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Honey-Glazed Beehive Cake

Few treats could be more appropriate for an outdoor party on a summer afternoon than a honey cake in the shape of a beehive. Plump black-and-yellow marzipan bees are pressed onto the cake to add the final touch of charm.

  • Servings: 10
Honey-Glazed Beehive Cake

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2008


For the Cake

  • 3 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour, plus more for mold
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Ground cloves
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for mold
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Marzipan Bees

For the Honey Glaze

  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light-brown sugar
  • 2 2/3 ounces (1/3 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Sugar Glaze

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Marzipan Bees

  • Marzipan Bees


  1. Place rack in center of oven, and preheat oven to 350 degrees. 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.

  2. 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 honey. Beat on high until very pale and fluffy. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Transfer batter to a large bowl.

  3. Whisk egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into cake batter, then fold in the remaining whites.

  4. Divide batter between molds, and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes. Cover with foil, and bake 15 to 20 minutes more (a tester inserted in the middle of the cake should come out clean). Transfer molds to a wire rack, and let cakes cool in pans for 15 to 20 minutes.

  5. Turn out cakes, 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).

  6. Carefully trim the flat sides of the cake halves with a serrated knife so each is level. Align the halves to make sure they are flush, then separate.

  7. 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.

  8. Brush a coat of honey 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 2 sides together while glaze sets.) Carefully transfer beehive to a rack set over parchment. Spoon remaining warm honey glaze over cake until the cake is completely covered. Let stand until set.

  9. 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 thick honey.) Pour 1/2 of the glaze over 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.

Cook's Note

This recipe accommodates a 9- to 11-cup beehive mold (available at, which comes split in two parts; a honey glaze glues the two halves together. Both glazes for this cake need to be made right before assembly. If they become too firm, rewarm gently over low heat.

Reviews (42)

  • Rappleyea 27 Nov, 2010

    I got my cake mold from Williams Sonoma

  • ticktock 12 Jun, 2010

    Please reissue this mold!

  • nickie409 2 Sep, 2008

    I just tried calling the number to see if they were thinking about bringing it back, and they said they are not going to. I think this is adorable, and the Nordic Ware does not come close to being as cute. I do think she should have re thought putting it on the cover and teasing us with that adorable cake! I hope to get one someday, but I will try the cake in a regular pan. Maybe if everyone calls in about the cake pan, they might change their mind and bring it back.

  • indigonat 29 Aug, 2008

    I have purchased the Nordic Ware mold and my cakes looked stunning. There are some molded bees in it but I still made the marzipan ones. I only got great feedback from friends and family. If you were hesitating in buying that mold, I strongly recommend you do, as it is worth it. The bonus of that pan is that it is non-stick, so the cake comes out easily!

  • indigonat 29 Aug, 2008

    I have purchased the Nordic Ware mold and my cakes looked stunning. There are some molded bees in it but I still made the marzipan ones. I only got great feedback from friends and family. If you were hesitating in buying that mold, I strongly recommend you do, as it is worth it. The bonus of that pan is that it is non-stick, so the cake comes out easily!

  • dmoleski 17 Aug, 2008

    I LOVE this cake! Ihave used it several ways. I once turned it into Yoda's head for a nephews birthday. I am interested in a copy of the June 2008 Living magazine. I was out of town And my sobns girlfriend decided to pick up my living room. She saw the date of June assumed it was old and put it out for recycling. If anyone can help contact me @

  • madi5d 11 Aug, 2008

    This is the most amazing cake, flavor and presentation. I am fortunite to have the correct mold. This has become a tradition for my family parties. If I don't bring the cake they won't let me in. So get the mold back on the market! Oh, and the pumpkin mold and cake is another winner!

  • momV 2 Aug, 2008

    There is a mold on ebay TODAY for 600.00 shipping! I, like the other readers, bought the magazine to bake the cake and was very disappointed in the magazine for having it on the cover, no less, with no way for the customer to create it herself, isn't that the point??!! Please reissue the mold!

  • cdierksheide 16 Jul, 2008

    I thought Martha was supposed to be the queen of cross-marketing... she really missed the boat on this one. Please re-release the mold! I agree with all the other comments, as the molds currently available from Macy's and William Sonoma produce a tacky looking cake compared to the picture on the MSL magazine cover. What was she thinking????!!!!

  • funbug 12 Jul, 2008

    Yes Martha
    I would have to agree with a lot of readers, The Nordic ware cake pan is real cheesy looking. Your cake is just beautiful. The pan that was used is just not available for most unless you have an extra 300.00 in your pocket and can maneuver ebay well. So I would agree that you try to re-release your pan for a fair price!!

