German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe (2024)

4.77 from 155 votes

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Have you ever heard of a Bee Sting Cake?

According to Wikipedia: “this traditional Bavarian dessert may have earned its name from its honey topping: according to one legend, a bee was attracted to it, and the baker who invented the cake was stung. Another source cites a legend of German bakers from the 15th century who lobbed beehives at raiders from a neighboring village, successfully repelling them, and celebrated later by baking a version of this cake named after their efforts.”

Hence the name Bienenstich, which translates to Bee Sting.

German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe (1)

But whatever you decide to call this cake, I can promise you your friends and family will be calling it delicious and asking for seconds!

German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe (2)

The cake isn’t quite like any American cake you may have had. It has more of a pastry texture, filled with pastry cream, and is topped with honey-glazed almonds.

Pastry cream might sound daunting, but it really isn’t difficult to make.

Table of Contents:

What ingredients do I need to make a Bee Sting Cake?

German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe (3)

Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make a Bee Sting Cake. In Chef Speak this is called the “Mise en Place” which translates to “Everything in its Place”.

Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the up cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.

How do I make a Bee Sting Cake?

The first step is making the pastry cream for the cake.

German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe (4)

In a saucepan bring the milk just to boiling (just until milk starts to foam up.) Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture (tempering), whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Then, pour the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly.

When it boils, whisk the mixture constantly for another 30 – 60 seconds until it becomes thick. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the liqueur (if using). Stir in vanilla bean extract or extract) Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming.

Cool to room temperature. If not using right away, refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days.Whisk or stir before using to get rid of any lumps that may have formed.

Next is the pastry dough for the cake.

German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe (5)

The brioche dough isn’t too complicated to make and is what makes the Bee Sting Cake so special.

If you have a stand mixer, it’s really easy to do, but you can mix this by hand because the dough isn’t as thick as bread dough.

Warm the whole milk and honey to 110 degrees F. (any hotter will kill the yeast). Add the active dry yeast to the mixture and wait 10 minutes. The mixture will become foamy and is ready to make thedough.

To the yeast mixture, add two room-temperature eggs, granulated sugar, salt, and the mixture of all-purpose flour and bread flour, combining until just blended. Then add one stick(4 ounces) of softened butter until just blended. The dough will be very soft.

Place the dough into a buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to double in volume (it should take about 2 hours). Gently press the dough down and knead a few times (with floured hands). Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.

**If the dough appears too wet, add 2-3 tablespoons of bread flour to the mixture. Some of the issues seem to be with the metric equivalents.

German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe (6)

When the dough is ready, place the dough into a 9” buttered springform pan. Shape into a ball, and gently, press the dough to fit the pan.

Cover and allow the dough to rise in a warm environment for about an hour. Start making the honey almond topping

Preheat the oven to 350, when the dough has risen.

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German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe (7)

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What Ingredients do I need for the Honey-Almond Topping?

German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe (8)

For the topping, you’ll need sliced almonds, butter, honey, sugar and a pinch of salt.

German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe (9)

Combine the unsalted butter, sugar, honey, and salt in a small pan.

Bring the mixture to a gentle boil on the stovetop,then remove from the heat. Add the sliced almonds and pour the mixture over the dough.

Place the pan on a parchment-covered baking sheet (the honey mixture will seep through the bottom) and bake for 22-25 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Place the finished cake on a cooling rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe (10)

After 10 minutes, remove the cake from the pan.

The aroma of the cake is intoxicating, and there is a beautiful sticky caramelization on top and all around the cake. You’ll be tempted to cut into the cake, but it’s important to let the cake cool completely.

German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe (11)

After the cake has fully cooled, carefully slice the cake in half with a serrated knife. Spread the pastry cream on top of the bottom half, covering it with the top half of the cake. Now it’s ready to serve.

