40 In Cakes, Pies & Tarts/ Germany/ Recipes

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. If you’re looking for an easy authentic German dessert that will fly off your cake plate, this is it! 

This authentic German "Bee Sting" cake recipe is one of my all time favorites! It's an easy traditional cake to make. You'll love the honey almond topping and the creamy pastry cream filling! #germanrecipes #cake #intldessertsblog

This post contains affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase or sign up for a program, I may earn small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

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! 

German Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)

German Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)

Yield: 9 slices
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Bake Time: 35 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

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

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup flour (all purpose)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) yeast
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter, divided
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 packet (3.4 oz) vanilla pudding mix

Instructions

  1. Mix flour, sugar, yeast, salt, 1/4 cup melted butter, egg, and milk together. Knead dough a few times (3-6 times) until it looks and feels smooth. 
  2. Cover with a towel and let it rise for 30 minutes (it doesn't rise all that much).
  3. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 350F. To make the topping, melt 1/4 cup butter, honey, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add cream and then mix until sugar is dissolved. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in sliced almonds.
  4. Butter an 8×8 cake pan and then place a sheet of parchment paper inside so the edges hang over. Press dough into the pan. Prick the dough several times with a fork. Pour the almond topping onto the dough and spread evenly. Bake for 35 minutes (at 350F). The topping will be golden brown when done.
  5. Let the cake cool for a few minutes. When you can comfortably touch the topping, use a long serrated knife to cut the cake in two layers. Place the top layer on a sheet of parchment and use the same long serrated knife to cut the top layer into 9 pieces (or 12 if you want very small pieces). It’s MUCH easier to cut the top layer when it’s still a bit warm. 
  6. Add the pudding powder to the heavy cream and beat to stiff peaks. Spread filling on bottom cake layer. Place top cake layer on the cream filling piece by piece. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour or until the filling is set.
  7. When you're ready to serve the cake, be careful not to not press down too hard on the top layer when cutting the bottom layer because the filling will spill out. Enjoy!  

 

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!

 

 

 

 


 

Want More Germany?

Disclaimer: The International Desserts Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my site and helping me make it the best international desserts and travel resource on the internet! 

40 Comments

  • Reply
    Easy Crustless German Cheesecake - International Desserts Blog
    May 22, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    […] German Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake) […]

    • Reply
      Kristina
      October 6, 2018 at 12:48 am

      I made this tonight after stumbling across the recipe on Pinterest. Oh. My. Goodness. So good! I will definitely be making this one again – and especially for company since it looks so pretty and much more complicated than it really is. Thank you for the awesome treat!

      • Reply
        Cate
        October 6, 2018 at 2:57 pm

        I’m so glad you liked it! 🙂 It’s definitely one of my all-time favorites.

    • Reply
      Jen
      October 11, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      Can you double the recipe?

      • Reply
        Cate
        October 11, 2019 at 9:36 pm

        If you use a much larger pan it could work. I tried doubling the recipe over the weekend but used a 9×9 square pan and I didn’t like how it turned out (compared to the recipe above in an 8×8 square pan). The ratio of cake to filling to topping was off. Not terribly surprising, since my recipe calls for an 8×8 square pan and a 9×9 is only 25% larger. So if you do double the recipe, use something larger than a 9×9 – I’m thinking a 9×13 could work. You’d probably need to play it by ear and adjust a bit as you go. If you do double it, let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply
    Audrey
    June 1, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    It is so hard to type with all of this drool on the keyboard from looking at this recipe. YUMMY! You make it look so easy I may actually give it a try.

    Thanks for partying with us on #TastyTuesdays

    • Reply
      Cate
      June 1, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      Hi Audrey! It is SO good!! I have a hard time not devouring the entire cake when I make this. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa Kerhin
    June 2, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Cate, oh my goodness! I seriously am going to try this recipe. You do indeed make it look easy! Thank you for linking up to Happiness is Homemade!

    • Reply
      Cate
      June 2, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      It’s SO good, Lisa! It’s one of my all-time favorite German desserts. If you make it, let me know how you like it!

