Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Beehive Cake

In an unpredictable world, I like a touch of constancy. Maybe it's a need to control the uncontrollable, to find a peaceful place where the coffee is fresh and bread dough always rises.
Now and then, we all need a reprieve from dire weather reports and upsetting news on CNN. To find this quiet spot, all I need is a cake mix and a non-stick pan--together they are an unbeatable combination. Because if you prepare the mix,  pour it into a greased mold, and bake it at 325 degrees, you know how it will turn out (most of the time). I like the kind of predictability where, at the end of the day, you get cake.


For a while now, I've been dancing around my "beehive" baking pan. It seemed . . . unpredictable. Those little indentions for the "bees" looked like accidents waiting to happen. I could just imagine bits of the cake sticking to the pan.
But, armed with Crisco and Pam, I forged ahead.

I was certain the cakes would stick to the pan, but each half popped right out. My bees were poorly formed--next time I will fill those indentions with a small spoon and stir the "bees" with a bamboo skewer to remove air pockets. The perimeter of the cakes were a bit shaggy, mainly because I overfilled the pans. So I trimmed each half with a knife--I lopped off too much here and there. With my mouth full of cake bits, I glued the halves together with canned icing. Next, I made a batch of confectioner's sugar icing.While I drizzled it over the uneven spots, I listened to music--"Kissing" by Bliss, but I was in a bee-like state of mind and substituted "stinging" and "buzzing" for the title word.


I love how a fancy mold can turn an ordinary cake into a darling, edible centerpiece.
I placed the cake on a beloved Villeroy & Boch "Allegretto" platter. This pattern is hard to find. I remember buying a few pieces in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, when Bandwidth was in a baby stroller. A few years ago, I broke the vegetable bowl, and the replacement cost the moon. I ended up buying a plain white bowl at Big Lots, as I didn't trust my butterfingers. But I digress. 





I set the cake and platter on a 12" round tree slab. 


I found two types of candied bees online.



Beehive Cake
2 boxes of yellow cake mix
2 cups spring water
1 cup (liquid) vegetable oil
6 eggs
1 Beehive specialty mold (I'm not affiliated with Nordic Ware, but that's what I used)
Crisco (solid shortening) to grease pan
Pam and flour--spray pan and dust with flour
Confectioner's Sugar and cream (to make the icing)
Candied "bees" (or fondant bees). I bought Wilton "bees" on Amazon.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix ingredients according to instructions on the box. Because you'll be using two boxes, double the ingredients.  Pour into the greased molds--try not to overfill. I left about 1 1/2 inches at the top, and both pans still overflowed.  (You will have a small amount leftover batter.) Bake according to directions on the cake mix box. Remove pan from oven and cool. Invert cakes.
When they are thoroughly cool, drizzle with confectioner's icing and garnish with candy bees.

Note: It took 62 minutes for my beehives to bake. I will increase the heat to 350 degrees F next time. Also, I set the mold on a jelly roll pan in case of an overflow, and I'm glad that I did.



Wherever you are, bee warm and happy!

60 comments:

  1. What an incredible and artistic cake, and I like the "wood" tree stump pedestal you set it on.

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  2. Your bee hive cake is so pretty, made me think of spring and flowers and birds and bees. You are very creative and I look forward to all your posts.

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    1. Oh, I'm ready for an early spring! I'm trying to bee patient. :-)

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  3. Cuter than cute! I'll be joining you for Foodie Friday next week. Devoted all of my free time to our beautiful mom that has now passed.

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    1. Debbie, I was so sorry to hear about your mom. You've been in my prayers. xxoo

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  4. Your cake turned out cute Michael, a little bit of sunshine on a winter's day:@)

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  5. Gorgeous cake MLee and it reminds me of the springtime. Hopefully spring is just around the corner.
    Sam

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    Replies
    1. The sun is shining this morning--a good sign!

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  6. I love your thought process on why and how you built this cake. Listening to the news is enough to drag a person's spirits down and we need diversions! I made a cake with a pumpkin mold last fall- what a hoot! I only showed it to my sister and I made sure it was eaten quickly so no one would see it! (good excuse!) LOL The candy yellow jackets you used are quite perfect! You'll get to spring a lot sooner than we will up here but I'm anxious for it already. Love the Emily Dixon excerpt!

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    1. Cooking is a wonderful diversion. I bet your pumpkin cake was adorable!

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  7. That cake is absolutely adorable! I can't believe it came out so wonderfully on your first try. I enjoyed reading how you touched up the little details, too. Very cute and a breath of Spring.

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  8. This is one of the most beautiful cakes I've ever seen! I really want to try to make it :)

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  9. Soooooo sweet and a treat for the eyes and soul! I have had your mold for many years, I have seen many share theirs over the years, but I will say hands down this is the prettiest photo session I have ever seen... love love love it! I have been in my own tiny world for weeks, first Scott was sick, then me, I feel like I just woke up in a spring day to have tea with a bear, I ADORE THIS!

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    1. I wondered where you were--so sorry you and Scott have been ill. I have the bunny pan and one for a citrus type loaf (too many intimidating indentions!), but I have been too timid to use them. Crisco must really help reduce sticking. I bought lemons, limes, and oranges yesterday, and I'm just waiting for a moment to clear the counters and bake. Glad you're back.

