Bienenstich Shopping Tips
Be sure to purchase the correct flour a recipe calls for – flours differ in gluten or protein content, making each suited for specific tasks.
Bienenstich Cooking Tips
Insert a toothpick into the center of cakes, bar cookies, and quick breads to test for doneness – it should come out clean or only have a few crumbs clinging to it.
- 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup warm milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅜ cup heavy whipping cream
- ⅜ cup honey
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ⅝ cup sliced almonds
- 2 cups pastry cream
Combine the yeast, and the warm water set aside to proof for 5 minutes.
Cream 3/4 cup butter and sugar until light. Beat in the eggs and yolks one at a time. Add the vanilla, milk, sour cream, and yeast. Beat until smooth. Add the flour a little at a time to form a soft dough. Add all of the flour, and continue to beat until elastic, about 8 minutes. Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 50 minutes. Can be placed in the refrigerator overnight instead.
Beat down the dough, and divide into two pieces. Place each in a buttered 9 inch square pan. Brush the top of each with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Cover and let rise until doubled.
For the glaze, place the brown sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, cream, and honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat add the lemon juice and almonds. Let cool slightly. Drizzle the warm glaze, not hot, over each of the cakes.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 minutes, or until the nuts are golden. Cool on a rack.
Split the cakes lengthwise using a serrated knife, and fill with the pastry cream. Sandwich cakes back together and serve.
Classic German Bienenstich
Today’s recipe is a request from Debbie, one of our lovely community here on Days of Jay! I actually can’t believe I haven’t already shared this recipe with you as a Classic German Bienenstich or Bee Sting Cake is one of the most popular tea-time treats here in Germany. With thick and luscious vanilla cream sandwiched between two layers of light and sweet yeast dough, all topped with crunchy honey almonds, Bienenstich is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser.
While nobody can say for sure who invented Bienenstich or how it got its name, the popular legend is that it was baked in celebration of two bakers apprentices from the town of Andernach who chased off an attacking army from Linz by throwing bees nests at them! Whether this is the truth or a flight of fancy is lost to the mists of time.
Bienenstich is not at all difficult to make, though it does take a little time as you are dealing with a couple of different processes. Firstly a sweetened yeast dough, then a filling of pastry cream or vanilla custard and the nut topping. This means here are rising and setting times, but don’t worry as the actual hands-on work is very quick. You can even make up the filling the night before, as it will keep for a day or two in the fridge.
Like many traditional German cakes, Bienenstich is often made as a huge baking-tray sized cake. I prefer to bake it in a round cake tin as you get more beautiful slices, not to mention there is only so much cake the two of us can eat (hint: quite a lot). It’s also easier to use the ring of the tin to hold the vanilla cream in place as it sets.
Being a classic of the German kitchen there are very few variations of Bienenstich floating around, after all, why improve on perfection? I do think that infusing the cream with a liqueur, or perhaps orange blossom water could give it a lovely twist.
Have you ever tried a bee-sting cake? Let me know in the comments below! xJ
German Cake Recipes
Looking to bake up something sweet for the family, to serve to friends, or just to indulge in yourself? Try out an authentic German cake recipe for your next dessert!
From sweet and crumbly to rich and chocolaty, we have loads of great German cake recipes for you to try - most of which aren't too difficult to make at all!
German Cheesecake (Käsekuchen)
For a classic German dessert, you've got to try German-style Cheesecake - called Käsekuchen in German. This cheesecake is lighter and fluffier than most North American versions.
Made with quark - a German dairy product you can make yourself - this cake surprises with a hint of lemon zest and a buttery crust!
Streuselkuchen (Classic German Crumb Cake)
Covered in delicious "Streusel", Streuselkuchen is definitely on the list of classic German yeast cakes.
This easy to make yeast cake - also known as a coffee cake or crumb cake - is soft at the base and crunchy and sweet on top!
It's the kind of cake that gets served when you go over for "Kaffee and Kuchen" (coffee and cake) at the grandparent's house!
German Apple Cake (Apfelkuchen)
Starting off with a classic German cake, this delicious German apple cake with a hint of sweet and delicious crumble on top is the perfect dessert.
It's made from classic baking ingredients as well as apples and cinnamon. Although it has a really fancy look, this cake is actually fairly easy to make!
Bienenstich (German Bee Sting Cake)
Got a thing for sweet honey, crispy almonds, and a delicious vanilla pudding filling? You need our German Bee Sting Cake Recipe!
