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Authentic Bienenstich Kuchen (German Bee Sting Cake Recipe)

If you love honey and almonds, you’ll swoon over German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich).

This traditional German treat has two layers of yeast cake, a vanilla cream filling, and a crunchy gooey honey almond topping.

This easy authentic German dessert that will fly off your cake plate!

So a while back I said that Rote Grüetze is my favorite German dessert…but that’s because I wasn’t thinking about Bienenstich Kuchen!

German Bee Sting Cake is one of the best desserts in Germany.

That’s saying something, because Germany is overflowing with amazing desserts and sweets!

Fortunately, you don’t need to go to a German bakery to try Bee Sting Cake because you can easily make it at home. This is one of those German desserts that looks complicated and impressive but is actually very easy to prepare.

Everyone who tries this German Bee Sting Cake LOVES it. Whenever I make it, it disappears quickly. You’re going to LOVE it!

When I lived in Stuttgart, I walked by a little corner bakery ever day on my way to the university. More often than not, I couldn’t resist stopping for a slice of Bienenstich Kuchen. 

Funny story: last summer when I was back in Stuttgart, the hotel I booked ended up being almost right next door to that bakery!

I didn’t plan it that way and only realized it as I walked past the bakery and thought, hey, this looks familiar… and then realized where I was.

I popped into the bakery but unfortunately, no Bienenstich that day. Fortunately, I had a slice elsewhere in Stuttgart(see below).

What is Bee Sting Cake?

Bienenstich Kuchen – or Bee Sting Cake – is a traditional German dessert comprised of two thin layers of yeast cake with a creamy filling, and a crunchy, buttery, honey-and-almond topping.

The yeast cake balances out the sweetness of the filling and topping.

When I was in Stuttgart last summer I ordered a slice of Bienenstich for Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) one afternoon after a hike, and here’s what it looked like:

a slice of German bee sting cake on a white plate with fork

My version is a little different (there are several ways to make this delicious German cake).

First, I make mine in an 8×8 inch (20×20 cm) square baking pan (I love this one), rather than in a round pan, because I find it SO much easier to cut into slices (be sure to see my tips for cutting this cake below).

Another reason is because back when I lived in Stuttgart, I almost always got Bee Sting Cake from that local bakery I mentioned, and they always made it as a tray cake.

So using a square baking pan makes me think of Stuttgart. That said, you can absolutely make this cake using an 8 inch round springform pan or a cake ring, if you prefer.

The other difference is the amount of filling I use.

The cream filling in the Bienenstich I had last summer (see photo above) was very light in flavor and texture.

The bakery version I remember and loved from Stuttgart had a smaller amount of denser vanilla flavored filling, and that’s my preferred version.

A while back I experimented with adding twice as much filling, and while it looked great in photos, it was waaaay too sweet with the honey topping.

I highly recommend the cake/filling/topping ratio in this recipe.

Don’t be scared off by all of the steps in this recipe!

I’ve included step-by-step instructions in the recipe below. It’s really quite easy to make.

First you make the dough, then the honey almond topping.

While the cake is baking, prepare the filling. After the cake has cooled a bit, assemble the cake, let it chill for an hour, and then enjoy!

Here’s a big tip! After taking the cake out of the oven, let it cool in the cake pan for a few minutes and then on a wire rack for 10-20 minutes.

Just long enough so you can comfortably touch the cake.

Then slice the cake lengthwise into two layers, transfer the top layer (the part with the honey almond topping) to a cutting board, and cut that layer into 9 pieces.

Why? Because this cake is SO much easier to cut while it’s still warm.

If you wait to cut it until serving the cake, the almond topping will have hardened and the filling will ooze all over when you try to cut it. This beautiful cake will just end up a sloppy mess, so definitely cut it while it’s still warm!

When you assemble the cake, spread the cream on the in-tact bottom layer and then place the 9 cake pieces on the cream.

That way, you shouldn’t have too much trouble cutting through the bottom layer when you serve it. Just don’t press down too hard on the top pieces as you cut.

The cream filling will firm up while the cake chills in the fridge, but it can still ooze out the sides.

Here’s another tip!

Some vanilla pudding mixes will turn your filling yellow (Aldi pudding, for example).

Personally, I like the look of white filling with this cake, so if you do too, check that your pudding powder is white before adding it to the heavy whipping cream.

I recommend making this cake at home from scratch but if you don’t have time or just don’t want to make it from scratch, you can order a Bee Sting Cake mix.

All you do is add the butter, water, and heavy whipping cream, and then bake it. Click here to check it out!

