Hornets nest cake or wasps nest cake is a Hungarian dessert made with walnut filling and a very fluffy yeast dough.
Sugar and ground walnut give it’s unmistakably sweet taste. At the end of the baking process it is soaked in sweet milk, making it so moist that once you try this recipe your family won’t let you bake anything else.
Darázsfészek – literally hornet’s nest in Hungarian – is a popular cake in Hungary, at least everyone knows it. On the other hand, being a moderately difficult and time-consuming recipe, it is made less and less in our rushing society. I remember my grandma baking hornet’s nest cake regularly back in the ’70s and ’80s, but I don’t know how many grandmas wait their grandchildren these days with a pan of hot and fragrant wasp’s nest cake.
I do this dessert once in a while as we all love it. Unfortunately it loses its nice and fluffy texture once it’s stored, even just for one night, so you should eat it right after it’s done. But this really isn’t a problem as you can’t make enough of this cake.
3 Secrets of a Perfect Hornets Nest Cake
For a perfect hornets nest cake you need a very light and fluffy dough. Here are the 3 secrets that work for me when making this cake:
- Give the dough its time to rise, 3 times: while you knead it; while you leave it resting; and just before baking.
- Use extra egg yolks (according to the ingredient list) to ensure the dough is super soft.
- Let your hornets nest cakes soak in sweet milk once they are almost ready. This is a tip I only see in Hungarian recipes, take it and enjoy your cake!
Hungarian name: Darázsfészek
Other Variations of Hornets Nest Cake
Hornets nest cake may have other variations. Grated walnut is sometimes substituted with cocoa or cinnamon.
A few words about the ingredients
The ingredients in this recipe are used in 3 different steps, so to make it more easy to understand, here are the quantities you should use for each step.
Be sure to follow the pictures in the slider below (click on the How-To tab) to understand how to make the perfect hornets nest cake!
Ingredients for Hornets Nest Cake Dough
- 3 2/3 cup flour (550 g)
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 oz. (25 g) cake yeast or 1 package (7 g) dry yeast
- 5/6 cup (200 ml) lukewarm milk
- 2 tbsp sugar (50 g)
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted (60 g)
Ingredients for Walnut Filling
- 1 1/2 cup ground walnut (150 g)
- 1/2 cup icing sugar (100 g)
- 7/8 stick unsalted butter, melted (100 g)
Ingredients for Milk “Bath”
And the secret to make your cake super-soft:
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk
- 3 tbsp sugar (70 g)