Recipe: East End Café’s Moroccan Honey and Mint Syrup Cake

This cake from East End Café in Wairoa is delicious served with a dollop of cream or unsweetened Greek yoghurt. Local tawari honey, used in the topping, is light-coloured with a buttery flavour. Find some to take home.

Recipe: East End Café  Photos: Jane Ussher


For the cake:
160g butter, softened
310g sugar
1½ teaspoons fresh chopped mint
6 eggs
230g desiccated coconut
210g self-raising flour

For the mint syrup:
200ml water
180g sugar
35g fresh mint, roughly chopped

For the honey nut topping:
40g butter
90g tawari honey, or similar honey
90g sliced almonds


Preheat the oven to 150°C. Line a lightly greased, spring-release 23cm cake tin with baking paper.Beat the butter, sugar and mint until creamy and light in colour. Add small quantities of the egg, coconut and flour, beating well between each addition to prevent the mixture from curdling. Repeat until you have used all the ingredients.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Check by inserting a skewer in the centre. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes.

To make the syrup, place the water, sugar and mint into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to ensure the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Strain through a sieve and discard the mint leaves (or leave in if you prefer a stronger flavour).

Prick the top of the cake all over with a fine skewer and drizzle the syrup over the top while the cake is still in the tin (if keeping the mint leaves, spread them evenly over the top).

You may not need all the syrup – any extra can be served when you cut the cake.

To make the topping, place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat slowly to melt the butter and honey. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the colour is a light creamy caramel (this may vary depending  on the colour of the honey used). Work quickly and spread the topping over the cake. Allow to cool before releasing from the tin. Serves 10-12.

This is an extract from the 2018 edition of the Insider’s Guide to New Zealand.

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