Honey-Glazed Beehive Cake

READY IN: 15mins




  • Place rack in center of oven, and preheat oven to 350°F Using a pastry brush, coat both sides of a beehive mold with butter, making sure to cover all areas. Dust mold with flour, tap out excess, and freeze until ready to use.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and a pinch of cloves. Cream butter and brown sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Reduce the speed; drizzle in the honey. Beat on high until very pale and fluffy. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Transfer the batter to a large bowl.
  • Whisk egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture in to cake batter, then fold the remaining egg whites.
  • Divide batter between molds, and place them on baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes. Cover with foil and bake 15-20 minutes more, a tester inserted in the middle should come out clean. Transfer molds to a wire rack and let cakes cool in pans for 15-20 minutes.
  • Turn cake out, supporting them with your hand, and place flat sides on rack. Let cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
  • Carefully trim the flat side of the cake halves with a serrated knife so each is level. Align the halves to make sure they are flush, then separate.
  • Bring honey, brown sugar and butter to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add vanilla and remove from heat. Let cool for 1 minute.
  • Brush a coat of glaze on the flat side of each cake half. Gently press halves together, and let set upright for 5 minutes. If they don't stay together, place a small bowl over top to hold the two sides together while the glaze sets. Carefully transfer beehive to a rack set over parchment. Spoon remaining warm honey glaze over cake until cake is completely covered. Let stand until set.
  • Bring water to a boil. Add 1 3/4 cups sugar, and stir to dissolve. Remove from heat; let cool for 3 minutes. Spoon some glaze over cake. If too runny, add more sugar until glaze is the consistency of the thick honey. Pour half of the glaze over the cake, letting it drizzle down the sides. Let set for 5 minutes, then spoon remaining glaze on top. Arrange marzipan bees on cake, pressing gently to adhere to glaze. Serve immediately.
  • Add yellow gel paste to one portion of the marzipan and black gel to the other. Knead to incorporate.
  • Roll each portion into 1/8 diameter rope. Cut each rope crosswise into 1/8 inch slices.
  • Stack 5 slices together horizontally, flat sides facing, alternating colors, starting and ending with yellow. Press together gently. For the head, roll a yellow slice into a ball, and press onto body. For the eyes, roll 2 bits of black marzipan into balls; press balls onto head. For the stinger, shape the tail piece into a slight point. For the wings, press a sliced almond into each side of the bee. Repeat.
  • Use Immediately.