Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) Recipe

Bee Sting Cake
Bee Sting Cake. © Foodcollection/Getty Images
    65 mins
Ratings (10)

This bee sting cake recipe or bienenstich is popular in German-speaking countries and in Hungary where it has been borrowed from its neighbors.

The cake can be made with or without yeast and filled with pastry cream or whipped cream or a combination of the two as it is here. What is common among the varieties is the honey-butter-almond topping, which creates a crispy, crackly top. If you like honey, this is the cake for you -- it's in the batter and the topping.

Here's a little history of the bee sting cake.

What You'll Need

  • Topping
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • Cake
  • 1 3/4 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces butter, slightly softened
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large room-temperature eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Filling
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large beaten room-temperature egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

How to Make It

Make the Topping

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt 7 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup honey. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and almonds, remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Make the Cake

  1. Heat oven to 375 F. Cut a parchment circle to fit the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Coat pan bottom and sides with cooking spray. Place parchment circle in bottom of pan.
  1. Combine 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream 4 ounces butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in 5 tablespoons sugar, about 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup honey and beat 1 more minute.
  2. Blend in 2 eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and half the flour mixture, and mix briefly. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add 1/2 cup milk, then remaining flour, beating briefly after each addition.
  3. Scrape into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Sprinkle top with remaining 1 tablespoon flour, then pat top of cake smooth with your hand.
  4. Pour reserved topping over batter, gently spreading evenly. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick tests clean. Do not overbake. Cool cake in pan completely on a wire rack.​

Make the Filling

  1. While the cake is baking, make the filling. In the top of a double boiler over medium heat, combine cornstarch, 1 1/2 cups milk and 1/4 cup sugar. Stir constantly until thickened, at least 3 minutes. Add in 1 beaten egg and keep stirring constantly for about 2 minutes until very thick. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract, if using.
  2. Chill in an ice-water bath, stirring occasionally. Place plastic wrap in direct contact with surface of pastry cream and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.
  3. Whip the cream with the cream of tartar and confectioners' sugar until stiff. Add a dollop of cream to the pastry cream and stir to lighten the cream. Then fold in remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate while you prepare to assemble the cake.

Assemble the Cake

  1. Run a knife around the edges of the cooled cake and remove the springform ring. Invert cake onto a plate. Peel off the parchment paper and invert again on a serving platter, so the almond side is showing.
  2. Cut cake in half horizontally and fill with pastry cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve.