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. If you’re looking for an easy authentic German dessert that will fly off your cake plate, this is it!
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!
And you don’t need to go to a German bakery to get it. You can easily make it at home. This is one of those German desserts that looks complicated and impressive but it’s actually very easy to prepare.
Everyone who tries this German Bee Sting Cake LOVES it. Whenever I make it, it disappears quickly!
When I lived in Stuttgart I walked by a little corner bakery every 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 I was back in Stuttgart and 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.
That’s ok, though. I had a slice elsewhere in Stuttgart and then made it when I got back to the US. 🙂
What is Bee Sting Cake?
Bienenstich Kuchen – or Bee Sting Cake – is a traditional German dessert comprised of two 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, and here’s what it looked like:
My version is a little different. First, I make mine in an 8×8 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).
And, 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 the square cake and slices make me think of Stuttgart. That said, you can absolutely make this cake using a round cake pan, 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 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 way 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 for a few minutes. Just long enough so you can touch it. Slice the cake into two layers (the layers will be thin – see photos below) and then cut the top part of the cake (the part with the honey almond topping) into 9 pieces.
This cake is SO much easier to cut while the cake is 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 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 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!
How to Make Authentic Bienenstich Kuchen (Traditional German Bee Sting Cake Recipe)
The first step is to make the yeast dough. To do that, mix flour, sugar, yeast, salt, melted butter, egg, and milk in a bowl. When it forms a dough, knead it a few times until it looks and feels smooth. I usually do this 3-6 times right in the bowl.
Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough sit in warm place for 30 minutes.
Enjoy a cup of coffee, tea, wine, whatever for 15 or so minutes then pre-heat the oven to 350F. While the oven is heating and the dough is rising, prepare the topping by melting butter, honey, and and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the heavy cream and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove saucepan from the heat, add the sliced almonds, and stir.
Add parchment paper to your 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) and then press the dough into the pan. Use a fork to prick the dough several times. Then pour the almond topping onto the cake. Bake at 350F for about 35 minutes or until the topping is a nice golden brown.
While the cake is baking, pour cream and pudding powder into the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) and beat to stiff peaks. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
When the cake is finished baking, let it cool for a few minutes. When you can comfortably touch the top of the cake with your fingers, use a long serrated knife to cut the cake into 2 slices. Transfer the top slice (with the almond topping) to a cutting board and carefully cut into 9 slices. It’s so much easier to cut the top slice while it’s warm than if you let it cool!
Place the bottom slice on your cake plate and then spread the cream topping on the cake. Finally, place each slice on the cream. 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!
No time to make German Bee Sting Cake from scratch?
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