Expositie /

Museum De Waag

01.21.2018 - 06.03.2018

Museum De Waag: Deventer Honey Cake. A shelf life of six centuries.

21 January to 3 June 2018 | Museum De Waag

It is Deventer’s best kept secret: the recipe for Deventer Honey Cake. The city produced it’s first Honey Cake more than 600 years ago. And although it’s flavour stayed the same for hundreds of years, it’s development has continued. Over the centuries, Deventer honey Cake acquired fame not only as a highly valued trading commodity, but as an international delicacy as well. It became a Royal treat and a tasty culinary ingredient for chefs.  More than anything else, Deventer Honey Cake became the city’s primary trade mark. In the year in which Deventer celebrates it’s 1250th anniversary, Museum De Waag honours the centuries-old Honey Cake during the exhibition ‘Deventer Honey Cake. A shelf life of six centuries’. The exhibition runs from 21 January up to and including 3 June 2018. Anyone visiting the exhibition on its opening day will receive a special honey cake, baked by Bussink especially for the occasion.


The history of Deventer Honey Cake dates back to the Middle Ages. Already in 1417, the city council established strict rules for its preparation. Anyone involved in the baking process had to take an oath at the city hall. Only master bakers were allowed to bake the cake. Its long shelf life made Deventer Honey Cake highly suitable for export to far-away places, and this delicacy from Deventer became a valued commodity in the prosperous Hanseatic era. By the end of the seventeenth Century, no fewer than 700,000 Honey Cakes were shipped from the ‘City of Honey Cake’ each year.

The exhibition tells the story of the Cake Bakers Guild and brings the City of Honey Cake back to life. It also exhibits the beautiful packaging material and advertisements that were used, and it reveals many surprising ways in which this famous cake can be used in the kitchen. As for the recipe for Deventer Honey Cake… well, that remains a secret.

Deventer Honey Cake on the menu.
Besides being a delicacy and trading commodity, Deventer Honey Cake has proven to be a popular culinary ingredient for chefs. Within the framework of the exhibition ‘Deventer Honey Cake. A shelf life of six Centuries’, several chefs from Deventer have created recipes in which Deventer Honey Cake is used. The recipes are featured on various menus during the exhibition. Special menus are available at participating restaurants in Deventer and in Museum De Waag itself, so that visitors can do some cooking with Deventer Honey Cake of their own at home.

The participating restaurants are: ’t Arsenaal, Restaurant Boas, Restaurant Bouwkunde, Bar & Keuken De Buren van Schimmelpenninck, Chez Antoinette, De 7de Hemel, Engel & Bengel,  Goesting, Hans & Grietje, Huis Vermeer, Restaurant Keizerskroon, Sjampetter and Sandton IJsselhotel.

The ‘Deventer Honey Cake. A shelf life of six Centuries.’ exhibition is produced by Deventer Verhaal and is made possible by 1250 years Deventer, …InDeventer, Deventer Municipality and Continental Bakeries. The exhibitions runs from 21 January up to and including 3 June 2018 in Museum De Waag. The opening hours of the museum are Tuesday to Sunday, from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., with a boarding tour being conducted each Sunday at 2.00 p.m. In addition to the audio tour for the exhibition, the museum also issues tickets for the ‘Deventer Honey Cake Walk’, which is organised by the Deventer Tourist Office. Museum De Waag also offers an app-based audio tour through the city centre. This tour links your museum visit to numerous historical attractions of the city.