Monday, March 25, 2019

Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)

I've seen photos of this cake on Pinterest and Instagram for years and was always curious about it. It's a very eye catching cake and the recipe is so different. It looks like a cake but is a yeast dough, but it's not "bread". I had added it to my "must try" list a long time ago but never got around to it until just recently. Our mom was reading a novel (forgive me, I can't remember the title of it!) in which the author included recipes among the pages. A bee sting cake was one of the recipes and our mom was intrigued. I tried it, as written in the book, and it was a flop. It didn't work at all and I ended up throwing it out. I took the book recipe, did a little more research online about bienenstich and came up with the recipe here. 
Are you ready for a culinary adventure? This cake is a roller coaster of flavors and textures and scents that will have you hooked after just a few bites! 

Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)

2 tsp active yeast
1/2 cup very warm water
2 cups flour
4 Tbsp butter, soft
2 Tbsp honey
scant 1 tsp salt
2 eggs

6 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp honey
pinch salt
2 Tbsp whipping cream (heavy cream)
1 1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 cups whipping cream (heavy cream)
1 pkg vanilla instant pudding
1 Tbsp honey

Lightly grease a 10 inch springform pan. Place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom. Set aside. 
Prepare dough - place yeast and warm water in small bowl and stir. Let sit for about 5 minutes to activate yeast.
After 5 minutes, place flour, butter, honey, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and turn on low. Add in the eggs. Then add in the yeast mixture. Turn mixer to medium and beat for about 5 minutes, until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. If dough is really sticky you may need to add up to 1/2 cup more flour. (Add it about 2 Tbsp at a time, if needed.)
Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and place somewhere warm for an hour.

After an hour it should be risen. NOTE - it won't double in size like regular bread would BUT it should still rise so you notice it.

Place the risen dough into the prepared 10 inch springform pan and press it out to cover the bottom. 

Cover and let rest while you prepare the topping.
Preheat the oven to 350. 
Prepare topping - Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add in sugar, honey, salt, and cream and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 - 5 minutes, until it starts to turn golden. Stir in the almonds. Cool about 2 minutes and then gently spread on top of the dough in the springform pan.

Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes. Toothpick inserted near center should come out clean and top should be golden brown. (NOTE - if topping still looks a little pale but the cake is done; simply turn oven to broil for a minute and watch cake closely! It should brown very quickly.) 

Let sit in pan on wire rack to cool down to room temp. 
When cool, carefully remove sides of springform pan and bottom of pan. Let cool completely. 

Prepare filling - In a mixing bowl, combine whipping cream, pudding mix, and honey. Beat until it becomes a thick, spreadable consistency. 

Cut the cake in half horizontally. 

Spread all of the filling on the bottom half of the cake. and then carefully place the top half back on top.

Serve now or chill until ready to serve. 

The topping is addictive. So crunchy and sweet and amazing. 

But that cream filling is also not terrible....

A suggestion to make things easier for you - cut the cake with a serrated knife before you chill it. The topping can be quite difficult to cut through once it is chilled and you end up squishing the cream out. 

Even easier? When you have the top off the cake to spread the cream on the bottom layer, cut the top into slices BEFORE you place it back on top. That way you can follow the cut marks and only have to cut through cream and bottom layer - no squishing necessary. 

I didn't do that here for presentation sake BUT I will definitely pre-cut the top next time to make it easier. It's still super beautiful and that way you can pre-proportion your slices too! 
We decided that this is definitely more of a treat you serve with coffee/tea at break time instead of a dessert. It isn't very sweet and the yeast-iness lends itself more towards tea time than after a meal. 
I will be making this for so many occasions now that I know how amazing it is!

We're sharing over at Carole's Chatter. Be sure to stop by and say Hi!


  1. Oooooh. This is a new one for me, but I am very intrigued by the idea of a yeasted cake... especially one topped off with all those gorgeous toasty almonds. Sign me up!

    1. Thank you Isabelle. It is definitely different and worth the little bit of extra trouble to make!

  2. Yum! I remember making this bee-sting cake in my baking training and we all demolished it! We had a wonderful German instructor who taught us. He would be so pleased with your post - thanks for such a great job of explaining the steps. It looks very authentic and I am sure just as delicious as the one I tasted many years ago. I am pinning to make it! đź’—

    1. Thank you for your kind words! I had so much fun making it! <3

  3. I've also seen pics on Pinterest and have been so curious about this cake. Looks amazing! That thick creamy layer in the middle is so enticing!

  4. Thanks for explaining this yummy looking cake. I love the yeast cake base, and also the amazing topping. I can't wait to try this!

  5. LEGEND:
    So how did the cake earn the name 'Bienenstich' ? The question leads to the small city in Germany, called Andernach on the Rhine (name of a river), which is also called Bäckerjungen-Stadt (baker's boys) till this day. The legend of two baker's boys is known by every child there and its stony statues are still to be admired.
    Supposedly the people of the neighboring town of Linz had planned a raid on the city of Andernach in 1474. The legend tells about an attack against the citizens of Andernach in all early morning when the citizens still laid in sleep. Only two baker's boys who were already awake wanting to nibble honey from the beehives which stood in long rows on the town wall of Andernach. When they discovered the approaching enemies, they Spontaneously threw down the beehives on the enemy soldiers. The bees flew violently in swarms and stinging them unmercifully forced them to retreat.
    The next day, the city of Andernach wanted to celebrate this defeat of the enemy with a party. Both baker's boys were asked to choose something for the party, a cake of course. And the creation of sugar, almonds, pudding, yeast and flour, got the name "Bee-sting", referring to the victory with the help of the bees .

    1. What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing :)

  6. So glad someone found the story of the cake. Cheers

  7. I love the Bee Sting Cake but have been tweaking it for years. I use more of a yellow cake recipe instead of the yeast & everything else is the same. The cake is absolutely delicious. I bake at 325°f for about 30 min in my oven.

    1. Can you place the topping on the soft yellow cake batter without it sinking ?