Harvest Honey Buzz Layer Cake

Harvest Honey Buzz Layer Cake

By: Lauren K. - Ashburn, VA - 2017 Recipe Contest Submission

"The filling is a fruity compote that gets a rich, unexpected flavor from the added coffee. And the sweet but tangy cream cheese icing with a hint of the same wonderful coffee is used throughout the cake. I have garnished with some decorative chocolate bees."

This is a Door County Coffee Fan recipe. It was not made in the kitchens of the Door County Coffee Café.



Featured ingredient: Caramel Apple Coffee 8 oz. Bag Ground


    • 1 1/4 cup strongly brewed Door County Cranberry Orange Muffin Coffee
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
    • 3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1-1/2 cups sugar
    • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
    • 1 cup honey
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped


    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 3 Pink Lady or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely diced
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup strongly brewed Door County Cranberry Orange Muffin Coffee
    • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Icing & Garnish:

    • 12 ounces (1-1/2 blocks) cream cheese, slightly cooler than room temperature
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 2-1/4 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons strongly brewed Door County Cranberry Orange Muffin Coffee (cooled)
    • 1/2 cup chocolate melts or almond bark



    1. Preheat oven to 350°F
    2. Prepare (3) three, 8-inch cake pans with nonstick baking spray. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper rounds. Set aside.


    1. In a measuring cup, combine the coffee and the chopped cranberries. Let sit while preparing other ingredients.
    2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, Mix on lowest speed until combined.
    3. Add orange juice, oil, honey, eggs, vanilla, and coffee/Cranberry mixture. Mix on low speed until combined and smooth.
    4. Fold in chopped walnuts.
    5. Divide the batter evenly amongst the 3 prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick in the center.
    6. Let cool for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack. Trim any domed tops when completely cooled.


    1. Heat a large skillet (with high sides) on medium with the butter. Add the diced apples and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    2. Add the cranberries, honey, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir and cook for 5 additional minutes.
    3. In a small measuring cup, whisk together the cooled coffee and the cornstarch. Add to the apple mixture.
    4. Cook for 5-10 minutes more, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and apples are tender. Let cool completely.


    1. In a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
    2. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and coffee. Mix on low, gradually increasing speed until mixture is thick and fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag.

Bumble Bee Garnish:

    1. Melt chocolate according to package instructions, and place into a piping bag. Snip a tiny bit off of the corner with scissors.
    2. Draw bees onto wax paper, and transfer to the refrigerator until hardened.

To Assemble:

    1. Place the bottom layer of cake, trimmed side up. Pipe a border all of the way around the upper edge. Fill with 1/3 of the cooled filling mixture and spread it out to cover the cake in a thin layer.
    2. Place the second layer on top. Pipe another border and fill again, repeating the procedure from the bottom layer.
    3. Place the final layer on top. Pipe a pretty border, fill again in center. Pipe additional flowers around the edges and in the center.
    4. Place the chocolate bees on top. Chill until almost ready to serve.