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Honeycomb cake


Serves: 14
timePrep time: 1 hr
timeTotal time:
Honeycomb cake
Recipe photograph by Martin Poole
This fun honeycomb cake makes an impressive centrepiece for your Easter spread

Serves: 14
timePrep time: 1 hr
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
661Kcal
Fat
33gr
Saturates
18gr
Carbs
83gr
Sugars
71gr
Fibre
1gr
Protein
7gr
Salt
0.9gr

Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin learned the tricks of the trade from cookery legend Delia Smith. A trusted recipe writer for the magazine for over 25 years, she is now our Cookery Workflow Editor, overseeing testing and editing to ensure that every recipe tastes great, is straightforward to follow and works without fail. In her home kitchen, Tamsin creates fuss-free flavour-packed food for friends and family, with baking being her ultimate form of comfort cooking
See more of Tamsin Burnett-Hall’s recipes
Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin learned the tricks of the trade from cookery legend Delia Smith. A trusted recipe writer for the magazine for over 25 years, she is now our Cookery Workflow Editor, overseeing testing and editing to ensure that every recipe tastes great, is straightforward to follow and works without fail. In her home kitchen, Tamsin creates fuss-free flavour-packed food for friends and family, with baking being her ultimate form of comfort cooking
See more of Tamsin Burnett-Hall’s recipes

Ingredients

For the sponges
  • 225g soft unsalted butter
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
For the honey buttercream
  • 225g soft unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 350g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4 tbsp clear honey
To decorate
  • 1 x 454g pack golden marzipan
  • 25g dark chocolate
  • a few flaked almonds
You will also need
  • bubble wrap, measuring 10cm x 70cm
  • piping bag with a small plain nozzle
  • firm but flexible florists wire, or wooden skewers

Step by step

Get ahead
The sponge layers can be frozen. The cake can be fully assembled up to 2 days before serving; keep chilled. Leftovers keep for 3 days in an airtight container.
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, fan 150°C, gas 3. Grease and line 2 x 18cm sponge tins.
  2. Put all the ingredients for the sponge in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk for at least 3 minutes until pale and fluffy. Divide between the sponge tins, spread out evenly then bake for about 40 minutes or until risen, set and springy. Cover the cakes after 30 minutes if they are browning too quickly. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the buttercream first beat the butter on its own until very soft and creamy. Add the cinnamon, salt and sifted icing sugar and start beating slowly (to avoid an icing sugar cloud). Add the honey and beat the buttercream until it turns pale in colour. Cover and set aside.
  4. Reserve 50g of the marzipan to make the bees later. Shape the rest into a long sausage and lay this down the middle of the long strip of bubble wrap, bubble-side up. Cover with a sheet of baking paper then use a rolling pin to first press out, and then roll out the marzipan thinly. Try not to press too hard, or you’ll pop the bubbles and lose the honeycomb effect. The marzipan should reach down to the bottom edge of the bubblewrap in a fairly straight line, but you want the upper edge to be quite wavy and uneven – it doesn’t need to reach the top of the bubblewrap all along the strip, only in parts.
  5. Place one sponge on a cake board and spread with a some buttercream. Add the second sponge, flat base uppermost. Spread most of the icing around the sides of the cake using a palette knife, then the rest over the top. Even out with the palette knife or an icing scraper. While the buttercream is still soft, wrap the cake in the marzipan ‘beeswax’. Firstly, trim a straight edge along the bottom using scissors. Peel off the baking paper, then use the bubble wrap to lift the marzipan and wrap it around the cake, flat edge at the bottom of the cake. Leave the bubble wrap on for now and chill the cake until firm.
  6. For the bees, shape the reserved marzipan into 7 or 8 fat little bee bodies and place on a plate lined with baking paper. Melt the chocolate and add to a piping bag; drizzle back and forth over each bee to make the stripes. Add 2 eyes to each bee (wait until the chocolate in the piping bag has thickened up a bit if it is runny) and chill until set. Remove and bring back to room temperature so the marzipan softens enough to add flaked almond wings to each bee. Return to the fridge until ready to decorate and serve.
  7. Unwrap the bubblewrap from around the cake. Add the bees, using florists wire or wooden skewers to make them 'fly' over the cake at different heights.

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