Lemon Beehive Cake

This was a special cake for my youngest sister who lives 1500 miles away.  We get together a few times a year and I just happened to be visiting on her birthday.  I had this cake pan from Williams Sonoma for some time and finally the perfect occasion to make it.   It was a delicious lemon flavored cake that everyone enjoyed.  She looks happy!


These sugar honeybees added the finishing touch.

Lemon Beehive Cake


  • 2-3/4 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) butter
  • 1-2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp. lemon zest
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice


  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Royal Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tsp. milk
  • sugar honeybees for decorating (these are too cute)

Have all ingredients at room temperature.  Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325°.  Grease and flour the beehive pan; tap out excess flour.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.  Beat butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute.  Add sugar and lemon zest and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (helps to have a heavy duty KitchenAid Mixer).  Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla just until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with flour.  Beat each addition just until incorporated.  Add the lemon juice and beat for 30 seconds.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are higher than the center.  Bake until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55-60 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze:  In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the honey, lemon juice and salt and bring just to a simmer, about 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat.

Tap the cake pan gently on a work surface to loosen the cake.  Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan.  Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the warm cake with the glaze.  Let the cake cool completely, at least 2 hours, before assembling and decorating.

To make the buttercream:  In a small bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.  Add the confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt and continue beating until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes more.

To make the royal icing:  In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners’s sugar and the 2 tsp. milk until smooth.  If necessary, add more milk 1/2 tsp. at a time until the icing is thick but still pourable.

Stand one half of the cooled cake vertically on its base.  Using a serrated knife, level the flat side of the cake by trimming off 1/4-inch from the edge.  Repeat with the other cake half.

Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of buttercream, about 1/2 cup or more 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 to secure  the two halves; using the spatula, smooth the buttercream at the seam.

Using a large spatula, carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter.  Drizzle with the royal icing, make sure to cover the frosted seams of the beehive.  Decorate with sugar honeybees.

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju


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