Heide's Bienenstich Recipe (Bee Sting Cake)

Here's Heide's traditional Bienenstich made with a brioche yeast dough and filled with an unusual Caramel Custard Cream ... Wunderbar!

This was sent in by one of our Facebook fans, Christopher Matthes, who shared this photo of the one his wife, Heide, made for him. 

Prep Time

90 minutes

Bake Time

35 minutes

Total Time

125 min + rising time


Makes 8 - 10 servings


Brioche Dough:

  • ¼ cups whole milk
  • ⅓ cups + 1 tbsp honey, divided
  • 1½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cups + 2 tbsp bread flour, divided
  • ½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds

Caramel Custard Cream:

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1⅓ cups whole milk, divided
  • ⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ½ tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream


*Paddle attachment for mixer is best, otherwise stir by hand

Making the Dough:

  1. Small sauce pan add: Milk and 1 tbsp honey
  2. Heat to 110°F
  3. Pour mix into electric mixing bowl and sprinkle over yeast
  4. Let stand approximately 10 minutes, until yeast is creamy
  5. Paddle attachment – low speed gradually 
  6. add: eggs, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, add all but 2 tbsp of bread flour
  7. Mix till dough is smooth and elastic (medium speed). Should be very soft.
  8. Transfer to work surface and knead by hand to ensure butter is completely incorporated into dough.
  9. Shape dough into a ball and transfer to medium bowl with buttered sides.
  10. Cover with plastic and set in warm place (1½ - 2 hours), until doubled in size.
  11. Punch dough down to deflate, knead a few times
  12. Return dough to bowl, cover, refrigerate at least 4 hours (up to 12 hours)
  13. Dough should double in volume, if not, let dough stand at room temperature till it does.
  14. Butter bottom and sides of a 9” springform pan
  15. Shape dough into a ball, smooth side up, flatten ball gently with palm till dough covers bottom of pan
  16. Cover pan and let dough rise until its puffed (approximately 1 hour)
  17. Pre-heat oven 350° F
  18. In a small sauce pan, heat up ⅓ cup honey till warm, brush over top of dough, sprinkle with almonds
  19. Bake 30-35 minutes, till a lovely golden brown and toothpick comes out clean
  20. Cool cake in pan, set on wire rack approximately 15 minutes. 
  21. Remove cake from pan and cool completely on rack.

Making the Custard:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk egg and cornstarch, gradually add ⅓ c milk till smooth, set aside.
  2. Place remaining 1 cup milk in small microwave cup – microwave on high till scalding (1½ - 3 minutes)
  3. In a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan combine: sugar and water
  4. On medium heat, stir constantly till sugar dissolves
  5. Increase heat to high and cook without stirring and occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, till syrup caramelizes and turns golden amber color
  6. Remove pan from heat and add hot milk (mix will bubble up)
  7. Return pan to low heat and cook, stir constantly till any harden caramel dissolves and mix is smooth.
  8. Whisk ¼  cup hot caramel mix into egg and cornstarch mix
  9. Place all mixture in saucepan, cook over medium heat, whisk constantly, till boil
  10. Boil and whisk constantly for 1 minute
  11. Remove pan from heat, scrape bottom of pan with spatula and whisk till smooth
  12. Whisk in butter till melted
  13. Quickly strain custard through fine mesh sieve into medium bowl
  14. Whisk in vanilla extract and salt
  15. Set bowl with caramel mix in a large bowl filled with ⅓ of the way filled with ice water (don’t let water get into mixture)
  16. Stir custard mix frequently till slightly chilled (approximately 15 minutes)
  17. Cover surface of custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate till ready to assemble 

Homemade Whipped Cream:

  1. Place metal mixing bowl along with whisk attachment into freezer for 15 minutes prior to making whipped cream
  2. Beat ½ cup heavy whipping cream at high speed till medium peaks form

Cake Assembly:

  1. Use a long serrated knife to cut cake into 2 layers
  2. Caramel custard, beat vigorously with rubber spatula till smooth
  3. Gently fold whipped cream into caramel custard
  4. Spread caramel cream over bottom layer of cake (thick layer)
  5. Top with other cake layer
  6. Sprinkle top of cake with powdered sugar

Brad's NOTES regarding this recipe:

  • Frothing is a correct note but caution should be to pour mixture in slowly or allow enough time for caramel to cool before adding Cornstarch/milk mixture avoiding a volcanic reaction. When adding Milk/Cornstarch mix to Caramel, place pan aside away from heat as in recipe, where you can clean-up if needed.  Wish I had had that on video.
  • Pour remaining milk/cornstarch mixture in "slowly" to minimize "frothing".
  • Increase recipe for Caramel filling.  9" cake, mine was on the thin side with 3/8 thick. Cake is on the dry side needs more filling 1/2" or more.
  • I toasted almonds on a pan separately, then mixed honey-coating the almonds.  Carefully spreading on top after cake finished.  Leave cake form on while applying Honey/almond topping. 
  • As all oven temps vary, watch your cake so it does not get over cooked. Mine could have come out 3-4 minutes earlier than the recommended time in the recipe.

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