  • Reply
    10 Must-Try German Desserts & Sweet Treats - International Desserts Blog
    September 6, 2017 at 1:21 am

    […] cake (oh to be 19 again). I still eat it whenever I’m in Germany but I also make it at home! Click here to get step-by-step directions for making Bienenstich cake in your own […]

  • Reply
    Corrie
    January 15, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Hi!! I’m trying to make this cake but have a few questions…
    -The ingredients for the cake list milk, but milk isn’t mentioned in the directions. I assume I mix it in with the flour and yeast mixture?
    -There is an egg in the picture for the cake, but an egg isn’t mentioned anywhere else. Does an egg go in the cake dough mixture?

    • Reply
      Cate
      January 15, 2018 at 8:29 pm

      Ack! Thanks for letting me know – I just updated the recipe. You’re correct, 1 egg and the milk go in the cake dough.

  • Reply
    Sandra
    March 21, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Hi. I would like to make your recipe this weekend. Can you tell me if you are using instant yeast or active dry? And should any of the wet ingredients be warmed to activate the yeast??? Preparing my husband a traditional German meal and would love to include this recipe. Thanks for your help.

    • Reply
      Cate
      March 21, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      Hi Sandra! I used the yeast I had sitting in my cupboard, which I think was instant yeast? I mixed it right in with the other ingredients (which I usually let come to room temperature before using). The research I did suggested you can generally use either type of yeast, though if you use active dry yeast you may want to let the dough rise 10-15 minutes longer. The yeast cake doesn’t rise a tremendous amount, though, and after baking it may look “short” but once you add the filling it’s just right. 🙂 Let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply
    Kurt Odenwald
    March 23, 2018 at 2:25 am

    5 stars
    I have to tell you, that Bienenstich is one of my all-time favorites. I first experienced Bienenstich when I was studying in Tübingen. I was a regular in a similar bakery! I made Bienenstich for our church Oktoberfest and it was a tremendous hit. I am going to try your method of making the feeling, which looks much simpler than what I have been doing.

    • Reply
      Cate
      March 23, 2018 at 10:29 am

      Hi Kurt, I love Tübingen! I spent a month at the Uni there before I moved to Stuttgart. 🙂 The filling in this recipe is simple but SO good. Every time I’ve made this Bienenstich it’s been a big hit. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    April 18, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Is it ok to make ahead and have in the fridge? My son is making this for a project at school and We are trying to make as much as we can ahead of time so it’s not so much the day of

    • Reply
      Cate
      April 18, 2018 at 10:31 pm

      You can make the filling a couple days ahead but I wouldn’t bake the cake with the topping earlier than the day before.

  • Reply
    Bonnie
    April 20, 2018 at 3:36 am

    Has anyone ever tried making the dough part and the almond part seperately, then waiting for the almond part to harden, then breaking it into smaller pieces and crumbling it on top of the filling? Wonder if it would be easier to eat the cake when trying to get a fork through it? I haven’t ever made this cake, but am considering making it soon.

    • Reply
      Cate
      April 20, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      I haven’t tried that but it could work if you layer cake, filling, and then topping. That said, if you cut the cake slices while the cake and topping are still warm, it’s not too hard to eat a slice later if you let the cake warm to room temperature. Let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply
    Maxi
    November 17, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    4 stars
    I just tried this recipe and am very happy with how it turned out. It was so simple and yet looks amazing. I got a little worried that the dough didn’t rise much but according to the comments, it’s normal.
    I’m German myself and usually prefer a filling that is more like pudding and less like cream but this still tastes really nice, as it makes it easier to store at room temperature as well.

    • Reply
      Cate
      November 18, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      I’m so glad you liked the Bienenstich cake recipe! I imagine you could make the filling more pudding-like by replacing some of the heavy whipping cream with milk or adding more pudding powder to the heavy cream? The consistency might change, though. Would be a fun experiment. 🙂

  • Reply
    Genevieve McAuliffe
    December 11, 2018 at 7:43 am

    I so much want to make this recipe but am disappointed that metric measurements aren’t included. Cup measurements vary from country to country and being in Australia, I’m not confident it would work with the recipe. 😞

    • Reply
      Cate
      December 12, 2018 at 11:56 am

      Upgrading my recipe plug-in to include metric is top on my 2019 to-do list! It costs quite a bit extra each year to upgrade but I’m hoping to do it early in the new year. 🙂

  • Reply
    Justin
    December 22, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    5 stars
    One of the filling ingredients is just listed as “cream”. What kind of cream? Thank you for the recipe!

    • Reply
      Cate
      December 22, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      Heavy whipping cream 🙂 (Thanks for letting me know that wasn’t clear – I just updated the recipe.)

  • Reply
    Tracey Meyer
    January 13, 2019 at 2:57 am

    The pudding- instant or cook and serve?

    • Reply
      Cate
      January 14, 2019 at 4:19 pm

      I use instant!

  • Reply
    Emma
    February 13, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Hi, the cake looks absolutely delicious and I cant wait to make it! I was just wondering if you dont need to do anything with the filling and just mix the pudding powder and the heavy cream without cooking it. Thank you 🙂

    • Reply
      Cate
      February 13, 2019 at 7:21 pm

      No cooking needed! Add the pudding powder to the heavy cream and then beat to stiff peaks. 🙂 Enjoy the cake!

  • Reply
    Diana
    August 25, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    5 stars
    I love it! It took me back to my Omas house! I have a small kitchen and no regular oven, so I use my bread machine to do the work for mixing dough and rising, and I used a toaster oven to bake in, so glad recipe is for 8” square, instead of sheet pan, like Omas. It worked wonderfully! I will be making this again! Thank you thank you thank you!

    • Reply
      Cate
      August 25, 2019 at 9:51 pm

      I’m so glad you like it! Great to hear that the bread machine + toaster oven combo worked, great idea!

  • Reply
    Heather
    September 19, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    We are honey bee farmers and would like to try it with only honey for the almond glaze. Actually trying it now. Hope it turns out just as good!

    • Reply
      Cate
      September 20, 2019 at 11:32 am

      I’m sure it’ll still taste great, just less crunchy without the almonds. I’d love to hear how it turns out (and what kind of honey you make and used on your cake)!

  • Reply
    Ella
    October 24, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    We are having an Octoberfest gathering with my family and I am charged with bringing dessert. I really want to make this bee sting cake as it looks so delicious and so authentically German. But I do have a question about the kneading of the dough. You say in the instructions to “Knead dough a few times until it becomes smooth” So, are we working it just enough to bring it together as a dough or do we need to work it (knead it) like we would bread dough until stretchy and elastic? If you could clarify this point for me I would so appreciate it. Thanks! 🙂

    • Reply
      Cate
      October 24, 2019 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Ella! I knead it until the dough looks and feels smooth, so maybe 3-6 times. It’s a little more than just enough to bring it to a dough but definitely not as much as if you were making bread. The dough starts to look and feel smooth pretty quickly, and whenever I’ve made it, it’s a noticeable change. I wouldn’t knead it more than 5-6 times. Hope that helps and that you enjoy this delicious cake!

  • Reply
    Amie
    October 27, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Ok this may sound like a silly question….do you dissolve the yeast before putting it in the other ingredients? It didn’t specify and I just wanted to make sure I did the right thing lol. Thanks in advance! Can’t wait to try this!

    • Reply
      Cate
      October 27, 2019 at 4:45 pm

      I just add it to the dry ingredients!

  • Reply
    Marianne Janiszewski
    November 1, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Ella, I noticed in the recipe for the topping and the filling some ingredients are mentioned twice. Can you clarify this. Thanks

    • Reply
      Cate
      November 2, 2019 at 9:21 pm

      Thank you for letting me know! I’ve been updating recipes using my new recipe plug-in and it seems that something went wrong. Hopefully it all looks ok now!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.