Bee Sting Cake

Total Time

Prep: 45 min. + rising Bake: 30 min. + cooling


8 servings

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
The bee sting cake, or bienenstich, may look daunting, but it's well worth the effort. Take the steps one at a time and you'll be surprised how easy it is to make. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • CAKE:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup sliced almonds


  1. For custard filling, in a small heavy saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks. Whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in butter until melted. Immediately transfer to a clean bowl; stir in vanilla. Cool 30 minutes. Press plastic wrap onto surface of filling; refrigerate until cold.
  2. Whisk custard gently. Fold in half the whipped cream, then fold in remaining whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. Meanwhile, while custard is chilling, make dough. In a large bowl, mix sugar, yeast, salt and 1 cup flour. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat on medium speed 1 minute. Add eggs; beat on high 1 minute. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
  4. Turn dough onto a well-floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  5. While dough is rising, make almond topping. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, honey and sugar. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; stir in almonds. Cool slightly and set aside.
  6. Punch down dough. Transfer to a greased 9-in. springform baking pan, pressing to evenly fill pan with dough. Spoon almond mixture over dough and gently spread to cover entire surface. Cover pan with a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, 25-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake until topping is golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Loosen side from pan with a knife. Cool 1 hour longer.
  7. Remove cake from base of springform pan. Using a long serrated knife, cut cake horizontally in half; spread filling over bottom layer. Replace top of cake. Serve immediately. Chill leftovers.

Bee Sting Cake Tips

What does bienenstich mean?

Bienenstich is the German word for bee sting. There are multiple legends about how this delicious honey-almond dessert was named. Some claim a German baker created this cake recipe and bees were instantly attracted to it, which resulted in the baker getting stung. Another story says that during a long-ago battle, German villagers defended themselves by dropping beehives from their city walls onto the attackers. The other army fled and the townspeople celebrated by baking (and eating!) this cake.

What are other German desserts?

Try your hand at some of our other favorite German dessert recipes the next time you bake: Oma’s Apfelkuchen (Grandma’s Apple Cake), Lebkuchen and Rich Fruit Kuchens.

Is there an easier way to make bee sting cake?

To take a shortcut in this bee sting cake recipe, skip making the homemade custard and use a vanilla pudding mix instead. Proceed with the recipe as directed by folding the whipped cream into the custard before filling the cake.

Research contributed by Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 601 calories, 33g fat (17g saturated fat), 183mg cholesterol, 333mg sodium, 65g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 3g fiber), 13g protein.