Bee Sting Cake is a tried and true German dessert cake recipe. It's a light and airy cake with a rich vanilla cream filling and a crunchy almond topping.
Bienenstich or 'Bee Sting Cake' is a popular, classic German dessert. Similar to Butterkuchen (butter cake), German Cheesecake (Käsekuchen), and Streuselkuchen, it is often served during "Kaffee und Kuchen" - Germany's version of high tea.
This cake looks fancy, but the recipe is really easy to make and perfect for new and seasoned bakers. This cake is for you if you're looking for an easy recipe to impress your friends and family.
Why This Recipe Works
EASE - This Bee Sting Cake recipe version is about achieving big flavors with a simple recipe.
TIME - Hands-on time for this cake is less than 20 minutes.
GERMAN CLASSIC - Bee Sting is one of the most popular cakes in Germany. You'll find it in almost every bakery. This recipe shows you how to bring a little piece of Germany into your home.
For a printable detailed ingredient list, please check the recipe card below.
EGGS - Four large eggs create the base for this batter.
SUGAR - For this recipe, you'll need two types of sugar. Powdered sugar for the batter and granulated sugar for the topping.
FLOUR - When you first read the recipe, you might be surprised to learn how little flour we will use. But you will see it's the perfect amount to create this light and airy cake.
LEAVENING AGENTS - For this recipe, we will use baking powder (and salt). And yes, you've read it correctly. We will use one whole tablespoon of baking powder.
INSTANT PUDDING MIX - Use vanilla-flavored instant pudding mix. This is the base for our cream filling.
HEAVY CREAM - Combine the heavy cream with the vanilla pudding mix until the mixture has the texture of the buttercream. If and only if the mixture has become too thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk.
ALMONDS - you can use raw natural sliced almonds or blanched sliced almonds.
How To Make This Bee Sting Cake Recipe
- THE CAKE - Beat eggs and powdered sugar for several minutes until very creamy. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to the egg mixture.
Pour batter into a greased and floured 9-inch springform pan. Top with almonds and sugar. Bake the cake until golden brown at 350º Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
- THE FILLING - Beat instant pudding mix and heavy whipping cream until the mixture has a buttercream-like consistency.
- THE ASSEMBLY - Remove the springform baking pan and allow the cake to cool completely. Use a long serrated knife to cut the cake horizontally into two layers.
Cover the bottom layer with cream filling. Place the top layer back onto the cake. Done!
PRO TIP: If you find that the filling has become too stiff whole milk in one tablespoon increments. The goal is to have a filling that is firm but easily spreadable.
Curious how to pronounce "Bienenstich" in German? Listen below.
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A Battled Tested Cake - Fun History Of The Bee Sting Cake
Bienenstich is the German word for 'Bee Sting'. So how did a harmless and delicious cake get this name?
Legend has it that the name of this classic German dessert originated in the 15th century.
The story of this cake begins with a taxation dispute between two German towns: Linz Am Rhein and Andernach. To settle the dispute, residents of Andernach planned to attack Linz. (Apparently, Germans took taxes seriously back then!)
On the morning of the planned attack, two apprentice bakers went to the town walls to check on their beehives. The apprentices spotted the would-be attackers.
The quick-thinking apprentices took the beehives and threw them over the city walls at the invaders. The wanna-be attackers got attacked by a bunch of pretty angry bees and were forced to flee. Thus the residents of Linz were able to defend their city successfully.
After the battle was won, the residents collected the honey from the beehives and decided to bake a celebratory cake. They combined honey and sliced almonds to make a delicious topping. And that gave birth to the first Bee Sting Cake.
Note - You might have noticed that our recipe does not include honey. As so often, recipes develop over time. I like this version because it's a lot easier and also gets excellent results.
Instead of a honey almond topping, we use sliced almonds and sugar. And as with so many of my German recipes, my grandmother taught me how to make this easy Bee Sting Cake.
Can you make this recipe in advance?
How Long Does This Cake Last?
Bee Sting Cake is the type of cake that is best stored in the fridge. The cake will stay fresh for 3-4 days. Place leftover slices in an airtight container or a cake carrier.
FREEZING. You can keep Bee Sting Cake in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you are freezing individual slices, separate them with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper.
It's best to freeze the cake the same day you bake it. Freezing the freshest possible cake ensures the cake will still taste fresh and delicious after defrosting.
Recipe Notes & Tips
SUGAR - You will need powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar) for the batter. If you don't have powdered sugar, you can easily make your own.
To make 1 cup of powdered sugar, blend ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Blitz the granulated sugar in a blender until it becomes powdered sugar.
VANILLA BOOST - If you want to boost the vanilla flavor, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the batter. Alternatively, you can also add 1 package of vanilla sugar. My Oma did in her version of this recipe. I feel there's already plenty of vanilla flavor in this recipe, so it's not part of my recipe.
Check out my Vanillekipferl Cookie Recipe, where I discuss vanilla sugar in German baking. And how to make your own using a vanilla bean.
Equipment You'll Need
Springform Pan - Look for a 9 inch springform pan.
READER SUGGESTION: If you have two springform pans, you can divide the batter in half. And then bake the top and bottom separately.
This is a good option if you don't want to slice the cake. You will have to watch your baking times. The first time you do this, check the baking time because it will be shorter. I recommend checking on the cakes after 15 minutes and then every 3 to 5 minutes.
Reminder. To check for doneness, insert a wooden toothpick in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
SERRATED KNIFE - You can use any large (sharp) knife to slice the cake. But I've found that using a large serrated knife works best.
MIXER - You can use a hand or stand mixer. For this recipe, I find it easier to work with my hand mixer.
CAKE CARRIER - This is optional. But it's super convenient to place the cake in the cake carrier and store it in the fridge.
If You Like This Dessert, