Revised Sept 29, 2011
I have a plastic bag filled with recipes jotted down on scraps of paper by my mom. In this bag was a recipe for honey cake. After seeing the cover of the issue of the Martha Stewart Living June 2008 magazine with the beehive on it, I went on a hunt for the beehive mold and finally found it at Williams and Sonoma. What a perfect home for my mom's honey cake! Great for an outdoor party and for those who bring in the Jewish New Year with something sweet, this honey cake is tasty and fun. It certainly gets the ooohs and ahhhs of the crowd, baked in the beehive mold. And we had fun making the little bees out of marzipan that adorn it...although I cheated a bit the last time and bought the sugar bees on ebay. The bees in the picture below we made of marzipan. For those who are allergic to nuts, the sugar bees are perfect though.
I know my mom would have been impressed with this version of her honey cake!
Sadie's Honey Cake (Delicious even without the glaze and frosting)
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs (room temperature)
- 1 cup honey (hint: spray your measuring cup or spoon with oil, and the honey will slip out easy)
- 1 teaspoon of orange rind (optional)
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 cup nuts (optional)
Even if you are not using the mold, this glaze is quite a nice addition
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 1/2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
This is really used to glue the 2 sides of the cake together if you are using a mold, so ignore the buttercream if you are not using the beehive mold. This is probably not a good idea if making for the Jewish Holidays because of the dairy element.
- 4 Tbs (1/2 stick unsalted butter)
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 Tbs milk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Even if making a simple honeycake, this can be nice to drizzle over the top but totally optional and probably not a good idea if making for the Jewish Holidays because of the dairy element.
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 to 3 tsp. milk
- 1 ounce of marzipan
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- black gel paste (food coloring)
- yellow gel paste (food coloring)
Sadie's Honey Cake
1. With the rack in center of oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pans and lightly dust with flour - either molds or bundt pan ( Use whatever cake pans you have!)
2. Sift the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs , sugar, oil and honey at high speed until light, about 5 minutes. Add rind.
4. Add flour mixture, alternating with orange juice, beginning and ending with flour. Add nuts if desired.
5. Divide batter between the molds (the mold is divided in half) , and place them on a baking sheet. If using other baking pans, add the batter to the pan.
5. Bake for 50-60 minutes (a tester or toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake should come out clean). Transfer molds to a wire rack, and let cakes cool in pans for 15 to 20 minutes.
6 Turn out cakes, supporting them with your hand, and place flat sides on rack. Let cool completely. (If not using the beehive molds, go to step 8.)
7. Carefully trim the flat sides of the cake halves with a serrated knife so each is level. Align the halves to make sure they are flush, then separate. Don't cut off big chunks or it will not work.
8. Make the honey glaze: Bring honey, lemon juice and salt and bring to a simmer, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
9. Brush the cake with the honey glaze including the flat sides of each cake half. (If not using the beehive molds, go to step 13.)
10. Make the buttercream. In a small bowl beat the butter until smooth and creamy on medium speed then add confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla and salt and continue until light and fluffy.
11. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the cut side of one of the cake halves. Place the cut side of the other cake half against the frosted side and gently press the two halves together.
This is the glue that holds the two sides of the beehive together. (if making for the Jewish Holidays, I would suggest just using the glaze to glue it together - because of the dairy element)
12. Let set upright for 5 minutes. (If the 2 sides don't stay together, place a small bowl over top to hold the 2 sides together while glaze sets.)
13. Carefully transfer cake to a rack set over parchment. Spoon remaining warm honey glaze over cake until the cake is completely covered. Let stand until set.
14. Make the Royal Icing. In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners' sugar and the 2 tsp. milk until smooth. The icing should be thick but still pourable.
15. Carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter. Drizzle with the royal icing.
16. Make marzipan bees (optional) .
- Divide the marzipan in two and add a little yellow gel paste to one half and black gel paste to the other half. Knead to incorporate.
- Roll each portion into a 1/8 inch diameter rope. Cut into 1/8 inch slices.
- Stack 5 slices together flat sides facing alternating colors, starting and ending with a yellow. Press together gently. For the head roll a yellow slice into a ball and press onto body. For the eyes roll two teensy bits of black into balls and press into head.. For the stinger, shape the tail piece into a slight point. For the wings, press a sliced almond into each side of bee.
- Arrange marzipan or sugar bees on cake, pressing gently to adhere to icing.