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Honey Lemon Buttercream and Simple Beehive Cupcake Pull-apart Cake

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Beautiful frosting kissed with the flavors of honey and lemon. It is great for decorating and tastes amazing too!

mixer paddle full of lemon honey buttercream

       American buttercream that dances across your taste buds with the flavor of honey and lemon. It is a perfect way to top cakes, cupcakes or cookies during the spring or summer. Really though, it would be great any time!

       My dad and brothers keep bees.  They have been busy building more hives in anticipation of spring.

       It seems they caught the bug. 🐝 (hee hee!) Now it’s like a competition as to who can have the most and best bees!

       With the warmer weather and the budding trees and flowers there is a lot of activity at their current hives as well. They have had their fill of sugar water and honey over the winter and are ready to get out and collect pollen.

plain lemon honey cupcakes laid out for bee hive pull apart cupcake cake

      So I thought it would be fun to use some of their sweet reward in a fun dessert.  A beehive cupcake pull-apart cake seemed like just the thing.

      I didn’t just want it to look like a hive though, I wanted it to taste like honey as well! Luckily I came across this recipe for honey lemon cupcakes and I instantly knew I had to make them.

      They were delicious. A little denser than a box mix cupcake, but super tasty. They were moist and had just the right balance of flavor and sweetness.

starting to ice the beehive cupcakes with lemon honey frosting

        The frosting recipe that went along with the cupcakes sounded amazing, but was cream cheese based. Since I was serving these outdoors, I didn’t want to take the risk.

      So I converted it into an American buttercream recipe instead. (Find out more about the different types of frosting in my frosting 101 guide!)

        Honey is so super sweet, so when paired with the powdered sugar it definitely ran the risk of being too sweet. Luckily using lemon juice as both the liquid and as a flavoring helped to temper the overwhelm.

frosting beehive cupcake cake with bee cupcake

      The results were absolutely delicious if I do say so. It had the perfect mix of lemon and honey.

     The flavors were strong enough to definitely get both tastes but not too overpowering.  Plus it was stiff enough to pipe while still having plenty of lemon juice to help with the flavor and sweetness.

     I would definitely do a few things it differently if I were to make another bee hive cupcake cake.  I’d use a larger piping nozzle for one and try to round the levels a bit more instead of having them look so stairstepped.

beehive cupcake cake with bee cupcake and flower cream cheese mints

     But I thought you might like to see what I did anyway.  You can certainly make yours better. When you do, please send me pictures. I’d love to see them!

mixer bowl full of honey lemon buttercream frosting

honey lemon frosting, american buttercream recipes, easy lemon frosting
frosting, desserts
Yield: 24 servings

Honey Lemon Buttercream

Beautiful frosting kissed with the flavors of honey and lemon. It is great for decorating and tastes amazing too!
prep time: 10 Mcook time: total time: 10 M


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup honey 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice (and zest if desired)


How to cook Honey Lemon Buttercream

  1. Beat butter until soft and creamy.
  2. Add powdered sugar, salt, honey and vanilla and a Tablespoon or two of lemon juice. Beat for at least 3 minutes. 
  3. Add more lemon juice or powdered sugar as necessary to get your desired consistency.
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Created using The Recipes Generator

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Sunday 2nd of June 2019

This is going on my list to try asap. If I had honey in the house, I'd probably be trying it today! So awesome that you have honey in the family! We talk about doing it, but we just aren't brave enough! So, we will continue to get ours at the farmers market! We feel safer that way :)


Sunday 9th of June 2019

I don't blame you! Though they guys don't usually have a ton of problems with being stung. My dad has 8 hives going right now because they keep swarming and splitting!


Tuesday 21st of May 2019

Your beehive turned out so cute and I know that it tastes good because it has honey lemon buttercream frosting!!!


Sunday 9th of June 2019

Thank you so much!