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Beehive Cake with Hand-Formed Marzipan Bees #TheCakeSliceBakers

This is the July #TheCakeSliceBakers event. Since this is only my second event this year, I'll recap what we are all about...

In this group, we are given a selection of three cake recipes. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book. Our choices for July 2022 were ~ 

Beehive Cake

Beehive Cake

While this was a beautiful and delicious cake, my family lamented, "That wasn't what we were expecting when you gave us the choices." Reason being: We have a favorite local bakery that makes what they call a beehive cake and it's more like a large brioche filled with custard and topped with a honey praline. So, this was not that. But we had fun making it...and eating it. 

I did use some creative license and opted not to make the layers banana cake; I made a honeysuckle-buttermilk cake instead. Then I used the extra praline as a garnish around the base. And I must have glossed over the part that said it was baked in a pan and a bowl to give it that "ancient dome-shaped beehive made of twisted straw," especially since her finished cake photo wasn't adjacent to the recipe. Whoops! I can't wait to see what the other beehive cakes in the group look like. Hopefully others were more precise than I was in reading the instructions.

Ingredients makes one three-layer cake (6-inches)

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 Tablespoon dried honeysuckle blossoms
  • 1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, softened, plus additional for greasing pans
  • 1 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or paste
  • 3 large eggs
  • Also needed: three 6-inch cake pans, parchment paper, plastic wrap
Crushed Praline
  • 1/2 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • pinch of sea salt

Honey Buttercream
  • 3/4 cup honey (I used a wildflower honey from Sardinia, Italy)
  • 1/2 cup egg whites, approximately 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons coffee extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Place dried honeysuckle blossoms in a small jar and pour boiling water over the top. Once it's cool, strain out the blossoms and set the liquid aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. 

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until lightened and fluffy, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. 

In a mixing bowl, stir together buttermilk, vanilla, honeysuckle water, and eggs. In another mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

Alternating the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture, add those to the butter bowl and beat until incorporated and smooth.

Spoon batter into prepared pans, smoothing top, then bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, approximately 25 to 30 minutes as the layers are fairly thin. If you are frosting the cake to serve that day, just let the cake layers cool. If you are frosting the cake the following day (which is what I did), wrap the cooled layers in plastic wrap and keep in the freezer. Just pull out the layers to defrost while you make the buttercream.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and maple syrup. Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Keep cooking until the caramel is a deep amber color and just beginning to smoke. Remove it from the heat and fold in the pecans and salt. Pour the mixture onto the parchment paper in a thin layer. Once completely cool, break it in half. Crush half and set aside. Break the other half into jagged pieces for decorating your finished cake.

Place honey and egg whites in a mixing bowl that fits over a saucepan. Heat the water and stir till the mixture is thin. Remove the mixing bowl from the pan and beat with a hand-beater until the egg foam is lightened, fluffy, and glossy. The bowl should also be cool to the touch. If the mixture is too warm, the butter will melt and not beat into a frosting consistency.

Add in the butter, 2 Tablespoons at a time. Once your buttercream frosting is the consistency you desire, beat in the coffee and vanilla extracts.

Divide the buttercream in half and fold the crushed praline into one half.

For Serving
Once the cake layers have cooled completely, place the bottom layer on your serving platter. Add a dollop of the crushed praline buttercream and spread to the edges, then place another layer on top. Repeat with the praline buttercream. Then smooth the other buttercream over the top and along the sides. Press jagged praline into the side of the cake.

Refrigerate to let the buttercream harden. When ready to serve, let cake sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Decorate with hand-formed marzipan bees.

Hand-Formed Marzipan Bees

Having both of my boys home for the summer, I put them to work making the marzipan bees. 

With very little guidance, my Precise Kitchen Elf shaped the bees with natural marzipan, then painted the coloring on and added the wings.

My Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf, on the other hand, colored two ropes of marzipan - one yellow and one black - then pressed them together to form the bee.

I love the unique look to each one of these hand-formed marzipan bees.

When the bees were all finished, I stuck them on skewers of different lengths and inserted them into the cake. This was a really fun afternoon project with my kids who might just be too old and too big for me to continue calling them 'elves.' Maybe!

Well, that's a wrap for my July #TheCakeSliceBakers offering. The group will be back next month - on August 20th - with another set of three cake recipes to inspire you. Stay tuned!


  1. I HAD to tackle this one too. I love both of your boys' takes on the bees!

    1. Yours was stunning. I completely missed the part about the bowl shape at the top. Whoops.

  2. Wow, Wow! I love all the bees. We have honeysuckle in our backyard - can't wait till they bloom again so I can make this!

    1. You totally should. Using honeysuckle in a cake is delicious.

  3. That's beautiful. I have two different kitchen elves, too. Love how you include them both in your cake decorating.


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