Honeybee Cupcakes

Everyone will be buzzing when these adorable treats hit the table.

Southern Living Honeybee Cupcakes on a plate to serve, topped with edible flowers and a drizzle of honey

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Christina Daley; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 40 mins

Honey is the star ingredient in these cupcakes, from the batter to the buttercream. It’s used in the cake for both sweetness and the nice golden brown color it lends the sponge.

It’s worth noting that there are a lot of liquids in the cake batter, so don’t be alarmed if it looks almost broken after adding the honey. Keep going. It will all come together after the flour is added.

Meanwhile, the frosting is like honey butter, but for cake. It’s the right balance of salty, sweet, and buttery.

We call for tupelo honey, a rare variety of wild honey in the frosting, but your favorite light-colored local honey will work just as well.

Because the honey is uncooked in the frosting, it’s the perfect place to let the nuanced flavors of a special variety shine. When topped with edible flowers and an extra drizzle of honey, these cupcakes make a special treat for spring birthdays or other celebrations.



  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest (from 2 large lemons)

  • 1/2 cup whole milk


  • 3/4 cup salted butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. tupelo honey

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream

Additional Ingredient

  • Edible flowers (optional)


  1. Prepare the cupcakes:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tray with 12 paper liners.

  2. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Beat sugar and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add honey and lemon zest, beating until combined. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture, alternately with whole milk, beating well after each addition. Spoon evenly into prepared paper liners.

  3. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted into centers of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

  4. Prepare the buttercream:

    Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, gradually add powdered sugar, tupelo honey, and heavy cream. Increase mixer speed to high, and beat until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Pipe or spoon onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with edible flowers (if using).

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