Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Baking: Lemon Beehive Cake

We were invited to a lake party and I wanted to bring something fun for dessert. But the weather here is so hot,so what do you take for a very hot party?

I decided to try to bake a cake.... fun for the kids and very cute.

So I whipped out this Williams Sonoma cake pan.

This pan is so cute.... even the sides of the pan are decorated.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

To make the cake, sift together the 2 3/4 cup flour, 1 1/2 t. baking powder and 1/2 t. salt; set aside.

Beat 1 c. room temperature butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute.

Add the 1 and 2/3 c. granulated sugar and 3 t. lemon zest and continue beating until light and fluffy. Beat about 5 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Make sure the eggs are at room temp. Add 1 t. vanilla.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the lemon juice and beat for 30 seconds.

Spoon into a greased and floured prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are higher than the center. Bake until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together 1/2 cup of honey, 1 and 1/2 T. lemon juice and 1/4 t. of salt and bring just to a simmer, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Tap the cake pan gently on a work surface to loosen the cake. Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the warm cake with the glaze. The glaze makes the exterior of the cake shine...

How cute are these bees on the cake?

Let the cake cool completely. Trim the opposite side of the cake to make flat, it will make it easier to assemble.

Next, make the buttercream frosting, beat 4 T. of butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add 1 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar, 1 T. of milk, 1/2 t. of vanilla and pinch of salt and continue beating until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes more. Use the buttercream icing to assemble the two halves of the cake, smoothing the outside of the cake. Don't worry about the seam, it will be covered shortly.

To make the royal icing, in a small bowl, stir together 1 cup of sifted confectioners' sugar and the 2 tsp. milk until smooth. If necessary, add more milk 1/2 tsp. at a time until the icing is thick but still pourable. It should look like heavy cream.

Drizzle with the royal icing, making sure to cover the frosted seams of the beehive. Next, let the icing set up for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Next decorate with sugar honeybees. I will be honest... I sat with the cake to make sure the bees wouldn't slide down the cake. When I was sure they were set, I loaded the cake in the car.... and this picture is my only picture of the finished cake... I would have loved to show you more pictures but foolishly, I forgot to take more. It was a beautiful cake and everyone loved it.

Oh well, I will just have to make it again!!!!!! I am sure I could find someone to eat it.

Lemon Beehive Cake

For the cake:

* 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
* 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
* 3 tsp. lemon zest
* 4 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 tsp. vanilla extract
* 2/3 cup milk
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

For the glaze:

* 1/2 cup honey
* 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 tsp. salt

For the quick buttercream:

* 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
* 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
* 1 Tbs. milk
* 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
* Pinch of salt

For the royal icing:

* 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
* 2 to 3 tsp. milk
* Sugar honeybees for decorating (optional)

Serves 16


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