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  • Writer's pictureBarth Bakery

German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich Kuchen)

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

This traditional German dessert has two thin layers of soft, spongy yeast cake with a thick vanilla pastry cream filling and a crunchy, gooey honey glazed almond topping. Made from a yeasted dough like brioche bread, this authentic German treat features a rich vanilla custard filling and a chewy, buttery, nutty topping. The texture of the cake is quite dense like a doughnut and the yeast cake balances out the sweetness of the filling and topping. With a beautiful texture, a fantastic honey flavor, a deliciously caramelized almond topping, and a fabulously rich vanilla cream filling, this cake is simply heavenly.

Honey Glazed Almond Topping for German Bee Sting Cake
Fresh Baked German Bee Sting Cake
Vanilla Pastry Cream Filling for German Bee Sting Cake
Traditional German Bee Sting Cake
Authentic German Bee Sting Cake
German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich Kuchen)


Yeast Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 2¼ tsp instant yeast (1 packet)

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ¾ cup whole milk, room temperature

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 3 Tbsp honey

Honey-Almond Topping

  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter

  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup honey

  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream

  • ⅛ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste

  • 1¼ cup sliced almonds

Vanilla Pastry Cream Filling

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • Pinch of salt

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch

  • 1¼ cups whole milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter


Yeast Cake

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the milk, eggs, butter, and honey. Stir the batter until it is well combined and comes together to form a soft dough. The batter will look somewhere between a loose bread dough and a thick cake batter.

  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft-free spot for an hour. (The mixture will not quite double in size.)

  3. Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round springform pan. Stir the batter a few times to deflate it slightly, then scrape it into the prepared pan and spread it evenly until it fills the bottom of the pan. Cover again with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free spot for another 45 minutes.

  4. While the cake is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F and make the honey-almond topping.

Honey-Almond Topping

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Combine the butter, sugar, honey, cream, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a gentle, stirring occasionally until the butter has melted. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until the mixture becomes a shade darker, stirring frequently.

  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and almonds. Set aside to cool slightly.

  4. Once the cake has risen and the honey-almond topping has cooled slighty, use a spoon to place small amounts of the topping over the cake batter making sure to cover the entire top of the cake, all the way to the edges. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet.

  5. Bake the cake for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  6. Remove the pan from the baking sheet and plate on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a thin knife around the cake and remove the side of the springform pan to cool completely. While the cake is cooling, make the pastry cream filling.

Vanilla Pastry Cream Filling

  1. In a medium-sized heatproof bowl, mix the sugar, salt, and egg yolks together.

  2. Sift the flour and cornstarch together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste.

  3. In a saucepan, heat the milk just until it begins to simmer.

  4. Remove from the heat and gradually add to the egg mixture, one ladleful at a time, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.

  5. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it starts to boil, whisk the mixture constantly for another 30-60 seconds until it becomes thick.

  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla bean paste and butter. Pour the pastry cream into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Cool to room temperature or place in the refrigerator until ready to use. When ready to use, stir the pastry cream to get rid of any lumps that may have formed.

Bee Sting Cake Assembly

  1. Using a serrated knife, gently cut the cake in half lengthwise.

  2. Using a spoon or piping bag, spread the pastry cream in an even layer over the bottom half of the cake, leaving a narrow edge. Gently place the top layer of the cake, almond side up, on top of the cream layer and press gently to secure in place. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Barth Bakery (Barth Bäckerei) was started around 1933 by my great-grandfather, Gustav Hermann Barth, who was a Master Baker (Bäeckermeister) in Trebnitz, Niederschlesien, Germany. For that reason, we’ve started a small collection of recipes for classic German sweet treats.

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