German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe (12)

Like most European cakes, the Bee Sting Cake is not very sweet. The pastry texture of the cake goes well with the mildly sweet pastry cream. But the honey almond topping is what takes this cake to the next level. The butter in the topping gives a delicate richness that perfectly finishes this Bavarian classic.

*Make sure to use a sharp knife to slice the cake.

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German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe (21)

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4.77 from 155 votes

Bee Sting Cake

You’ll love this traditional German Bee Sting Cake. The pastry style cake with the pastry cream filling will have your friends and family asking for more!

Prep Time40 minutes mins

Cook Time30 minutes mins

proofing time2 hours hrs

Total Time3 hours hrs 10 minutes mins

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: German

Servings: 12

Calories: 326kcal

Ingredients

Pastry Cream

  • cups milk whole or 2%
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ tablespoon liqueur (Grand Marnier Brandy, Kirsch or Amaretto) (optional)

Brioche dough:

  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons bread flour divided
  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature

Honey-Almond Topping:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup sliced almonds

US CustomaryMetric

Instructions

Pastry Cream:

  • In a medium-sized heatproof bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together. (Don’t let the mixture sit too long or you will get pieces of egg forming.) Sift the flour and cornstarch together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste.

  • Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the milk to a light boil(just until milk starts to foam up.)

  • Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. (If you get a few pieces of egg (curdling) in the mixture, pour through a strainer.)

  • Pour the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30 – 60 seconds until it becomes thick.

  • Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the liqueur (if using). Stir in vanilla extract.

  • Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Cool to room temperature.

    If not using right away refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days. Whisk or stir before using to get rid of any lumps that may have formed.

Brioche dough:

  • In a small saucepan (or a small cup if you want to use the microwave), combine milk and 1 tablespoon honey and heat until it registers between 110 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle over yeast. Let mixture stand for 10 minutes until yeast is creamy/foamy.

  • Transfer bowl to mixer stand and attach paddle (or hook) attachment. While mixing at low speed, gradually add eggs, all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt, and mix until blended.

  • Gradually add all but 2 tablespoons of bread flour. Mix at medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. The dough should not stick to sides of bowl; if it does, add some of all of the remaining 2 tablespoons of bread flour until dough cleans sides of the bowl.

  • Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing at medium speed until it is blended into the dough. (Dough will be very soft.) Transfer dough to a work surface and knead by hand a few times to ensure that butter is completely incorporated into the dough. Shape dough into a ball and transfer it to a medium buttered bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 1 ½ to 2 hours, until it has doubled in volume.

    **If the dough appears too wet add 2-3 tablespoons of bread flour to the mixture. Some of the issues seem to be with the metric equivalents.

  • Punch dough down to deflate it, and knead it a few times. Return dough to the bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or up to 12 hours). The dough should have doubled in volume. If it hasn't, let it stand at room temperature until it has. (NOTE: I made the dough the night before.)

  • Butter bottom and sides of a 9” spring-form pan. Shape dough into a ball and arrange it, smooth side up, in center of the pan. Flatten ball gently with your palm until it covers the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and let the dough rise until it is puffed, about 1 hour.

Honey-Almond Topping:

  • Combine the butter, sugar, honey, and salt, and bring to a gentle boil on the stovetop.

  • Remove from the heat, and stir in the almonds. Evenly pour over the dough and place the pan on a parchment (or foil) covered baking sheet.

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F for about 22-25 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.

  • Place on a cooling rack, and allow to cool four 10 minutes. Remove from the Springform Pan and allow it to cool completely.

Assembly:

  • Using a serrated knife, cut the cake in half. I place the cake on a rotating cake stand and being by rotating the cake and creating a cut line midway through the cake. Continue rotating, allowing the knife to cut deeper until the cake is completely sliced in half.

  • Spread the pastry cream, leaving a narrow edge. Gently replace the top layer of the cake. Serve with coffee or tea.

Video

Notes

You can make the pastry cream and prepare the dough a day of ahead of time.

Nutrition

Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 114mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 465IU | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1.1mg

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German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe (2024)

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