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    2. i have the citrus loaf too, i will tell you mixes don't do great in these molds, use the recipes on the molds, they are firmer and really do pop out perfect, i think cake mixes are to light and fluffy and damage easier? what do i know...!

      we just got to the beach, i came over with 3 laundry baskets of fruit, i am just oozing at the pores with citrus, the kitchen is overflowing with it, so is the garage... i spent the day making lemon and lime curd, lemon souffles and bottles of gorgeous blood orange juice. its always so shocking to see fruit by the sea, the colors are jarring!

      still not 100%, yesterday went to the beach, i could barely walk, i shuffled the 3 miles and nearly collapsed when i got home and promptly slept for 12 hours! i am hoping the vitamin c starts healing me, this place is too pretty to be waddling around coughing! if you need mold recipes let me know, i know i had a few around, you will see the diff~

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    3. The vitamin C will surely help! I was going to make a citrus loaf--if you feel better, I'd love your recipe. Feel better soon!

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  10. Michael, your cake is sooo adorable! I LOVE it! I've almost bought that bee hive cake mold a few times and now I think I need it for sure after seeing your darling cake! :) I love the candied bees you found online...I'm going to google for those...they are so cute! Thanks for your soothing words on this cold, yucky January day. I always leave your beautiful blog feeling uplifted and inspired. P.S. Had you on my mind a lot lately. Miss you!

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    1. I'm so glad to see you here, Susan! The candied bees are made by Wilton, and I found them on Amazon.

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  11. This has got to be the cutest cake I've ever seen! It made me very happy! I was also a little relieved when I found out you bought the candy bees and didn't make them :) Too adorable, fabulous centerpiece!
    Jenna

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  12. Oh, my goodness! This post is soaring to the top of my favorites, Michael Lee. I've had this pan for years, but too intimidated to use it. You are inspiring me to forge ahead with one of my own. I must order a set of those cute bees first. Where did you find them? In addition to the fantastic cake presentation, it is the quotes that have me giddy. I'm going to pin, pin, pin. I've been planning a bee inspired post for Valentine's Day. You are my muse to get going on that post. Thank you, my friend! Oh, how I adore everything about this post!!!

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    1. Your kind words warm my heart! I can't wait to see your bee post, Sarah. I found the bees (made by Wilton; both sizes) on Amazon.

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  13. Such a cute cake! I have a dear friend who calls herself Bonnie Bee. How I wish she lived closer so I could treat her to one of these. By the way, I absolutely love your first paragraph. Totally understand!

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    1. So cute--Bonnie Bee! Thank you for visiting me, Susan!

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  14. That cake is a show stopper!!!....Really to cute to cut and eat!....As always the presentation is exquisite.

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  15. OMGoodness, this is adorable...and looks SO yummy! I never, ecver bake. My hubby never eats sweets so I would have to eat it all and THAT can't happen! However, now that I have a grandchild I could make this for HER!!! I will have to look for the pan. Thank you so much for the tips about using Crisco AND Pam and floour. Never would have thought of that! BEEutiful post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. You'll have fun--it's a can't-go-wrong pan! Not too long ago, a cake stuck to the bottom of a regular old Bundt pan, so I was very skeptical about the hive mold. I think the Crisco must really grease the skids!

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  16. What a cute cake...way too cute to cut into!

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  17. This is delightful! Your attention to detail is wonderful! ;)

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  18. How adorable. I have this pan and haven't tried it yet. Thank you for sharing all your tips. Your display is beautiful, too.

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    1. Momto1, have fun with your pan. Thanks so much for your kind words and for visiting!

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  19. I'm late getting here as I was watching my newest granddaughter today. This cake is just about the most adorable, happy cake that I've ever seen! I've always been so impressed with your embellishment skills, Michael Lee, but this takes the cake (yes, pun intended!). Thank you for sharing your beautiful, edible creation with us.

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    1. I know you had a wonderful day with your grandbaby!

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  20. Beautiful ! I have always loved Bees. Have you ever considered getting a hive for your farm. I would love to have my own honey.

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    1. We had bee hives many years ago and extracted the honey--I would love to do that again.

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  21. That beehive cake is adorable! Love it...

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  22. The beehive cake is as cute as a button. You did an amazing job putting it together. Very artistic!

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  23. Very cute cake! Love the Proven├žal looking bees! I use Wiltons bake easy spray on my speciality baking molds/pans. Easy release with this spray.

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    1. Thanks for telling me about the spray. I ordered some tonight.

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  24. That cake is BEEEEautiful, ML!! So clever ...I'd never seen that pan! How fun would that "bee" for a Spring luncheon or baby shower but especially my "QUILTING BEE" gathering. I have to go shopping...thanks for showing it to us & walking us through your experience making it.

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  25. wowser, I love this cake. and your "new blog look".

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  26. I love that bee cake. I meant to comment earlier on it, but I ended up looking for the molds and forgot LOL

    xo

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  27. Oh my Michael Lee...what a BEE-utiful cake and feast for the eyes! Just perfect for the winter blues surrounded with flowers and your cheery quotes! I've seen the pan recently at HomeGoods and was wondering how those little bee cavities would bake, so FUN and I love your candied bee additions too. You've been buzzing with activity and creative energy! I love your fun wallpaper, a perfect match for your cheery blog nest ♥

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  28. Absolutely stunning! You really did a wonderful job on the icing, bees, etc. Of course, you are a pro in the area of presentation. I have several bundt pans ~ love the different designs ~ and I use Baker's Joy. Always works well!

    xo
    Pat

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  29. I have never seen such cake pan, but I do love your cake! It's absolutely adorable and would be perfect for so many occasions! I think it's just lovely and must share it! :)

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  30. That is the cutest cake ever! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!
    Sherry

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  31. This cake is just the cutest thing. I would feel bad eating it... Ok, maybe only a little ;-)

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  32. Wow, just wow!
    What a attention to details!
    I hope you will share your beautiful cake with our new Link Up - Idea box:

    http://milaslittlethings.com/2015/03/idea-box-thursday-link-party-2.html

    xx
    Mila


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  33. this is adorable - would be so perfect for a "mommy to bee" baby shower. love this!!
    xx, lauren
    laurensparkle.com

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