Sweet orange and honey sponge, with hidden bites of honeycomb and a smooth white chocolate buttercream swirl. These Honey bee cupcakes are worthy of any Queen bee.
As we welcome warmer weather we also welcome honeybees back into our gardens as they collect nectar and pollen from our plants and flowers. I’m fascinated by Honey Bees and their working nature and always try to ensure I have plenty of lavender in my garden for them to collect nectar from.
5 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT HONEY BEES
Bee stings have some benefits | A toxin in bee venom called melittin may prevent HIV. Melittin can kill HIV by poking holes into the virus’s protective envelope.
When Bees change jobs, they change their brain chemistry | Bees are hardwired to do certain jobs, but regular honeybees, which perform multiple jobs in their lifetime which change their brain chemistry before changing.
Bees have personality | Even in beehives, there are workers and shirkers. Some bees are thrill-seekers. Others are a bit more timid
Bees can recognise human faces | Honeybees make out faces the same way we do. They take parts—like eyebrows, lips, and ears—and cobble them together to make out the whole face.
Bees only product about 1 tsp on honey in their lifetime | Let that blow your mind for a second when you think of how many bees must be out there.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
Its seasonally themed | Honeybee season starts anytime from March to late Autumn but we start seeing them in their plenty from now through to September. These cupcakes would be great served a garden party or a summer themed birthday or baby shower.
Sweet and fruity | A lovely blend of both sweet honey and white chocolate cut through by delicious zesty orange. It’s one flavour combination you never knew you needed until you taste it.
Really fun to make | It goes without saying that the creative aspect of baking has to be one of the best parts. For me anyway, and children love it to so these are a perfect family bake. They’ll be so impressed with the honeycomb toppers and if you want to get the resin bee decorations they really add that finishing touch.
HOW TO MAKE THE HONEYCOMB TOPPERS
Other than popping it, making chocolate honeycomb has to be the best secondary purpose for bubble wrap ever. It’s so versatile as you can shape it in anyway you need before the chocolate has set. For example you could wrap it around a cake, shape it into a sail and use as a large cake topper, or as shown here chop it into small pieces to decorate cupcakes.
The method is so straight forward there is really no need for me to ramble on much more. Instead see the below video to see how it’s made.
HOW TO MAKE THE THE ORANGE, HONEY & WHITE CHOCOLATE HONEY BEE CUPCAKES
Firstly let’s take a look at what you will need to create these delicious cupcakes.
- Unsalted butter
- Golden Caster Sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp orange extract
- Zest and juice of an orange
- 3 tbsp running honey
- Self-raising flour
- Honeycomb pieces (optional)
- Icing sugar
- White chocolate
- Yellow food colouring
Now you know what you need let’s see how these delicious cupcakes are made.
Follow the steps to see how the Honey Bee Cupcakes are made but make sure to read the full recipe and method below.
- Cream the butter and sugar. In a large bowl add the sugar and butter and beat together with a hand mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy
MY KITCHEN TIP: The process of beating the butter and sugar together is a key process in ensuring you get good air into your cupcakes. This is why it’s important that your butter is soft and it allows the sugar crystals to cut through it to create little air pockets. If the butter is too cold these pockets of air just don’t get created as well so you can end up with a flatter cupcake than the one you’re hoping for.
2. Add the eggs. Beat the eggs into the mixture with a hand mixer or wooden spoon.
3. Add the flour, honey, and orange flavourings. Sift in the flour, then add the honey, orange extract, zest and juice all at once and beat it together until just combined and no flour is showing.
4. Fold through the honeycomb pieces. If you’re adding the honeycomb pieces add them now and fold them through gentle. If you don’t want to use honeycomb pieces you could use white chocolate instead or candied orange zest instead.
5. Bake. Split the mixture between your cupcakes cases and put them into a preheated oven set to 160C for 20 minutes. Once baked leave them to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then lay onto a wire rack to cool completely before piping the buttercream.
6. Make the buttercream. To make the buttercream, beat together soft butter, icing sugar and melted white chocolate until smooth. If you feel that the mixture isn’t loose enough add a splash of hot water or milk until you have a good consistency that is firm but pliable.
7. Decorate the cupcakes. Add the buttercream to a piping bag. You can opt for no nozzle for this piping but I find a round tip nozzle helps define the swirls for the bee hive effect. Finish with a shard or chocolate honeycomb and some decorative bees.
