When I was a kid, I daydreamed that I’d come home from school and, magically, my mom would turn into one of those mothers who would be lavishly frosting a cake for me and my brother to snack on while we did our homework. Instead, there was usually a plate of diced melon, sliced apples, and peeled oranges. Now that I know what goes into most cakes—loads of sugar and, if it’s from a box, likely a number of preservatives as well—I understand better why she refused to listen to my wishes. (Mom was magical in other ways.)
Here is a cake that you can feel really great about making for your family. It’s sweetened with honey, has a velvety tender crumb, and the frosting is just sweet enough without being over-the-top. You feel good after eating it. Almost as good as if you had eaten a plate of fruit.
(For a terrific gluten-free alternative for this cake, instead of 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, try substituting ½ cup sorghum flour, plus ½ cup sweet rice flour, plus ½ cup potato starch. Thanks to Laura, who tried this version and deemed it the best gluten-free cake she’s ever tasted!)