Hornets Nest Cake

Hornet nest cake or wasp nest cake is a classic Hungarian dessert made with walnut filling and an extremely fluffy yeast dough.

Sugar and ground walnut give this cake it’s unmistakably sweet taste. As a bonus, 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 wasp nest in Hungarian – is a very popular cake in Hungary. 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 wasp 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 nest cake.

I make 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 recipe, it just magically disappears instantly.

3+1 Secrets of a Perfect Wasp Nest Cake

For a perfect wasp nest cake, you need a very light and fluffy dough. Here are the 3 secrets that work for me when making this cake:

  1. Give the dough its time to rise, 3 times. While you knead it; while you leave it to rest; and just before baking.
  2. Use extra egg yolks (according to the ingredient list) to ensure the dough is super soft.
  3. Let your hornet 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!
  4. Please note that if using dry yeast, you need to dissolve it first in a few tablespoons of water.

Hungarian name: Darázsfészek

Other Variations of Hornet Nest Cake

Hornet nest cake may have other variations. Grated walnut is sometimes substituted with cocoa or cinnamon.

You can also make this recipe with a simple sugar filling. Then it is called Ferdinand.

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 recipe to understand how to make the perfect hornets nest cake!

Ingredients for Hornets Nest Cake Dough

  • 3 2/3 cups flour (550 g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 package (7 g) dry yeast or 1 oz. (25 g) fresh yeast
  • 13 tbsp (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 cups ground walnut (150 g)
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar (100 g)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, soft (110 g)

Ingredients for Milk “Bath”

And the secret to make your cake super-soft:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk
  • 3 tbsp sugar (70 g)
Hornets Nest Cake Darázsfészek

Hornets Nest Cake

Extremely fluffy and delicious cake with walnut filling
3.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Hungarian
Servings 16 servings


Wasp Nest Cake Dough

  • 3 ⅔ cup flour (550 g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 package dry yeast or 1 oz. (25 g) fresh yeast
  • 13 tbsp milk lukewarm (200 ml)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ stick butter unsalted, melted (60g)
  • 1 pinch of salt

Walnut Filling

  • 1 ½ cup ground walnut (150 g)
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar (100 g)
  • 1 stick butter unsalted, soft (110 g)

"Milk Bath"

  • 1 cup milk (240 g)
  • 3 tbsp sugar (70 g)


  • Proof the fresh yeast rise in a mix of 1/4 cup (60 ml) lukewarm milk, 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp flour. Please note that if using dry yeast, you need to dissolve it first in a few tablespoons of water.
  • Mix flour, eggs, egg yolks, yeast (or yeast mixture, see previous step), lukewarm milk, sugar, salt and melted butter in a kneading bowl.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes. You'll have a soft and loose dough that easily forms a ball and doesn't stick.
    Hornest nest cake dough before proofing
  • Let it proof it in a lightly floured bowl (also be sure to sprinkle flour on top) for 1 hour.
    Hornet nest cake dough proofing
  • In the meantime, preheat your oven to 355 F (180 C) and prepare the walnut filling. Simply mix icing sugar and ground walnut. Do not add butter at this point!
  • Roll out your dough on a lightly floured work surface, forming a rectangle shape, 1/5 – 2/5 inch thick (5-10 mm).
    Rolling out wasp nest cake dough
  • Spread the soft butter over the dough, then sprinkle it with the icing sugar – ground walnut mixture.
    Hornet nest cake filling
  • Roll up the dough like a Swiss roll and cut in 1 1/4 inch (3 cm) slices.
    Rolled up wasp nest cake dough
  • Put your rolls in a lightly greased baking pan, not too tight. I use a 25×35 cm (approx. 10 by 14 inch) baking pan, this size is perfect for 16 wasp nest cakes. Let it proof for 15 minutes, covered.
    Hornet nest cake before baking
  • Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, uncovered.
    Baking hornet nest cake
  • Pour the milk bath mixture over your cake. Bake for 5 more minutes.
    Wasp nest cake with sweet milk
  • Take out of the oven and let it rest at least 15 minutes, covered. The wasp nest cakes will stick together, but they are easy to take apart. Serve fresh.
    Hornet nest cake in the oven

4 thoughts on “Hornets Nest Cake”

  1. 2 stars
    “You’ll have a soft and loose dough that doesn’t stick.”- That just did not happen and i DID follow the instructions 🙁 It was a very sticky trap that forced me to add extra amounts of flour.


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