This multi-layered dessert looks fancy and complicated but it's actually relatively simple to make. The simple butter cake base is always a hit - and the browned almonds on top make for a nice crunch when you break through.
Legend has it that Bienenstich got its name because the bees were attracted to the honey in the recipe - and stung the German baker who first made it!
Kalter Hund (No-Bake Chocolate Biscuit Cake)
This rich chocolaty no-bake cake is a classic German cake recipe that was popular when Lisa was a child. Definitely not a healthy cake option, Kalter Hund is made from crispy butter biscuits/cookies layered with sweet chocolate.
Served chilled, the combination of crunchy and smooth textures are a delight to any chocolate lover! Since it has to be served right out of the fridge, this cake is best served at home.
Marble Cake (Classic German Marmorkuchen)
Did you know that marble cake actually originates in Germany? It's also a relatively easy cake to make. Complete with a golden-brown crust, the chocolate and vanilla swirls inside make every slice artsy and unique!
It serves well with whipped cream or powdered sugar, making it a popular simple option for "Kaffee and Kuchen" (coffee and cake).
German Butter Cake (Butterkuchen)
This light and yeasty German butter cake is an easy and classic German cake recipe. It's made from a simple yeast dough - and lots of butter - and finished off with sugar and sliced almonds that brown up to form a crispy, sweet top!
Butter cake is one of these classic sheet cakes that you make when you have lots of people to feed and aren't sure about their preferences.
Since it's a simple cake with basic ingredients and no fruit or cream, it stores well for a few days and is easy to transport, too!
Moist Chocolate Zucchini Cake
While this is not a classic German recipe, it's modified from a chocolate zucchini cake recipe that Lisa's German grandma used to make. It was her favorite cake recipe for years.
Rich and chocolaty yet still soft and moist, this chocolate zucchini cake is absolutely delicious. It's made from finely shredded zucchini (that you likely won't even taste if you peel it) and topped with a creamy chocolate icing!
Easy Lemon Cake
While the exact origin of lemon pound cake is uncertain, it's believed that it originated in Europe. And to this day it's a very popular cake to make in Germany, too!
This moist lemon cake recipe is easy to make and sure to be a hit with any lemon lover! The simple, drizzled icing gives it a delicious sweet flavor. It's amazing how far a little real lemon zest and a handful of other ingredients can go.
Bienenstich – German Bee Sting Cake
Bienenstich or Bee sting cake is a German dessert made of sweet yeast dough with a baked-on topping of caramelized almonds and filled with a vanilla custard, Buttercream or cream. The cake may have earned its name from its honey topping: according to one legend, a bee was attracted to it, and the baker who invented the cake was stung.
2 cups milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
4 tbsp butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
4 tbsp whipping cream
1. Heat the milk with the sugar until almost boiling. Stir to dissolve sugar and be careful to keep the heat at medium to low so that you don’t burn on the bottom.
2. Whisk the eggs together with the flour and cornstarch until smooth.
3. Temper the egg mixture by gradually adding about 1/2 a cup of the hot milk to the eggs, whisking constantly (otherwise you’ll end up with scrambled eggs). Then gradually stir the egg mixture into the rest of the milk in a thin stream, whisking constantly.
4. Keep stirring until mixture starts to thicken but do not let it boil. When it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
5. Pour into a bowl. Stir a few times. Place plastic wrap over the custard, so that it is touching the custard while it cools (this prevents a skin from forming).
6. When ready to assemble the cake, whip the whipping cream until very stiff, but stop whipping before it becomes clumpy and starts to turn into butter. Stir 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cold custard. Fold the rest into the custard. Do not over mix.
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Line a 9-inch (22 cm) springform pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy add vanilla.
3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt mix into the egg mixture.
4. Heat the milk and butter until very hot (not quite boiling). Add the hot milk/butter to the batter.
5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Top with Almond Topping and allow to cool while preparing the filling.
In a medium saucepan, heat together the butter and brown sugar and the whipping cream until it just comes to a boil (should be a light caramel color). Add the almonds. Spread onto the baked cake as even as you can (this is easiest while the cake is still warm and in the pan).
When the cake has cooled, remove cake from pan and slice in half crossways to make two layers. Place bottom layer cut side up on cake plate and spread with filling. Top with the second layer with the almond glazed side up. Refrigerate until time to serve.
