German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) – A delicious yeasted cake topped with a crunchy honey almond topping and filled with a homemade pastry cream.
German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich)
When I got the chance to go to German 8-9 years ago, once of my favorite things to do was to try all of the foods. I ate all of the liverwurst, bratwurst, and schnitzel that I could find. Apart from the meats, I loved every dessert I tried! One of my favorites was bienenstich kuchen or bee sting cake, a delicious yeasted cake topped with caramelized honey almonds and filled with pastry cream.
For years, this cake has been on my list of things to try baking and for Valentine’s Day this year, I decided this would be the dessert that I would tackle making. It turned out absolutely incredible and while it may look like a long list of ingredients and a lot of steps to make, it was pretty easy and straightforward. Don’t be scared off, it is worth the work!
Common questions about making german bee sting cake (bienenstich)
What does bienenstich mean?
Bienenstich means “bee sting” in German.
Why is it called a bee sting cake?
The most likely reason that this cake has earned the title of “bee sting cake” is because of the honey in the cake’s topping.
How do you make cake with yeast?
Making a cake with yeast isn’t too different from baking a normal cake. The biggest difference in the process is that you actually let the dough rise. No kneading is needed!
What is the filling of a bee sting cake?
There are a few different options when it comes to what to fill a bee sting cake with. The traditional method is making a homemade pastry cream but there is a short cut method that some in the US use where they just prepare packaged vanilla pudding instead for the filling. It is up to you what you choose to do!
What is pastry cream?
Pastry cream is a thick custard filling made with starch and eggs. This is the same kind of filling that an eclair uses.
Can’t get enough of this german bee sting cake (bienenstich) recipe? Try these other recipes!
- German Apple Cake (Versunkener Apfelkuchen)
- Russian Tea Cakes
- German Pfeffernusse Cookies
- Lemon Madeleines
- French Palmier Cookies
German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich)
German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) - A delicious yeasted cake topped with a crunchy honey almond topping and filled with a homemade pastry cream.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 0.25 ounce packet)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk* (120-130 degrees)
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1/4 cup butter (softened)
Honey Almond Topping
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 egg yolks
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter (softened)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Mix together. Add in milk, eggs, and butter. Mix until well combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 60 minutes.
- Cover a 9-inch cake pan with butter, dust with flour, and line the bottom with parchment paper cut to fit the pan being used. Transfer cake batter to the pan, cover up with plastic wrap, and let sit for 30 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, sugar, honey, cream, and salt up to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for about 3-5 minutes while stirring, it should turn to a light shade of brown. Add in almonds and remove from heat. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Once the cake is done rising, evenly distribute the honey almond topping across the top of the cake.
- Place cake in oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and it comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack for 15 minutes and then run a knife around the edge between the cake and the pan. Invert onto the rack to remove the cake pan and then flip it over to finish cooling.
- While the cake is cooling, it is time to make the pastry cream. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring milk to a simmer.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, and salt. Beat until thick and smooth.
- Once the milk starts to bubble, remove it from heat and add half of it to the egg mix. Whisk constantly. Once well combined, add the egg mix into the remaining hot milk in the saucepan.
- Bring custard to medium heat, whisking vigorously to help it thicken up over the next 1-2 minutes. Once the custard begins to bubble, lower the heat and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Remove from heat and add in the butter.
- Transfer custard to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap so that the plastic wrap is touching the custard to help avoid a skin being formed on top. Let cool to room temperature before transferring it to the refrigerator to cool for a few more hours.
- Once cake has fully cooled and pastry cream has fully chilled and set, it is time to assemble. Slice the cake horizontally across the middle so that there are two evenly sliced slices. Transfer pastry cream to a piping bag and fill the middle with a layer of pastry cream. Add the piece of cake with the top on it back onto the cake and serve.
* Making sure that the liquid being used with active dry yeast is necessary to ensuring that the yeast will correctly activate. If it is too hot, the yeast might get killed. If it is too cold, the yeast might not activate. If you have a food-safe thermometer, this is a great time to pull it out and use it. If you don't have one, you want the liquid to be warm, but not hot to the touch. Different types of yeast such as instant yeast work different so if you choose NOT to use active dry yeast, please read the instructions on the yeast package you are using and make adjustments accordingly.
* Vanilla bean paste can be substituted for an additional 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean pod. If you choose to use a vanilla bean pod, remove the caviar from it and add it into the milk as it cooks rather than into the egg mixture. This will help bring out it's flavor.
Cake recipe adapted from Food52 and pastry cream recipe adapted from The Flavor Blender.
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KitchenAid Classic Series 4.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, Onyx Black (K45SSOB)
Weetiee Pastry Piping Bags -100 Pack-16-Inch Disposable Cake Decorating Bags Anti-Burst Cupcake Icing Bags for all Size Tips Couplers and Baking Cookies Candy Supplies Kits - Bonus 2 Couplers
Cuisinart AMB-9SP 9-Inch Chef's Classic Nonstick Bakeware Springform Pan, Silver
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 449Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 317mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 3gSugar: 22gProtein: 10g
This nutritional information can vary depending on the specific products you choose so this is a general guess of the correct nutritional information based on the products I used. Please keep that in mind when making the recipe.
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Sunday 23rd of October 2022
Thu Is cake was so delicious and fun to make but I had a problem with the almond topping. I feel like I followed the directions but when the cake was baking the almond topping sunk and the cake rose around it. Did I not understand the directions or should I do something different next time I make it.
Wednesday 5th of October 2022
I noticed for the pastry cream it doesn’t mention when you use the vanilla paste or vanilla extract. I’m assuming the paste goes in the milk and the extract goes in the egg mixture?
Saturday 10th of April 2021
For the bee sting cake, do you activate the yeast in the milk ingredient or separately in warm water and sugar? If water, how much water and sugar to activate yeast? Thank you!