Ostara, or the spring equinox, is a time of promise. It’s a time to revel in the awakening of Mother Nature from her restful winter slumber. For me and so many others, it’s a time of celebration. Honey is one of the beautiful foods associated with Ostara. Along with honey you will also see dishes rich in eggs and edible spring foliage, both of which can be found in these Honey Ostara Cakes. They make the perfect conversation piece for a spring tea party to celebrate the abundance ahead. Squash blossoms stuffed with creamy cheese and herbs add the savory and precious element every tea party needs.
3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup coconut oil, liquified
1¾ cups brown sugar
¼ cup honey
5 large eggs
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 2 tablespoons honey
Splash of heavy whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour your 6-inch cake pans. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In your stand mixer, cream together the coconut oil, sugar, and honey until fully incorporated. Add in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time. After all eggs are added, turn the mixer off and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, making sure nothing is unmixed.
With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk and the flour mixture to your butter-and-sugar mixture by alternating between flour and buttermilk until both are gone.
Pour the batter into your greased pans, and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cake comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for at least 10 minutes. Flip the cakes out carefully onto a wire rack and allow to cool for another 30 minutes. While the cakes cool, you may begin preparing the icing.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, and honey. Use an electric mixer on medium speed, mixing thoroughly until icing is smooth and creamy. Frost the cakes by spreading icing between each layer and on the outside of the cakes. Decorate with fresh or pressed edible flowers and herbs. Store in the fridge until ready to enjoy!
Fried Squash Blossoms
Male squash blossoms (approximately 10)
⅓ cup cream cheese, softened
⅓ cup goat cheese, softened
1 tablespoon chives, diced
2 teaspoons fresh mint, roughly chopped
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup club soda
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Prepare your squash blossoms by removing the stamens as well as any debris. Set aside.
Mix together cream cheese and goat cheese. If mixture is too thick, add a splash of milk.
Add green onions, salt, and pepper to cheese and mix until incorporated. Form enough small logs out of the cheese to fit inside the blossoms.
Carefully open your blossoms enough to add the cheese inside. Repeat until all blossoms are filled. Set aside.
In a large frying pan, add oil, approximately 1 inch deep in your pan. Heat at medium high to optimal frying temperature, between 350°F and 375°F.
While oil is heating up, make your batter by combining flour, salt, pepper, and club soda in a mixing bowl. Mix until free of lumps. Once oil has reached optimal temperature, begin coating your blossoms in the batter. It’s best to cook them three at a time.
Once in the oil, the blossoms will need to be gently splashed on top with oil to make sure the batter doesn’t slide off while the bottom cooks. Flip gently once. Each blossom will take about a minute or less to cook. Place fried blossom on a rack or a towel-lined plate. Repeat until all blossoms are cooked.
Allow to cool slightly before eating—and then enjoy!