Original Bee Sting Cake Recipe
This original Bee Sting Cake – Bienenstich in German is one of the classic traditional cake recipes in Germany. There are several ways of making this cake. The simple version is preparing sweet yeast dough with a caramelized almond topping (pictured on the left). In some regions of Germany this cake is also known as Butter Cake – Butterkuchen. A more advanced version of this cake has a filling with either a buttercream or a vanilla custard (pictured on the right). I chose to prepare the family recipe which is the simple version, but with a vanilla custard filling. The amount of dough in this recipe makes either one cake on a baking sheet size 11″ x 17″ or two cakes in round spring-forms 11 inches in diameter or square springforms 9.4 inches.
Ingredients for Bee Sting Cake dough:
- 500 g (17.63 oz) of all-purpose flour
- 1 package of dry yeast rapid rise
- 250 ml (8.45 oz) of milk
- 75 g (2.64 oz) of sugar
- 1 package of vanilla sugar OR 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 100 g (3.52 oz) of butter
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 egg size XL
Ingredients for topping for the Bee Sting Cake:
- 200 g (7.05 oz) of butter
- 200 g (7.05 oz) of sugar
- 1 package of Dr. Oetker vanilla sugar OR 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 4-5 tablespoon whipping cream
- 200 g (7.05 oz) of sliced OR slivered blanched almonds
Ingredients for filling for the Bee Sting Cake:
- 1100 ml (1.16 qt) of milk
- 1 vanilla bean OR 2 packages of Dr. Oetker Vanilla Sugar OR 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 3 packages of Dr. Oetker Vanilla Pudding OR 3 packages of Jell-O (each 96 g – 3.4 oz) Vanilla Cook&Serve pudding&pie filling
- 100 g (3.52 oz) of sugar
- 2 packages of “Whip it” stabilizer for whipping cream
- 300 ml (10.14 oz) of whipping cream
Preparation of dough:
Mix flour, yeast, vanilla sugar, sugar and salt. Add in melted butter, lukewarm milk, and egg and work it into the dough using the hooks of your electric hand mixer. Continue mixing until the dough is smooth. It should loosen from the sides and show some bubbles. Cover the dough with a towel and keep it in a warm place. Allow the dough to rise for about one hour, or until it has doubled in size.
When the dough is ready, line the bottom of a baking sheet (I used a sheet size 11” x 17”) with baking/parchment paper. Add an extra 12.5 cm — 5 inches on the shorter sides so that the paper overlaps the baking sheet. Spread the dough evenly onto the sheet using a small rolling pin or using your hands. Fold the overlap of the paper so that it stands up on the sides. It makes it easier to move the cake with the paper from the baking sheet after baking. Set the cake aside.
Preparation of topping:
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add 4-5 tablespoons of whipping cream and stir with a whisk. Add sugar and vanilla sugar or vanilla extract to it. Once the sugar is dissolved add almonds and stir with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are well mixed. Take the saucepan off the heat and let the mixture cool down. Spread the caramelized almond mixture on top of the dough. Let the cake rise for another 20-25 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C – 225°C (392°F – 437°F). Place the cake on the rack one level above middle rack and bake for about 15–20 minutes. When the cake has finished baking use a metal spatula to loosen the cake on each side of the baking sheet immediately so the caramelized almonds does not harden and stick to the sheet. Leave the cake on the baking sheet to cool. When the cake has cooled down, the unfilled version of the cake is finished and you can place it on a serving plate.
If you want a cake with filling, lift the cake with the paper still underneath and place it on a cooling rack while preparing the custard filling.
Preparation of custard filling:
Add the vanilla pudding powder and sugar to the milk and mix it until the vanilla powder is dissolved. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise in half and scrape the seeds out. Add vanilla seeds to the milk mixture. Pour the custard into a saucepan and slowly bring to a boil while continuously stirring with a whisk. When the custard boils, remove from the stove.
Pour the custard in a ceramic or glass bowl and cover it with a cellophane wrap that has been rinsed under cold water. This will help eliminate the skin that builds up on the surface of the custard. Add “Whip it” to the whipping cream and beat until stiff. Add the whipped cream to the chilled custard and mix with your handheld mixer until the custard is smooth.
Use a large knife to cut the cake horizontally all the way through while rotating the cooling rack. (You can also cut the cake in half before cutting it horizontally, which might make it easier). Spread the custard on the bottom part of your cake (the part with no almond topping). Use a larger spatula along the outsides of the cake and a smaller spatula to spread the custard on the inside.
Cut the top of your cake into equal pieces (about 20 pieces if you used a baking sheet) before placing them back onto your cake on top of the filling (see pictures below).
With the help of two large spatulas or a cake lifter, place your Bee Sting Cake on a serving plate. You can also sprinkle some powdered sugar on top. Try also Oma’s Traditional Black Forest Cake and Traditional Frankfurter Kranz Recipe.