TOOLS YOU WILL NEED
Cupcake Tray and cases | It’s a good idea to have various sized cupcake trays if you regularly bake cupcakes. Most standard trays come in 12 but I also have a 6 hole tray which I find great for small batch bakes. Of course I could use the 12 hole tray for 6 cupcakes but I often find the oven doesn’t bake the cupcakes evenly this way.
Handmixer | I love my standing mixer so much but I’ll be honest I only ever use it when I’m baking with high quantities of ingredients. Personally if I’m baking a small batch of cupcakes I’ll use my hand mixer which I have grown equally fond of. I have the Breville Heat Soft hand mixer and I highly recommend it. Mostly because of its hair dryer function which helps you soften butter should you have forgotten to get it out of the fridge to reach room temperature before baking.
Piping Bag | Good quality piping bags are a great kitchen drawer staple. They’re not just for piping buttercream either as you could use them to fill your cupcake cases too if you wanted to. I use them for piping all sorts to ensure extra precision.
Round tip nozzle (recommended) | As I’ve said above you could easily snip the end of the piping bag and pipe the beehive swirl that way but having a piping nozzle really helps give the buttercream a sharper and more defined edge.
Ice cream scoop (recommended) | My top tool for cupcakes and a MUST HAVE in any kitchen drawer. The humble ice,cream scoop is my favourite way to fill cupcake cakes as it ensure you get the same amount of batter in each case and therefore completely uniform and even cupcakes. You can use a tablespoon, or as suggested above a piping bag, but the latter is a bit of a waste of a piping bag and a tablespoon is much messier.
Bubble wrap | If you’re making the honeycomb toppers the you’ll need bubble wrap. Thankfully it’s easy to come by and most of us have some spare lying around from delivery boxes. However you come about it, make sure you clean it and dry it well before use to ensure it’s food safe. An alternative option is to purchase a silicone honeycomb chocolate mould which gives you the same effect more or less.
Decorative Bees (optional) | As these are decorative they are completely optional for this bake but I love them and think they’ll be super cute in a number of bakes this summer.
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HOW TO STORE AND HOW TO FREEZE THESE HONEY BEE CUPCAKES
How to Store | These cupcakes are best eaten on the same day but will be fine eaten within 2 days if kept in an airtight container. Naturally the buttercream will firm up and form a crust but it’ll still be fine to eat.
How to Freeze | If you want to bake ahead and freeze the cupcakes then they can be made ahead of time, left to cool and then packed into freeze bags and frozen for up to 3 months. When you’re defrosting make sure to take them out of the freeze bag and let them defrost at room temperature before decorating.
OTHER THEMED CUPCAKES YOU SHOULD TRY
I would love it if you tagged me @mykitchendrawer on Instagram if you make this Honey Bee Cupcakes It’s the biggest honour to see my recipes come to life in your kitchen and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop me a message. Happy baking!
Honey Bee Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
- 175 g unsalted butter softened
- 175 g golden caster sugar
- 3 eggs large
- 175 g self raising flour
- 1 orange zest and juice
- 1 tsp orange extract
- 50 g honeycomb pieces optional
For the honeycomb topper
- 100 g white chocolate
- yellow food colouring
For the buttercream
- 150 g unsalted butter softened
- 300 g icing sugar
- 50 g white chocolate melted
- Preheat your oven to 160C and line a cupcake tin with cases
- In a large bowl add the sugar and butter and beat together with a hand mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy
- Beat the eggs into the mixture with a hand mixer or wooden spoon
- Sift in the flour, then add the honey, orange extract, zest and juice all at once and beat it together until just combined and no flour is showing.
- If you’re adding the honeycomb pieces add them now and fold them through gentle. If you don’t want to use honeycomb pieces you could use white chocolate instead or candied orange zest instead.
- Split the mixture between your cupcakes cases and bake for 20 minutes until golden and springy to touch. Once baked leave them to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then lay onto a wire rack to cool completely before piping the buttercream.
- To make the buttercream, beat together soft butter, icing sugar and melted white chocolate until smooth. If you feel that the mixture isn’t loose enough add a splash of hot water or milk until you have a good consistency that is firm but pliable.
- Add the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a round tip piping nozzle and pipe beehive swirls on top of each cupcake. Finish with a shard or chocolate honeycomb and some decorative bees.