My third tip: enjoy this cake the day you make it.

It will keep for a couple days in the fridge and it will taste ok but it’s MUCH better eaten the day you bake it.

👍 Recipe Variations, Notes & Tips

There are a few variations you can make to customize this cake more to your tastes:

  • Honey. Add more honey to the topping if you prefer a stronger honey flavor.
  • Vanilla. Use vanilla sugar or vanilla extract (see my note in the recipe about amounts to use). You could also use a vanilla bean pod if you want more vanilla flavor.
  • Whipped cream. Whipped cream only. Leave the vanilla pudding powder out of the filling for a straight whipped cream filling (you’ll want to stabilize the whipped cream if you do this).
  • Almonds. Use slivered almonds instead of sliced.
  • Taller cake. Use this yeast cake recipe if you want a taller cake (personally, I prefer the cake/filling/topping ratio in this recipe).

What You Need to Make Bee Sting Cake


  • flour
  • sugar
  • yeast (I use fast-rising)
  • salt
  • butter
  • milk
  • vanilla sugar or extract (here’s my vanilla sugar tutorial)
  • egg
  • honey
  • heavy cream
  • sliced almonds (I prefer using sliced but you can use slivered)
  • vanilla instant pudding mix

Kitchen Tools:

  • large mixing bowl
  • wooden spoon
  • medium saucepan
  • spatula
  • 8×8 baking pan (20x20cm)
  • parchment paper
  • long serrated knife
  • cutting board
  • wire cooling rack
  • palette knife
  • scale or measuring cups/spoons
  • fork
  • cake plate

How to Make Authentic Bienenstich Kuchen (Traditional German Bee Sting Cake Recipe)

The first step is to make the sweet yeast dough. Mix the dry ingredients together – flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Then add the melted butter, egg, and milk to the flour mixture.

Stir until dough forms a ball. If the dough is sticky, add a few sprinkles of flour until it no longer sticks to your hands.

The dough should be soft but not sticky.

Knead the dough in the bowl 5-7 times or until the dough looks and feels smooth.

Cover the bowl with a towel and let the it rest in warm place for 30 minutes (the dough won’t rise a whole lot).

Enjoy a cup of coffee, tea, wine, whatever for 15 or so minutes then pre-heat the oven to 350F/176C.

While the oven is heating and the dough is resting, you can prepare the crunchy almond topping ingredients.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium low heat.

Then add the honey, sugar and salt (add the vanilla sugar here if using – see my note in the recipe for how much to use).

Stir until sugar has dissolved.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the sliced almonds (and vanilla extract, if you’re using that instead of the vanilla sugar) and stir until well combined.

If you’re not ready to pour the topping on your cake, just keep it warm on the stove for a few minutes (I use the “warm” setting/burner on my stove).

Place a piece of parchment paper in your 8x8in (20x20cm) baking pan so the edges hang over the sides (sometimes I rub a little butter or add cooking spray to the bottom to help the parchment stick to the pan).

Press the dough into the pan and use a fork to prick the dough several times (that will prevent the cake from puffing up too much while baking).

Pour the hot almond topping onto the dough and spread evenly.

Bake at 350F/176C for about 30 minutes or until the topping is a nice golden brown.

I always check my cake at 25 minutes and then continue baking for 5-7 minutes longer.

Keep an eye on it because the almond topping can over-bake and turn dark brown quickly.

While the cake is baking, prepare the cream filling.

Pour the heavy cream, pudding powder, and vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract) into the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) and first beat to soft peaks.

Taste the cream and, if desired, add more pudding powder or vanilla sugar (or extract) to taste.

Then beat to stiff peaks. Store the cream in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

When the cake is finished baking, take it out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes in the cake pan.

Be careful – the topping is hot! Carefully pull the cake out of the pan using the parchment that’s hanging over the sides.

Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10-20 minutes.

When you can comfortably touch the cake with your fingers, use a long serrated knife to cut the cake into 2 slices lengthwise (see middle photo above).

Carefully transfer the top slice (with the almond topping) to a cutting board and then carefully cut into 9 slices. Separate the slices a bit to let them cool.

Add any topping that came off during the slicing back to the top of the cake.

Don’t wait too long to cut these cake slices!

It’s SO much easier to cut the top layer at this stage, rather than waiting until the cake is assembled and has chilled in the fridge.

This way, when you serve the cake, all you have to do is cut through the cream and the bottom layer of the cake.

If you wait to cut the entire cake, the almond topping will be very difficult to slice and the filling will ooze out the sides and create a mess.

