This cake is not only delicious but it looks fantastic and it's really fun to make. You can involve the whole family when making this cake, and everyone is sure to join in when it comes to eating it! It is inspired by a natural beehive with lots of flowers and bees dotted around for decoration.
Step 1: You Will Need:
- 400g/ 14 oz softened butter
- 400g/ 14 oz sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 lemons (zest only)
- 7 eggs
- 400g/ 14 oz self raising flour
- 500g/ 18 oz softened butter
- 700g/ 25 oz icing sugar
- Lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Yellow food colouring
- Yellow, black, white and red icing pens
- 25g flaked almonds
- Box of fondant icing
- 6" and 7" cake tin
- 6" oven proof bowl
- Green plate/icing to cover plate (optional)
Step 2: Prepare:
Pre-heat your oven to 180oc/ 350of/Gas 4.
Grease the 6" and 7" cake tins and the oven proof bowl, and line them with baking paper.
Step 3: Cream the Butter:
Cream the butter and sugar together until it goes very pale, light and fluffy. Then beat in the zest of two lemons and the honey.
Step 4: Make the Cake Mixture:
This is a light, sweet cake mixture that is very tasty.
Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk. Slowly add this into the butter mixture with some flour to stop it curdling. Fold the remaining flour into the mixture with a metal spoon. Now divide the mixture between the tins and bowl according to their size.
Step 5: Bake the Cake:
Place in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes but check the smaller cakes after 30 minutes as they will cook faster. You can check to see if the cakes are cooked fully by sticking a metal skewer through the cake, if it is clean when you pull it out the cake is cooked.
Step 6: Allow to Cool:
Remove all of the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for at least 10 minutes. Now turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the baking paper carefully.
Step 7: Make the Buttercream:
Buttercream is an icing that is often used to decorate cakes, it tastes nice and is very easy to make.
Beat the softened butter until very light and soft. Then gradually add the the icing sugar, beating all the time until smooth. Loosen the buttercream a little with the lemon juice and flavour with the honey. Beat in yellow food colouring, and continue to do so until you reach the desired shade for your hive.
Step 8: Shape the Cake:
Place the largest cake on a board. Spread a little buttercream on top and then place the smaller cake on top, finally add some buttercream onto the smaller cake and place the bowl shaped cake on top. Now with a large knife, starting from the top, remove excess cake and sculpt the cake into the desired shape of the beehive.
Step 9: Ice the Cake:
After placing the cake onto it's presentation plate, spread a thin layer of buttercream all over the cake with a palette knife.
Place the remaining buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a plain 2cm/ 3/4" nozzle. Pipe the icing around the outside of of the cake in concentric circles to create the unique hive shape. Place in the fridge to chill.
Step 10: Make the Bees:
Dust a work surface with icing sugar so the icing doesn't stick. Knead the yellow fondant icing until it's soft and then roll small amounts into rugby ball shapes, these will be the bodies of the bees. Draw black stripes onto the bees with an icing pen. Then draw red dots for eyes with a red icing pen. Push two slices of almond into each bee to form the wings.
At this point you can also dye some of the icing black with food colouring, shape it into a circle, and then place it onto the hive as an entrance hole.
Step 11: Make the Daisies:
Roll out some white fondant icing and cut out flower shapes of the desired size. Then roll out some balls of yellow fondant icing and press into the middle of each flower.
Step 12: Finishing Touches:
Place the daisies around the hive and then put some of the bees near these flowers. Some bees can be stuck directly onto the walls of the hive to show them landing. As an extra special effect some bees can be stuck onto cocktail sticks, with the other end inside the cake, this makes the bees look like they're flying.
Step 13: Enjoy!
After chilling, carefully cut slices of the cake and serve; this can be tricky though due to the height of the cake!