honeycomb cake

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i’ve talked about having trypophobia before (the fear of clusters of holes), so this cake was the ultimate test. it was totally worth the struggle, though — i love how it turned out.

the cake layers are my (award winning!) honey spice cake. instead of using boring old costco honey, i used wedderspoon‘s amazing manuka honey. manuka honey has long been thought of as a superfood, proven to better one’s digestion, immunity, and energy. wedderspoon’s is especially good, with subtle notes of fresh rain and caramelized sugar.

to achieve the holey look, i took a long strip of bubble wrap, laid it on a counter, and coated it in melted white chocolate. while it was still wet, i wrapped it around the assembled cake, letting it dry while molded onto it. i then filled the cavity with wild dandelion honey; tangy and savory, this honey balances out the sweetness of the white chocolate.

last but not least . . . what’s a honeycomb cake without tiny marzipan bees? they’re super easy to make, and bring the cake to life.

cake

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Wedderspoon Manuka Honey
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice

frosting 

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp heavy cream

decoration

 

for the cake, preheat the oven to 350º. grease two 6-inch round pans and line with parchment paper. whisk together all the dry ingredients, then make a well in the mixture and whisk in the remaining ingredients. combine you should have a thick, homogeneous batter. divide between the pans and bake for 35 minutes; when finished, the cake should be dark brown and set in the middle, but still springy. let cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

for the frosting, beat all the ingredients together in a stand mixer, starting on low and gradually increasing the speed until light and fluffy.

for the bees, dye some marzipan black and some yellow. taking tiny bits, alternate between the two colors and form little ovals. take pieces of almond slivers and stick them into the marzipan as wings.

to assemble, level the cakes by cutting the rounded tops off. spread frosting on one layer and top with the other layer. crumb coat the cake with the rest of the frosting. chill for at least 30 minutes. while the cake is chilling, cut a 19-inch long piece of bubble wrap (the height depends on your cake’s height – make it about an inch taller than the cake). lay it, flat-side down, on a counter. melt some white chocolate and pour it on top of the bubble wrap, using an offset spatula to spread it and ensure it fills all of the holes. let it set for a minute or two, then quickly pick it up and wrap it around the cake, pressing firmly against the sides. let set until hardened, about five minutes, then peel the bubble wrap off. fill the cavity with a generous amount of dandelion honey. garnish with the marzipan bees.

 

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