Bee Sting Cake is a classic recipe that every home cook or honey lover should have in their baking repertoire. Honey almond topping, sweet zesty cream filling sandwiched between yeasty cake layers, it is a truly decadent sweet treat.
In Doug Purdie’s book, Backyard Bees he teaches us everything we need to know about keeping bees. In addition to beekeeping, he creates some delicious honey based recipes.
He shared his classic recipe for Bee Sting Cake with ele for Issue 6 of ele Magazine.
Bee Sting Cake
Ingredients (serves 12)
300 g (10½ oz/2 cups) plain flour
55 g (2 oz/¼ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
2 teaspoons dried yeast
185 ml (6 fl oz/¾ cup) milk, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
60 g (2¼ oz/¼ cup) softened butter, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) cream cheese, softened
250 g (9 oz) ricotta cheese
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons lemon juice
125 g (4½ oz/1 cup) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
Honey almond topping
90 g (3¼ oz/⅓ cup) butter, diced
50 g (1¾ oz) honey
75 g (⅓ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
40 ml (1¼ fl oz) thick (double) cream
150 g (5½ oz) flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 170 C (325 F/Gas 3). Grease and line the base and side of a 23 cm (9 inch) spring-form cake tin.
For the filling, put the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until just combined. Refrigerate until needed.
For the cake, put the flour, sugar, yeast, milk, eggs, butter and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the batter into the cake tin and spread out evenly with a spoon or offset spatula. Place the tin in a clean plastic bag and tie to enclose. Leave in a warm, draught-free place and allow to rise for 1–1½ hours.
Meanwhile, make the topping. Put butter, honey, sugar and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5–6 minutes until the mixture turns a slightly darker shade of yellow. Add almonds and stir through. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until the cake dough has finished rising.
Starting at the edges, spoon the topping evenly over the cake dough and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes on a wire rack set over a baking tray to catch any caramel drips. Release the side of the cake tin and remove the baking paper from the side. Leave until completely cool before slicing.
Use a long serrated knife to halve the cake horizontally. Place the top half on a flat plate.
Spread the filling evenly over bottom half of the cake using a palette knife or spatula and cover with the top layer of the cake.
To make honey almond dressing mix all ingredients except for the almonds in a saucepan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, mix in almonds, allow to cool slightly and drizzle over cake.
Bee sting cakes are best eaten on the day they are baked, though they can be partly prepared the day before: keep the risen dough in an airtight container at room temperature, then bake and fill the following day.
Note: You can also use a non-spring-form tin; just let the cake cool for 20 minutes before turning it out. Be very careful as the caramel will still be warm.