Wednesday, July 7, 2010

German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich)


Germany lost to Spain in the semifinals of the World Cup.

I refused to listen to Paul the Octopus.

I'm bummed.

I made a cake to celebrate after what I was sure to be a German win. The cake is called Bienenstich, which translates as bee sting cake. It was one of my absolute favorites to buy in the German pastry shops when I lived there. The cake is sort of a sweet bread with a vanilla custard filling topped with honeyed almonds. This recipe tastes just like what I remember.


There was no celebrating, and I'm here by myself eating an enormous piece.

It helps.

Just like I told the Argentine fans, "There's always next time." But, four years is so far away.

I think I'll have seconds.

 In honor of the German side...

I probably shouldn't admit this, but I like to pick off the 
candied almonds first, lick out the custard center, and then
eat the cake.




  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 Tbsps. sugar
  • 1 ½ tsps. yeast
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup water

  • 6 Tbsps. butter
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsps. honey
  • 2 Tbsps. cream
  • 1 ½ cups sliced almonds

  • 2 tsps. unflavored gelatin
  • 2 Tbsps. water
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 3-oz. package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir together until mixture becomes cohesive. Using dough hook, knead for 5 minutes on medium speed. If you don't have a stand mixer, transfer dough from the bowl to a lightly floured work surface, and knead for 5 minutes until smooth. After kneading dough, place in a lightly oiled bowl turning to grease all sides. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for one hour.

Grease two 8-in. round cake pans. Punch down dough and transfer to a lightly oiled surface. Divide in half and roll each piece into a ball. Place one ball in each pan and pat and stretch dough to fill pan. Let rest for 30 minutes. Once dough has rested for about 20 minutes, begin to make topping.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, honey and cream. Bring mixture to a boil stirring constantly. Boil 3 to 5 minutes until mixture turns light amber in color. Stir in sliced almonds, and let cool slightly. If needed, stretch dough again to edges of pans. Spread mixture over the dough in the pans. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes in a preheated 350° oven until edges are golden brown. Let cool in pans for 30 minutes. Run knife around edges to loosen and remove from pans. Let cakes continue to cool completely.

Carefully split each cake in half horizontally using a long serrated knife. Set cakes aside and make filling.

Soften gelatin in the 2 tablespoons water. Heat mixture in the microwave on low until gelatin has melted and the mixture is clear. Let cool slightly.

Beat cream until soft peaks form. Fold a bit of the whipped cream into the gelatin, then fold that back into the remaining whipped cream.

Mix the instant pudding with the milk and vanilla stirring for 2 minutes. Immediately fold the whipped cream/gelatin mixture into the pudding. Work quickly because the pudding will begin to set up. Fill the cakes. You can serve immediately, but I prefer it once it's had a chance to chill for a while.


  1. Thanks Curtis for this wonderful recipe!!!

  2. Hey Long Lost Neighbor, Every once-in-a-while I just need to be inspired and I usually end up here! Think I'm going to try this for my friend's Mission Party, he's going to Frankfurt and I'm a wee bit jealous. Since there's nothing like treats to bring comfort in such cases I will share at least one of the cakes. Hope you guys are doing great!

  3. Emily, Please let me know how it turned out. This was one of my favorite cakes when I was on my mission. I used to use it as an incentive. If my companion and I accomplished our daily goals, we got to stop by a bakery. It certainly helped the work move along.


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