This is probably Germanys most favorite cake: Bienenstich – or as you might translate it “Bee Sting”. It is a very special kind of cake because it is made with yeast dough, filled with vanilla cream, and has a topping of deliciously caramelized almonds. Sounds good, right?
Bee Sting takes a while
If you want to bake a Bienenstich for guests, you better start baking early. The dough needs to rise twice, the pudding cream must cool, there is of cause also baking and cooling time for the cake. It’s not a “last minute baking” kind of thing but it tastes best the same day it came out of the oven.
My grandmother used to buy this cake in bulk and then just freeze it in portions. She would thaw it and then put it in the oven for a few minutes to make it taste like fresh.
Something’s in the air
The scent of a Bienenstich in the oven is amazing! I don’t know any cake that creates such a delicious smell in the entire house and in Germany you know there is a bakery nearby just from the scent of the Bienenstich they are selling.
It is a very German tradition to eat Bienenstich in the afternoon at any given day with some coffee. We call it “Kaffe und Kuchen” (coffee and cake) and it’s basically an extra meal during the afternoon. Young mothers will meet with their little ones and while the kids entertain each other the moms sit at the table and enjoy their coffee and cake and are having a nice conversation. Retired couples also enjoy a daily coffee time and even in the offices, at the hospitals etc. people take a break and have their coffee and cake.
To bake a Bienenstich I recommend using fresh yeast if any possible. The rising of the dough is very important since you slice the cake to fill it with the vanilla cream. If it is not high enough, this will be difficult and also, the cake will not have the right texture and taste if the yeast fails – which happens sometimes with dry yeast (at least to me). Yeast needs a warm temperature to grow. If you have your A/C down to 62°F it won’t be warm enough in the house. You should look for a warm at a sunny window or a place outside or heat your oven to 95°F and let the dough rise there.
Why is it called Bienenstich?
I’ve been wondering about this, too: Why the name bee sting? There is a tale about two cities that had a conflict and when the citizens of one town wanted to attack the other, they threw beehives at the attackers from their defense wall. In honor of their victory, they baked this cake. It’s a tale and nobody knows if it’s true but I love good stories.
Pin Bee Sting Cake to Pinterest
Bee Sting – Bienenstich Cake
- 500 g all purpose flour
- 30 g fresh yeast or 1 package dry yeast
- 100 g sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 pinch salt
- 250 ml milk luke warm
- 1 stick butter, unsalted and melted, then cooled
- 1 stick Butter
- 100 g sugar
- 3 tsp. vanilla sugar
- 2-3 tbsp. milk
- 200 g almonds sliced
Vanilla Cream Filling
- 1 package vanilla pudding larg
- 3 cups milk or amount stated on the package
- 250 ml cream
Making the dough
- Put the flour in a large bowl and creat an indention.
- Add the fresh (or dry) yeast into the indention, crumble it if it is a larger piece.
- Pour about half of the milk over the yeast and add a pinch of sugar to it. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
- When the yeast has started to foam, add the sugar, vanilla sugar, two eggs, 2 pinch of salt and the rest of the milk and start to knead a dough.
- After a short knead, add the butter and continue to knead until it is a nice and smooth dough.
- The dough should be soft but not sticky otherwise you need to add a little flour.
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set at a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.
Make the topping
- Melt the butter stick in a sauce pan.
- Add the sugar and vanilla sugar and stir.
- Add the almonds and bring to a boil while stirring constantly.
- Set aside and let cool.
Make the filling
- Cook the vanilla pudding acording to the package. If you use a cold pudding, whipp it up as stated on the package.
- Whipp the cream until it is firm – don’t overdo it or it becomes butter!
- When the pudding has cooled, mix it with the whipped cream.
Bake the cake
- The dough should have rised to about double if it’s previous size. Remove it from the bowl and give it a short knead.
- Preheat the oven to 395°F.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper, make it stick with some butter so it won’t move.
- Place the dough on the baking sheet and with a roling pin start to roll it evenly on the entire surface (see video).
- With a fork, poke holes all over the dough.
- Spread the topping on the top.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. The top should turn a little golden.
- Let cool on a cooling rack.
Assembling the Bee Sting
- Cut the cake into quaters, then slice each quater in halfes.
- Spread a thick layer of the vanilla cream on the lower half of each quater, then place the upper half back on top.
- Your Bienenstich or Bee Sting is ready to eat! Have some coffee with it!