Authentic German Recipes
Basic cooking and baking with these authentic German recipes are easy. Choose from hundreds of authentic German recipes all home cooked by Oma. Pick from a variety of appetizers, soups, main dishes, side dishes, salads and desserts to create an unforgettable meal. The starter could be one of the soups. Afterward followed by an authentic sauerbraten served with yeast dumplings and red cabbage and ending with a pastry or pudding.
Oma’s recipes are easy to prepare. First, you find the list of ingredients and hints how and where to find them or what to use as a substitute. Pictures show step by step how to prepare the food and what gadgets to use before finishing the dish.
You will find traditional recipes for holidays, festivities, and everyday cooking as well as for a barbecue in the garden and typical party snacks. The desserts are consisting of a variety of cakes, pastries, fruit, puddings and of course the famous German Christmas cookies and stollen.
Browse through these traditional German recipes, and I am sure you will find the one or other dish that you like, and that might remind you of your childhood or your Oma.
Best Bienenstich Recipes - Recipes
I'm sure that this is a staple recipe in most Mennonite households. . . .so it needs to be included here as well. I was merrily putting this together yesterday. I was half way finished when I suddenly remembered that I originally got the recipe from Anneliese. I emailed her and told her that I was making her recipe, I would take the picture and send it to her and she could post it. She graciously told me to go ahead and post it myself.
- 4 farm fresh eggs
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch Salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Beat the eggs and sugar together really well in a large bowl. Beat them until they are thick.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Stir this into the beaten eggs and sugar.
- Heat the milk and butter till very hot, not quite boiling.
- Add the hot milk/butter to the batter.
- Pour into a large shallow greased and parchment papered pan.
- Bake at 350 F for 15 - 20 min.
- In a medium saucepan, heat together the butter and brown sugar and the whipping cream until it just comes to a boil.
- Add the toasted coconut and the almonds.
- Spread onto the baked cake as even as you can.
- Broil carefully for a few minutes until it is nicely browned. Do not walk away from your kitchen.
- 2 cups of whipping cream (or the remainder of a 500 ml container)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- a packet of whipping cream stabilizer or 2 tablespoons of instant vanilla pudding
- Whip the filling together.
- Take the cake out of the pan with the paper on. Set it on the counter and with a long serrated knife slice it in half. Very carefully slide your hand under the top layer and slide it off as best you can.
- Put the whipped cream on the bottom layer and then slide the top layer back on top.
- Set it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
- This actually freezes really well and cuts very easy when partially frozen. I did this to take the picture.
oh my. that is one gorgeous cake there! That is better than any restaurant dessert for sure! You are such a photographer too. making it look so pleasing and tempting.
Scrumptious looking cake! This Mennonite home never had that cake recipe. Now it does and it will be made for a special occasion!
Thank you Lovella.
Lovella, you are kind to acknowledge me, but I don't even remember . and after all these years, it's definitely yours!!
Your photo is beautiful!
One thing I've done is to pour the batter into two spring-form pans.
That way you have two beautiful round cakes for a special occasion, and all the decorating is done. The horizontal slicing is also easier this way, dealing with a smaller size. Like you said, it's easier to slice into serving pieces when it's partially frozen. using a sharp serrated (sp?) knife in a sawing motion, rather than forcing it down. Very yummy!
(For a short time I baked it this way for a local German restaurant, before the owners retired.)
This is omnious for me. I had inquired yesterday if one of the cooks I was following on this site knew of a good Bienenstich recipe. She sent me this one which looks very close to the one I remember. The ominous thing here is that the wonderful woman, close friend of our family (whom I called my "Tante" - aunt) who used to make this was also named Anneliese. She is long passed on (since 1976), but this really hit home for me. I will definitely try this recipe. From the photo, it looks very much like hers, and yes, she usually used two spring form pans as well. The only difference is that she used a custard filling instead of whipping cream. She would serve whipping cream with it (a dollop on each slice), but the inside was more of a vanilla pudding/custard type. It was yellow, not white. The rest of it - crust, and topping, looks very much like hers.
Yum! This is basically the same recipe that I use, which I got from my mom. She often bakes about 10 of them at a time for funerals or weddings! The size of the "large shallow greased and parchment papered pan" is an 11" x 17" cookie sheet. I love the idea of putting it into two round spring form pans too.
this was going to be one of my postings. my oma loved beinenstich and it reminds me of my oma. now i must compare recipes/ ho how i would love a piece RIGHT NOW.
Oye! That looks good. My mouth is watering.
i've made this recipe a few times. well, not this exact one, but one similar. raving reviews each time!
love this version too!
thanks for all teh great recipes!
