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Honey Lemon Buttercream and Simple Beehive Cupcake Pull-apart Cake

Thanks for sharing!

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.

More Great Honey and Lemon Recipes

For a lovely cake, try baking up a honey lemon Bundt cake. It is so delicious and is the perfect mix of flavors and great texture.

Or try making a honey chess pie. It has just a bit of lemon that takes it to the next level.

A lemon pie topped with honey whipped cream is another fabulous option. Though you could always make some honey lemonade as well.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

Yield: 24 Servings

Honey Lemon Buttercream

mixer paddle filled with honey lemon buttercream frosting, ready to use.

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

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 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)


  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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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 84mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 0gSugar: 26gProtein: 0g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

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

Thanks for sharing!


Wednesday 21st of April 2021

Are you measuring your honey in a liquid or dry measuring cup?


Wednesday 21st of April 2021

I use a liquid measuring cup, but in a forgiving recipe like this the slight difference between the two won't make a huge difference.

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

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!

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