  • daradams 4 Jul, 2008

    I really am disappointed. I too bought the magazine at the grocery store because of the cover, so that I could make it. What has been done has been done. Martha, you can mend things with your readers by reissuing the cake pan. The ebay ones are impossible to find and hundreds of dollars if you can get one. The other one, I agree with other comments, looks cheesey, while the one on the cover is classy. Plus, I don't want a two piece mold. Please do something Martha.

  • DLTock 19 Jun, 2008

    The cake pan is also available at Williams Sonoma for 32.00

  • PHrynko 18 Jun, 2008

    I wanted to make the cake on the cover, so I purchased the pan available from It came in a few days and was reasonably priced.

    The cake turned out lovely. My whole family enjoyed it. Since several family members are diabetic, I used Splenda brown sugar in place of regular brown sugar and omitted the sugar glaze.

    The cake is wonderful without the sugar glaze! I will be making it again soon for a birthday.

  • pnutter 17 Jun, 2008

    I too bought the magazine intending to make the cake shown. It is so dissapointing to find that the pan is not available. I know, I KNOW I can bake it in another pan, but I really like the look of the one on the cover. The other pans are pretty different in looks to me. Cover one looks "classy" and the others are definately "novelty". That's a big difference. Please Martha, consider your fans and re issue the other pan... Thanks for your time, Penny g

  • WilliamsMommy 16 Jun, 2008

    I did not have the beehive pan, but I did make this as a normal bundt cake. My pan was smaller in size and I left out about 1/2 cup of batter. DELICIOUS!! I used the honey glaze, but omitted the sugar glaze as I was running late in making this cake. Very good with fresh whipped cream!

  • mmatzke 12 Jun, 2008

    beautiful cake!!! too bad i can't make it because the beehive mold pan is currently out of production and a used on is over THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS on e-bay!

  • loganparker 4 Jun, 2008

    I purchased the pan from QVC. (Faster delivery then stated.) I made the cake. It came out cute. I don't like the molded bees. Plain would have been better. I tried to color with frosting but it didn't come that good. Every one else like it it. Next time I'll try making marzipan bees and put them over the bee molds.

  • LMHNJ 1 Jun, 2008

    I saw the bee hive pan in Williiams-Sonona last night. Looks the same as the picture, but seemed very small compared to other nordic pans. I love the nordic pans and the best recipe to make in them is a sour cream pound cake. The outside comes out very crispy. My friend just told me she bought me the bee pan for my birthday. The first one I make has to be for her! I found a small bee cookie cutter in another store. I won't be making Martha's recipe in the cake pan, but Paula's Deens recipe. I'll probably not bother with the glaze.

  • thegirls61 1 Jun, 2008

    I think this is just adorable. This is a refreshing alternative to elaborate cakes relying on frosting technique to make the first impression. And, as a huge PLUS - it can be a great segue for a conversation about the plight of honey bees. Awareness is the first step!! Save our honey bees!!

  • megawoman 31 May, 2008

    I think a lot of people read the magazine just to have something to gripe about. it is what it is. Sometimes it doesn't matter what it taste like, say, at a shower, where you want your table to look good but no one is going to eat anything anyway 'cause everyone is on a diet. If you want to pig out and don't care what it looks like, watch Paula Deen.

  • Joei 30 May, 2008

    Hey gang.... BIG PICTURE HERE.... IS THE CAKE GOOD? Is the cake something my guests and family will be delighted with or is this just another novelty, nice novelty of course, for a "party". I prefer to make good memories and have guests, family ask for recipe or not be able to stop their toes from squirming when enjoying something so good, and in this case: so cute as can be. SOOOO ??? what do you all know about the cake?

  • lilysnana55 29 May, 2008

    I found it interesting that the mold on Williams-Sonoma site ($32) and the Nordic Ware site ($38) used the same photo! It looks EXACTLY the same, at least to me. And, Williams-Sonoma has marked it "exclusive". Well, I think the new mold is cute, but not as nice as the one in the picture that got me all excited to have a Pioneer Day celebration (In Utah, July 24th) with a cake using the symbol used by Brigham Young in his Beehive House to denote industry.

  • lilysnana55 29 May, 2008

    I found it interesting that the mold on Williams-Sonoma site ($32) and the Nordic Ware site ($38) used the same photo! It looks EXACTLY the same, at least to me. And, Williams-Sonoma has marked it "exclusive". Well, I think the new mold is cute, but not as nice as the one in the picture that got me all excited to have a Pioneer Day celebration (In Utah, July 24th) with a cake using the symbol used by Brigham Young in his Beehive House to denote industry.

  • cathyockinga 29 May, 2008

    Like another contributor, I bought my pan from QVC. Nordic ware makes awesome pans, and this one is very close to the one on the magazine cover. The pans on eBay have gotten everyone into a bidding war.Isn't it amazing how Martha can cause such a stir by showing a cake on her cover? Good luck to everyone who is joining me in baking the Beehive cake!