Next, place bottom layer cut side up on a (cake) plate.

Once the cake is cool to the touch, spread the filling evenly over the bottom layer.

Then, carefully place each of the 9 top slices on the cream.

Finally, cover or wrap the cake in plastic wrap and chill the cake in the fridge for about an hour.

When serving the cake, be careful not to press down too hard on the top layer of the cake when you go to slice through the bottom layer.

The cream layer will firm up in the fridge but it can still ooze out the sides if you press down too hard.

Enjoy this delicious taste of Germany!

How to Make German Bee Sting Cake

Yield: 9 slices

German Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)

German Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)

Crunchy, honey-flavored almond topping, creamy vanilla filling, and two delicious yeast cake layers make this German favorite absolutely wunderbar

Prep Time 45 minutes
Bake Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes



  • 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cup [210-230g] flour (all purpose, see note below)
  • 2 TBSP [30g] sugar
  • 2 tsp [1/4 oz / 7g] yeast (fast rising)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup [57g] butter (melted)
  • 1/3 cup [75ml] milk


  • 1/2 cup [113g] butter
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 5-6 TBSP sugar (see note below)
  • 1 1/2 TBSP heavy whipping cream
  • 1 TBSP vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla extract (see note below)
  • 3/4 cup [80g] sliced almonds


  • 2 cups [400ml] heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp vanilla pudding powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Mix flour, sugar, yeast, and salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add melted butter, egg, and milk. Mix with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour until it no longer sticks to your fingers.
  2. Knead dough 5-7 times in the bowl until it looks and feels smooth. 
  3. Cover dough with a towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350F/176C.
  5. To make the honey almond topping, melt butter, honey, sugar, and vanilla sugar in a saucepan over medium low heat. Once the butter has melted, add the cream and then mix until the sugar is dissolved. 
  6. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in sliced almonds (and vanilla extract if you're using this instead of vanilla sugar). Keep the topping warm until you're ready to use it.
  7. Place a sheet of parchment paper in an 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) baking pan so the edges hang over the sides. Press dough into the pan and then prick dough several times with a fork.
  8. Pour the topping onto the dough and spread evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes (check at 25 minutes and then bake 5-7 minutes longer as needed). The topping will be golden brown when done.
  9. Let the cake cool in the cake pan for a few minutes. Grab the sides of the parchment paper and transfer the cake to a wire rack. Let the cake cool for 10-20 minutes.
  10. When you can comfortably touch the cake with your fingers, use a long serrated knife to cut the cake lengthwise in two thin layers (see photos above).
  11. Transfer the top layer to a cutting board and use the same serrated knife to cut the top layer (the one with the topping) into 9 pieces. It’s MUCH easier to cut this top layer when the cake is still a warm rather than waiting to cut it when you're ready to serve it (if you wait until after the cake has chilled, you're likely to squish the filling out the sides when you cut it). Let the bottom and top layer pieces cool.
  12. While the cake cools, prepare the filling. Pour the heavy cream into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the pudding powder and vanilla sugar (or extract) and first beat to soft peaks. Taste the filling and, if desired, add more pudding powder or vanilla.
  13. Place the bottom cake layer on a plate. Spread the filling on the bottom cake layer using a palette knife. Then carefully place the 9 top layer pieces on the cream filling, piece by piece. Cover or wrap cake in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour or until the filling is set.
  14. When you're ready to serve the cake, let it warm up for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Be careful not to not press down too hard on the top layer when cutting the bottom layer because the filling will spill out.
  15. This cake is best eaten the day you make it.


1. If using measuring cups to measure the flour, start with 1 ½ cups and add the other ¼ cup as needed. When using measuring cups, the amount of flour scooped into the cup can vary quite a bit. So start with the smaller amount and add more as needed. Likewise, if using metric to measure flour, you might need to add a little more if the cake is initially sticky.

2. I like to add 1 Tbsp of homemade vanilla sugar to the topping. If you do this, only add 5 additional Tbsp of sugar. If you prefer to use vanilla extract instead of vanilla sugar, use 6 Tbsp sugar and 1 tsp extract.

No time to make German Bee Sting Cake from scratch?

No problem, you can order a mix! All you do is add the butter, water, and heavy whipping cream, and then bake it. Click here to check it out!

Bee Sting Cake Ice Cream

If you like the flavor of Bee Sting Cake, you’ll love the Bee Sting Cake Ice Cream recipe below!

It’s super easy to make and the only equipment you need is a jar and a spoon.

