Make Ahead

Maple "Honeybee" Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate, Almond BrittleĀ Glaze

March 22, 2012
4 Ratings
  • Serves 18-24 slices
Author Notes

Honey cakes are very popular in many Eastern European countries and also at Passover, and there are many variations of it. This maple honeybee cake is my Ukrainian version of the honeycake, with a modern and decorative twist. The marizpan bees sipping syrup over the cake makes a wonderful presentation for a wonderful holday or special ocassions. It is also great to eat alone anytime without the 'buzzing bees." —Bohdanna

What You'll Need
  • Maple "Honeybee" Cake
  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated, high quality
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamom
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/3 cups light vegtable oil, e.g. safflower
  • 4 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 pieces eggs, large, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons orange liqueur (e.g. Grand Marnier)
  • 3/4 cup MAPLE SYRUP, DARK GRADE, liquified in bowl over simmering water and cooled
  • 1 cup honey, buckwheat (liquified in a bowl under simmering water and cooled)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • Bittersweet Chocolate, Almond Brittle Glaze and Marzipan Honeybees
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated, high quality
  • 8 ounces almond chocolate brittle or caramel brittle, chopped into very small pieces
  • 8 ounces marzipan paste, colored with 3 drops of yellow food gel
  • 1 piece black food dye pen
  • 12 pieces caramel or plain sugar britle cut into shapes of small wings
  • 1 piece 5-inch diameter round wafer circle (the kind used for phisingers)
  • 1/2 cup MAPLE SYRUP, light grade
  1. Maple "Honeybee" Cake
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Grease and flour a large 10-inch bundt pan and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the espresso powder with the boiling water, and cool to room temperature.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, chocolate, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt to blend, and set aside.
  6. In a separate medium bowl, mix on medium speed, 3/4 cup MAPLE SYRUP, liquified and cooled honey, oil and the cooled coffee.
  7. In a mixing bowl, beat with the electric mixer the eggs and 1/4 cup of MAPLE SYRUPon high for about 4 minutes.
  8. Reduce speed on the mixer to low and slowly add the oil-honey-maple mixture into the egg-maple mixture, and mix well.
  9. Add the orange liqueur, orange zest and mix another 1-2 minutes on medium speed.
  10. Reduce speed to low, and slowly add the dry ingredients-flour mxture until blended.
  11. Optional: If you want nuts on the top of your cake, place 1/2 cup of chopped toasted almonds or walnuts onto the bottom of the greased pan. If you do not want the nuts, skip this step.
  12. Place the batter (over the nuts if using nuts) or directly into the pan, if not, filling not about 2/3 of the way with the batter. If you have any batter left over, use another small pan for that.
  13. Bake in a preheated oven uncovered for about 30 minutes. Then cover the cake with foil, and continue to bake another 30-35 minutes until a tester comes out clean and there is no soft batter. DO NOT OVERBAKE-will burn.
  14. Remove from oven and place on rack and cook completely. Once cooked add the topping as described below.
  1. Bittersweet Chocolate, Almond Brittle Glaze and Marzipan Honeybees
  2. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl over barely simmering water until melted .
  3. Pour the melted chocolate over the cooled cake, covering it completely.
  4. Take the caramel or almond chocolate brittle, chopped,into your hand, and place evenly over the bottom 1/3 of the cake.
  5. Cut out the 5 inch wafer circle out of a phisinger wafer (found in many eastern European stores) and place it over the bundt hole in the middle so that it cover the hole and sits on the top of the cake, but does not cover the top totally. You may need to adjust the size to fit your cake.
  6. Make the honeybees, by shaping the yellow marzipan into small 3/4 inch ovals, then squeesze the middle top for the head, and the bottom third for the back part of the bee. Paint the 2 eyes and the belly stripes with the black food dye pen. Attach 2 "wings" cut out of the caramel or plain sugar brittle. Use your creativity in this step-there is no right or wrong!
  7. Pour about 1/2 cup of maple syrup over the wafer and strategically place the marzipan bees over the wafer, or higher up on toothpicks, so that it looks like they are sipping the honey.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Greenstuff
  •  Burton
  • Bohdanna

3 Reviews

Burton March 29, 2023
Please remove this from the Passover section. While the recipe looks delicious, it contains an ingredient which cannot be eaten on Passover. It's really frustrating for those of us who are using the tags to find recipes that meet our specific dietary restrictions when people spam the tags with stuff that we cannot actually eat.
Greenstuff March 22, 2012
My goodness, this is amazing! At first I thought you'd cooked it in a pumpkin! The glaze on the cake glows. And the marzipan bees are great.
Bohdanna March 23, 2012
Thank you. I used a large bundt pan-so the bottom is the top--but I can see it does look like a pumpkin!

I usedmelted tempered chocolate on the glaze and it comes out shiny, but dulls a bit after time as it sets. You can water the chocolate down so that the glaze is thinner or you could use a spray egg shine as some pros do. I like this cake with a cup of coffee or tea as it does not have and frosting or filing inside--I suppose you could add a frosting layer in between and change it up. I hope you enjoy it.