  • dreab1974 29 May, 2008

    DItto on the last comment. bruijita59 sums up my feelings completely. I will add, however, that I was tempted to mail the magazine right back to you as the only reason I purchased it was for the cake. I feel it was pretty much FALSE advertising! I did check on Ebay for the cake mold and when I looked the ONLY mold up for bids that was exactly like the one used in your magazine was up to $355. THAT IS RIDICULOUS! This will be the LAST issue of Martha Stewart Living that I will buy!

  • sewswell 29 May, 2008

    I have the williams-sonoma pan and have used this for baby showers(pooh theme). nice to have another recipe designed for it. the premade bees really make it!

  • paulawessells 29 May, 2008

    I don't think that you need the exact pan - it will taste the same and look similar. As people have mentioned there is a GREAT alternative by Williams Sonoma on their website.

  • Attessa 29 May, 2008

    Ooops forgot to mention I'm writing from Canada and they have them in stock in store here.

  • Attessa 29 May, 2008

    You can buy the cake pan at William Sonoma

  • cookiesaplenty 29 May, 2008

    Everyone is complaining about the cake pan. It's cute but is the cake good and worth going through all the trouble to make it. That is really the important part.

  • Wu-PuppyLove 29 May, 2008

    Shame, shame, Martha! Yes I agree with comments already posted; not very sensitive of you to think readers would be impressed by your "vintage" pan only to find they had to settle for an inferior knock-off!!!

  • jessica1 29 May, 2008

    My hopes of finding this cake mold have been dashed once again! I had wanted to buy it years back and when I finally decided on purchasing it I was disappointed to see they were sold out - for good! Seeing that the original cake had resurfaced on the cover of M.S. Living I had hoped the original pan would be available once again. I've seen the one from Williams Sonoma but its ridges are not as detailed as Martha's. That's too bad. Still hoping and waiting.

  • quick13 29 May, 2008

    Considering Martha's relationship with Nordicware; they produce many of her private lable items for Macy's, I think it is pretty offensive and bad business to put the picture of HER old pan on the cover instead of using the Nordicware pan. Pretty egotistical if you ask me and upsettng to many of her readers. Unless they were just recycling an old picture which again, is still pretty pathetic.

  • brujita59 28 May, 2008

    I bought the lastest isssue of Living magazine just for the beehive cake on the front. I was very dissappointed to see that the cake pan is not available. I did see the Nordicware pan, but I like the cake on the cover better. I can't believe they would put a picture of a cake on the cover of the magazine, when you can't buy the pan. They should have put a picture of the cake made with the Nordicware pan if that's what they are promoting.

  • kcinsocal 27 May, 2008

    I purchased my Nordic Ware bee hive pan from QVC today. I thought it would be put on wait list after reading the comments here, but the order went through okay with a confirmation. It was $25.25 plus $5.72 shipping, about $20 less than the buy-it-nows on eBay and less than the current bidding going on there also. At QVC they are calling it the Nordic Ware Beehive Plaque Pan.

  • ilovejeremy 22 May, 2008

    William Sonoma has an exclusive similar pan made by Nordic Ware. It is out of stock until August. There are many William Sonoma Beehive pans on ebay and reasonably priced (a couple had the buy it now feature)....

  • sexinthecityNC 21 May, 2008

    Hello, I could not find the Beehive pan on Nordic's web site. I did find it at Williams-Sonoma's
    Happy Baking

  • lesleew 21 May, 2008

    where can you buy the Noricware cake pan? And about how much does it cost?

  • decolady19 19 May, 2008

    The pan was sold in the old Martha by Mail Catalogue. And it was more like 6 or 7 years ago. I know I bought it and had a bee themed party for one of my daughters in 2002. The pan is based on an antique pan. of the same design. It really is cute! And as I recall, the cake is baked whole, not in two parts like the Nordicware pan.

  • rocketgrrl 16 May, 2008

    she says right in the magazine that the beehive pan used to make the cake in the picture is a vintage Martha by Mail item. I really wouldn't call it "antique" considering it was like 5 years ago.

  • teenaterror 16 May, 2008

    I saw an older Martha Stewart pan like this on eBay today. I think the last bid was $355..... I think the Nordicware one is very nice (I have it). It has molded bees on it but you can slice those off if you don't like them.

  • TigerCook1 16 May, 2008

    Be warned...the pan mentioned above is NOT THE PAN USED TO MAKE THE CAKE SHOWN. I have a written statement from Nordicware, stating that the pan used was indeed not theirs (which is not even on the market yet) but was instead an antique pan.

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