When Ballet West dancer Jordan Richardson Fry isn't in the studio, she's running her side business, Ballerina Baker, creating extravagant cakes for weddings across Salt Lake City. You can read all about Fry's burgeoning business here.
But you don't need a major occasion to try your hand at baking one of Fry's best-loved cakes. Below, Fry shares her Beehive Cake recipe.
Courtesy Jordan Richardson Fry
Floral Vanilla Sponge Cake
Makes three 8-inch cakes
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsps. sugar
1 1/4 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 large eggs, whole
1 large egg, white only
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp. Fiori Di Sicilia extract
1 tbsp. vanilla-bean paste
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
bee pollen for sprinkling at the end!
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and flour three 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix on low speed until just incorporated.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients: oil, eggs, egg white, buttermilk, sour cream, Fiori Di Sicilia extract and vanilla-bean paste.
4. Cut the butter into small pieces and slowly add to the flour mixture, keeping the mixer on low. Once all the butter has been added, the mixture should look sandy. Raise the mixer to medium-low speed and add the wet mixture, pausing halfway through to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat for 30–45 seconds, until it all comes together smoothly.
5. Divide the batter into the prepared pans. (I always use a scale for this to make sure that I'm getting an even amount of batter in each pan.)
6. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the cakes are cooked all the way through and a skewer inserted into each one comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 20–30 minutes before inverting onto wire racks to cool completely.
7. Store cakes in the fridge for a few hours, or freeze for about 30 minutes, before trimming off the domed tops with a bread knife to level the cakes out.
8. Once the cakes are trimmed and leveled, you can brush the floral honey syrup (recipe below) on top of the cakes.
9. To fill and stack the entire cake, place about 1/2 a cup to 1 cup of honey buttercream (recipe below) on top of one cake layer. Spread out evenly around the cake with a flat knife spatula. Sprinkle with bee pollen and then stack a second cake layer on top. Repeat the process.
10. Now it is time to decorate the outside! Have fun with this part. You can pipe the honey buttercream on the outside or finish with a smooth layer of buttercream. Sprinkle with more bee pollen.
11. Cut and serve the cake.
Floral Honey Syrup
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup water
2–3 drops orange-blossom water
2–3 drops rosewater
pinch of salt
1. Combine all ingredients in a pan on the stove top. Turn heat on to medium and allow the mixture to come to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Taste to make sure you like the flavor and balance of the rosewater and orange-blossom water. Add more or less depending on your taste.
6 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 lb. unsalted butter, at room temperature
pinch of salt
2 tsps. white vanilla powder
1/4 cup–1/2 cup honey
1. Combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water, making sure that it does not touch the water. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the bowl. Slowly whisk the egg whites by hand until they reach 150 degrees. Remove the bowl from the water and place on your mixer. Whisk on high speed until the mixture triples in volume and is cool to the touch.
2. Cut the butter into small cubes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and add the butter cubes one at a time. The egg whites will begin to look liquidy again, but don't fear! Keep adding the butter. The mixture will start to look like it is curdling, but continue to mix on medium-low and add the butter. Once all the butter has been added you can increase the speed. Allow to mix until it comes together to form a light and fluffy frosting (this can take up to 10 minutes). Add the salt, vanilla powder and honey. Mix until combined, and taste for flavor. If you wish to add more honey, do so in small increments to make sure the frosting doesn't curdle again.