I tried making a different Bee Sting Cake recipe today and was disappointed. Then I came across your site. I am going to make this cake. I will let you know how it turns out. It is wonderful that I can get and try a recipe that has been in Anneliese's family for 30 years! I also saw some other recipes on your site I must try!
My father-in-law is from East Prussia. He told wonderful stories from his childhood how he and his family enjoyed Bienenstich in their Motherland. I am the baker in the family and everybody asked me to make this cake for his 81st Birthday. I terribly worried because it seemed very responsible for me, to bake something I have never tried myself. But I am always up for a challenge. I checked several recipes online and found this one to be the most reasonable and understandable.
My in-laws’ eyes got round when I brought this cake to the celebration party. My father-in-law said that it tasted exactly like the cakes from his childhood in 1939. Even my husband – an American – said he had never eaten any cake as tasty as this one. It is very well balanced, not terribly sweet or fat, like some cakes from the store. And it is not difficult to make. It just takes some of your time and attention.
The celebration was successful. This recipe is a keeper in our family. Thank you, Lovella.
I found your blog after searching for Mennonite recipes on-line. This looks ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! We are doing a study (homeschooling) this year about Mennonites that came to our country. What would you say are the "must try" recipes from the Mennonite background? I'd love your input as we seek to pull a few meals together for each of our provinces. (I have a link to my e-mail on my site, if you like. I don't tend to come back and read comments much.) I'd greatly appreciate any input you can offer. Blessings!
So, this isn't really a Bienenstich cake at all, just a white cake with pudding filling and coconut/almond topping. A real Bienenstich has yeast batter, and it is supposed to have honey on the top. It is called a Bienenstich or "bee sting" cake because of the honey (made by bees, get it?). Also, I have never heard of one with coconut.
Anonymous - thank you for your comment regarding the name. It's interesting how recipes change over time and keep the same name. Sometimes the name gets changed for one reson or another and that doesn't seem fair either. This recipe, for example, had been handed down like this with this name and is well known by that name in our particular area.
i have tried this recipe 2 times today..it is to flat to cut in half, the topping - how long do you cook it? it's crumbling off the cake everytime i touch it. this is a dissaster and i haven't even got to the whipped cream yet.. and i do a lot of baking - this recipe is not that good!
i did brown the topping and it is very crumbly - i thought is should stay sticky. i put it in the frreezer for awhile and then cut it and put the whipped cream in. it's on a tray ready for a party - looks a mess but hope people can eat it. don't know it i would try this again - think i would just pour the whipped cream on top.
Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich)8-12 40 minutes 30 minutes 70 minutes
Legend of course results in conflicting stories of how this Bee Sting Cake got its name. One has German bakers from the 15th century who lobbed beehives at raiders from a neighboring village, successfully repelling them, and celebrated later by baking a version of this cake named after their efforts. The cake may also have earned its name from its honey topping: according to one legend, a bee was attracted to it, and the baker who invented the cake was stung.
1 cup + 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup coconut oil, melted
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
1¼ cups milk (cow, soy, almond, or rice milk)
1 large egg
5 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons coconut oil1, melted
5 tablespoons sugar
3¾ teaspoons honey
3¾ teaspoons milk
pinch of salt
¾ cup + 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
Bee Sting (Bienenstich)
2. Add yeast and sugar. Scald milk, stir in butter or margarine and cool to lukewarm.
3. Pour over flour, add the egg and beat until smooth.
4. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size.
5. Punch down dough and roll into a 10" round.
6. Place in a 10" X 3" springform pan.
7. Cover and let it rise again in a warm place until it doubles in size.
8. Once the cake has doubled, place sugar, butter or margarine and almonds in a saucepan.
9. Cook over medium heat approximately five minutes until butter and sugar have melted.
10. Take if off the heat, add two tablespoons milk and cool to lukewarm.
11. Spread over the top of the cake and bake in a preheated oven at 375 F for 30 minutes.
12. Loosen the edge with a knife, take the cake out of the pan and cool.
13. Prepare pudding according to the package's directions using 1 1/2 cup milk.
14. Set aside to cool. Once the cake is cold, cut it into two layers.
15. Spread the cold pudding in the middle and replace the top layer. Serve. Makes one 10" X 3" cake.
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Hi, I’m baker bettie!
I’m a trained chef and baking educator. My goal is to help you build baking confidence through teaching foundational baking techniques, approachable baking science, and classic recipes.