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Heide's Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)

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Chris' Bienenstich ... German Bee Sting Cake ... so Wunderbar!Chris' Bienenstich ... German Bee Sting Cake ... so Wunderbar! Check it out at

Here's a traditional Bienenstich made with a yeast dough and filled with an unusual Caramel Custard Cream ... So Wunderbar! Sent in by one of our Facebook fans, Christopher Matthes, who shared this photo of the one his wife, Heide, made for him. 

This one uses a Brioche dough ... perhaps not a usual German yeast dough, but this sounds so wonderfully buttery and light. This is also definitely not a quick recipe, but with a bit of planning, it shouldn't be that difficult to make. I'm writing it below, just the way Chris sent it to me!

Brad made this as well ...

Another of our Facebook fans, Brad, sent in his photo of Bienenstich after following Heide's recipe. He also included several notes, that I'll include in the NOTES at the bottom of the recipe. You may want to read his notes BEFORE you start baking.

Chris' Bienenstich ... German Bee Sting Cake ... so Wunderbar!

Heide's Bienenstich Recipe (Bee Sting Cake)

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


  • 1½ hours prep
  • 1½ - 2 hours rising time
  • 4 - 12 hours refrigerate 
  • 1 hour dough rising
  • Bake 30 - 35 minutes

Brioche Dough:

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

Caramel Custard Cream:

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

Making the Dough:

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

Making the Custard:

  • In a small bowl, whisk egg and cornstarch, gradually add ⅓ c milk till smooth, set aside.
  • Place remaining 1 c milk in small microwave cup – microwave on high till scalding (1½ - 3 minutes)
  • In a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan combine: sugar and water
  • On medium heat, stir constantly till sugar dissolves
  • 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
  • Remove pan from heat and add hot milk (mix will bubble up)
  • Return pan to low heat and cook, stir constantly till any harden caramel dissolves and mix is smooth.
  • Whisk ¼  c hot caramel mix into egg and cornstarch mix
  • Place all mixture in saucepan, cook over medium heat, whisk constantly, till boil
  • Boil and whisk constantly for 1 minute
  • Remove pan from heat, scrape bottom of pan with spatula and whisk till smooth
  • Whisk in butter till melted
  • Quickly strain custard through fine mesh sieve into medium bowl
  • Whisk in vanilla extract and salt
  • 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)
  • Stir custard mix frequently till slightly chilled (approximately 15 minutes)
  • Cover surface of custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate till ready to assemble 

Homemade Whipped Cream:

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

Cake Assembly:

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

How to eat the Cake:

  • Enjoy with a big glass of milk or a warm cup of coffee

Brad's NOTES regarding this recipe:

  1. 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.
  2. Pour remaining milk/cornstarch mixture in "slowly" to minimize "frothing".
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.

Thanks, Chris, for sending in this recipe. It's definitely on my to-do list. Perhaps I'll make it with my granddaughter when she comes over in a couple of weeks. She's always wanting to make something different!

Brad also wrote:

First attempt, Great. Increase caramel recipe for greater volume between layers.  I toasted almonds separate, mixed in bowl with honey then applied.  As mentioned in earlier message, caution  where and how you add milk/cornstarch mixture to hot caramel. "frothing"  I used a heavy bottomed pan, worked great. Fortunately moved pan to center of our 48" range griddle which helped me recover fluids after "volcanic frothing".  

The Bienenstich that I normally make is a quick one, that doesn't use yeast. Now, this may not be traditional, but it is wunderbar lecker! It certainly satisfies our need for German deliciousness! Take a look at mine here and then decide which one of these delicious Bee Sting Cakes you are going to make! 

Some German Cakes with fruit

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