It’s especially good when you want a portion-controlled treat or when you’re craving Bee Sting Cake but don’t want to make an entire cake. Enjoy!

a jar of Bee sting cake ice cream with almond topping
Yield: 1-2 servings

Bee Sting Cake Ice Cream

Bee Sting Cake Ice Cream

The flavor of German Bee Sting Cake in an easy no churn ice cream recipe!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Freeze Time 2 hours 1 second
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes 1 second


  • 1/2 cup [120 ml] heavy cream
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP vanilla pudding powder
  • 1 TBSP sliced almonds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt


  1. Pour all ingredients into a small jar that has a lid. (I typically use an 8oz jam jar.)
  2. Stir to combine all of the ingredients.
  3. Add the lid and then shake the jar several times until the cream has thickened. (I usually shake it 20-25 times.)
  4. Place jar in freezer for 1-2 hours.
  5. When you're ready to eat the ice cream, take the jar out of the freezer and let it warm up for a few minutes.
  6. Top with additional honey and almonds (optional).


Click here for my Bee Sting Cake recipe.

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Saturday 25th of December 2021

My cake didn't rise enough to slice in half. I tried the box mix first and it seemed too hard, not cake-like. I used it on the bottom, added cream filling and used your cake for the top layer. I gave it to my son-in-law's family for their Christmas Eve dinner. They loved the layer I made from your recipe. His grandfather is from Germany and said it was "pretty damn close" to the way he remembered it! I did have to substitute cheesecake pudding mix because I didn't have vanilla on hand. I tasted it and it was pretty good. Didn't get any cake because it was all gone! I guess this may become a new tradition.

Cate, International Desserts Blog

Friday 31st of December 2021

I'm so glad you and your family liked the cake! The cake doesn't rise very much so it's a "thin" cake with even thinner layers after you slice it. If you want thicker layers you could use a smaller cake pan or double the recipe (and probably the bake time) or double the recipe and make 2 separate layers but only add the topping to 1 layer. One caution, though...this cake can get very sweet/rich/heavy, so test out thicker layers in advance of serving it to others so you have a chance to adjust the amount of topping and filling as needed. Since you didn't get any the first time, you'll have to make it again! :)


Friday 15th of October 2021

Our church is having a Reformation Day celebration on the 31st and I'm planning to bring this for dessert! Do you think doubling the recipe and using a 9X13 dish work? Everyone is supposed to bring a dessert that has at least 10 servings so that there is enough dessert for everyone, so I'm hoping I can double it that way.


Sunday 24th of October 2021

@Cate, International Desserts Blog, Thank you! I am going to do a test run on my family this week first. :D We have a large family so I'm pretty sure it'll get eaten and I'm definitely sure nobody will mind being my taste tester. :) I'll let you know how it turns out!

Cate, International Desserts Blog

Saturday 16th of October 2021

It could work...I just looked at some cake pan conversions and according to that, a 9x13 can hold almost 2x amount of cake batter of an 8x8. So the yeast cake in this recipe could come out a bit thicker, which should be fine because it's not a thick cake to begin with. I once tried doubling the recipe but didn't use a big enough pan and the filling to cake ratio was way off (too much filling, too much topping) and it came out way too sweet. But I think a 9x13 would work better, and just watch that you don't put too much topping on the cake or use too much filling (you should be able to eye it). And if you do get too much on, cut smaller slices! :) If you want to be really safe, make the cake ahead of time - maybe even with the topping - and see how it turns out. Or make one 8x8 cake and cut smaller's a rich cake so the pieces can be on the small size. If you do make it in the 9x13 pan, let me know how it turns out!

Aldi German Christmas Food Finds - International Desserts Blog

Tuesday 31st of August 2021

[…] to check out their freezer section!), Doppel Keks cookies, little hazelnut cream cookies (so good), Bee Sting Cake, Black Forest […]

Chuck G.

Monday 9th of August 2021

I used this recipe for my Mom's Celebration of Life. Everyone went back for seconds and thought it was fabulous! So pleased with the way it all came together following the direction provided. This was my first attempt at baking Bienenstich and I am exceptionally pleased with the results! I will do this again!

Cate, International Desserts Blog

Monday 9th of August 2021

I'm so glad you liked it! :) I hope baking the cake and sharing it with family and friends made a difficult day a little bit better.


Tuesday 4th of May 2021

Do you use instant vanilla pudding?


Monday 30th of August 2021

@Cate, International Desserts Blog, Can you recommend an actual brand that is NOT yellow?

Cate, International Desserts Blog

Tuesday 4th of May 2021


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