

  13. How lovely your bee 🐝 cakelets are. The recipe sounds wonderful. Love your bee teapot. How sweet your friend gifted you with those adorable bee napkin rings. I hope you get some relief from your hot temps. Thanks for sharing your pesto recipe; I do have basil growing in the garden.

  14. Your recipes look great! Love your gorgeous tablescape too. The napkins ring is so cute. My brother's name was João Batista because he was born on June 24th. Hugs and blessings.

  15. What lovely cakes you made, Kitty. I love the shape. And your teapot is the most darling thing! Pesto is such a tasty addition to so many meals. I make it and keep little containers in the freezer.

  16. The cake sounds great and I love your bee tablecloth Kitty:@)

  17. Oh wow, that honey cake does look awesome. Pinned it
    I visited you via the Encouraging Hearts & Home
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    You will find the linkup information (1) In the Top bar under Blogging: Weekly Senior Salon Pit Stop OR 2nd image In the sidebar
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  18. Oh, my! These sound wonderful! Just delicious. Thank you for sharing, sweet friend.

  19. I'm so behind on commented on my friend's blog posts! July has been fun and very busy for us. The beehive cake tin make adorable tea cakes! I love all the ingredients in them and know they must taste wonderful! Hope you're staying cool!


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