Utah Honeycomb Cake
Utah Honeycomb Cake

Utah Honeycomb Cake


August 18, 2015

I grew up in Utah, and I love the rich heritage of culture, history, agriculture, and food. I mean where else can you go where everyone knows what your talking about when you say, "fry sauce," "funeral potatoes" or "green jello." Sure, poke a little fun, but we've definitely got a bit of our own food culture here in Utah - Dutch oven cooking and rainbow trout....yum. With Pioneer Day coming up, I wanted to create  a recipe that reflected Utah - its heritage and tradition, and I thought sharing the "symbols" of Utah through the enjoyment of a cake would be fun, so here you go.

What is Utah Honeycomb Cake?

This is a cake symbolizing Utah - here's why:

  • Flour: Used in the puff pastry sheets, it salutes the stone grinding mills in our state
  • Cherries: Cherries are the official fruit of Utah - in fact, Utah is the only state in the Union that ranks in the top 5 for both sour and sweet cherry production, and you will find cherry orchards all along the Wasatch Front.
  • Milk & Cream: A symbol of Utah's dairy industry. Second only to beef as our state's largest agricultural product, dairy farmers and their cows were vital not only to Utah's early development but are an essential part of today's economic security. For every $1 a dairy farmer spends, $3 come back to the local economy, and each dairy cow returns $11,000 to the economy.
  • Sugar: In this recipe, sugar is used to make Dulce de Leche, and it reminds us of sugar beets, one of the early mainstay crops in Utah. In fact, Jordan High School's mascot, the Beet Diggers, is a nod to this heritage as the school sits atop what used to be beet fields in Sandy, Utah.
  • English Toffee: A tribute to the many European ancestors who trekked west seeking religious and political freedom and why we now celebrate Pioneer Day every 24th of July.
  • Honeycomb: Cut a slice of this cake, and it looks like a honeycomb - a perfect symbol of our Beehive State and our pioneering spirit.
  • Chocolate: Well...nothing too symbolic here - I just really like chocolate!


Note:Cans of commercial dulce de leche may be found in the baking aisle of the grocery store. Or, make your own using this easy and safe recipe. Open can of sweetened condensed milk, pour into clean glass canning jars with lids and rings. Place in crockpot and cover with at least 1-inch water. Cook on low, 8-10 hours. NOTE: Jars may seal when removed from crockpot but jars must still be stored in the refrigerator. May be store in refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

  • Yields: 10-12 Servings


1 package (17oz) Frozen puff pastry sheets (2 sheets)

1 can (14oz) tart red cherries, drained (not pie filling)

2 Cups whipping cream, divided

1/4 Cup cold water

1 1/2 Teaspoon unflavored gelatin

1 can (13oz) Dulce de Leche* (see note above about making your own)

4 Ounces mini milk chocolate chips (or finely chopped chocolate)

1/4 Cup chopped English toffee



Thaw the puff pastry according to package directions. While it is thawing, open cherries and drain in colander. Preheat oven to 400º. Cut 3 parchment sheet circles, and place in the bottom of 3 eight-inch round cake pans.

Place one sheet thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 10 x 15" rectangle. Cut into 3 equal strips (about 3 x 15)


Roll cherries inside each strip (jelly roll fashion) to create 3 ropes of cherry-filled puff pastry. Repeat with remaining sheet of puff pastry and cherries.


Loosely arrange two ropes in a spiral in the center of parchment-paper lined non-stick 8-inch round cake pan (seam side down and leaving 1/4 inch space between circles of the spirals). Repeat with remaining ropes, creating 3 pans of cherry-filled ropes. Bake at 400º for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.


Place dulce de lece in mixing bowl. Add ⅓-cup whipping cream, stir until blended; set aside.


Place ¼-cup cold water in small microwave safe bowl; sprinkle unflavored gelatin over water and let stand 1-2 minutes to soften. Microwave 10-15 seconds or until completely dissolved. Fold dissolved gelatin into dulce de leche and cream. Whip 1 ⅓-cups cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold together whipped cream and dulce de leche. Mixture should be the consistency of spreadable frosting - if needed, refrigerate to partially set to prevent filling from running.


Carefully remove one set of spirals from baking pan, remove parchment paper and center the spirals on serving plate. Place strips of foil under the edge of the first layer (to catch drips and make cleanup easier before serving). Spoon and carefully spread approximately ⅓ the dulce de leche filling over first layer and into spiral. Repeat with remaining 2 layers and dulce de leche. Refrigerate 1-2 hours to set.


Place chocolate in a small bowl. Bring remaining ⅓-cup cream to a simmer, pour over chocolate and let stand 3-4 minutes or until chocolate melts. Stir until smooth. Spoon chocolate over top of cake, gently spreading to the edges and allowing it to run off and down the sides. Sprinkle top with chopped toffee. Chill until chocolate is set. Carefully remove foil strips before serving.


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