Beehive Cake #TheCakeSliceBakers

Honey... da da DA duh DA duh...

Oh, sugar sugar...

Honey is one of nature's miracles.

It's delicious, natural...and a key component of this Beehive Cake:)

I chose this option for my July Cake Slice Bake because I'm overly ambitious and a glutton for punishment always up for a challenge!

In truth, this was not a difficult cake--it just had multiple steps: a praline crumble, honey Swiss meringue buttercream, and a banana cake base...decorated like a bee hive ;)

It's one of the more "unusual-looking cakes" I've made for this blog, but how could I NOT choose it? (SPOILERS: it was delicious!)

Check out the end of the post to see what the other bakers made!

In the book Zoe Bakes Cakes, Zoe Francois (the author) explains that this cake is a tribute to her bee-keeping father. My parents also kept bees at my grandparents’ house when I was very young. I remember them walking back from the field--dressed in heavy coveralls and netted hats---holding wooden frames laden with their sweet, amber harvest.

This cake is frosted to look like a (natural) hive, complete with little marzipan bees.

To achieve this look, Zoe recommended baking the cake in two 8" pans and a stainless-steel bowl. I have a shocking shortage of mixing bowls in my house, so I ended up baking it in three 6" pans and carving it into a domed shape. 

For the praline, I might have gotten the caramel *a little* dark, but I wanted a bold flavor to balance the sweetness of the honey buttercream and banana cake. 

Speaking of buttercream, have I mentioned that I love meringue-based frostings? 

This buttercream uses honey instead of regular sugar, and it's DELICIOUS. You know when you go to a Mexican restaurant finish the meal with a sopaipilla slathered with honey and butter mixed together? 


It's like that.

(I don't know if that's an experience people outside of the Southwest relate to. But if you don't know what I'm talking yourself a favor and find a restaurant that serves honey-butter sopaipillas!)

When you make Swiss meringue buttercream, you boil egg whites and sugar together over a double-boiler to make a syrup. (I use the bowl of a stand mixer to minimize washing dishes). 

After it comes to 140 degrees, you transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and beat the tar out of the mixture. It will get fluffy, glossy, and cool down--then you can add the butter.

If you make Swiss meringue buttercream, you will likely reach a point after adding the butter where you think you've ruined it. It will probably look like a curdled, heinous soup--but don't despair! Just keep mixing and it will come together.

This looks horrible, but it's just not mixed enough yet.

The cake is pretty much like slightly fluffier banana bread, with walnut praline crumbled into the buttercream filling.



So give this beehive cake a try! See what the buzz is about ;) (har har)

Beehive Cake

from Zoe Bakes Cakes by Zoe Francois

Banana Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 T vanilla
3 room temp eggs

1/2 cup sugar
2 T water
1 tsp light corn syrup
1/2 cup walnuts
pinch salt

Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream (written as a double batch, needed to frost the cake. For a different design, half the recipe):
1 1/2 cups honey
6 egg whites
3 cups butter (room temp)
2 T strong espresso (optional--I left it out)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Bees (optional):
marzipan or modeling chocolate, black food coloring, almond slices (or I used wafer paper for the wings). Take a piece of marzipan (a little bigger than an pea) and roll into a capsule shape. Paint two lines on each "bee" and stick 2 almond slices in the back to look like wings.

To make the Honey Buttercream:
1. Combine the honey and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Over a double boiler, stir the mixture until melted, thin, and 140F on a candy thermometer)
2. Take the bowl to the mixer and use the whip attachment to beat until it becomes a thick, glossy, and room temperature.
3. When the meringue cools, add the butter 2 T at a time. If it looks heinous, fear not--just keep beating until it comes together. Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla and salt until incorporated.

For the Praline:
1. Prepare a baking sheet with lightly greased parchment.
2. In a medium saucepan (over high heat), combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup without stirring to avoid crystallization.
3. Let the mixture come to a boil until the sugar starts turning golden around the edges. You can now stir it if needed. When the caramel is evenly amber, turn off the heat, remove from burner, and add the walnuts and salt. Immediately pour onto the prepared baking sheet. 
4. Cool completely, then pulverize in a food process (until pieces are about the size of a pine nut).

For the cake:
1. Heat the oven to 350F. Grease two 8" round cake pans and one 8" stainless steel bowl (or three 6" round cake pans, or one 9x13 pan), and line with greased parchment.
2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a different bowl, whisk together the eggs, mashed bananas, oil, and vanilla.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined.
5. Pour into prepared pans and bake until a tester comes out cleanly (30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the baking pan).
6. Cool completely before removing from the pan.

1. Take 1/3 to 1/2 of the buttercream and mix with the crushed praline. Place half of the mixture on top of one cake round, top with the other, and frost with the other half of the praline buttercream. Place the hemisphere cake layer on the top (or top with the last round and carve the cake into a hive shape with a serrated knife).
2. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring to the reserved buttercream. Add a thick layer of buttercream all around the cake. Using a small spatula and a turntable, make a swirling design in the buttercream. Attach the marzipan bee with toothpicks.


Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Zoë Bakes Cakes by Zoē François. 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 Facebook, Instagram, 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.


  1. I love all of your themed decorations to go with the cake!

  2. Great job. This cake intimidated the heck out of me.

  3. The frosting on this cake was so light and silky, but then you get this suprise crunch every now and then. Excellent!

  4. You're a braver woman than I am! Incredible. And now I have an Archie's song stuck in my head....

  5. Yum! I can't wait to try this cake.


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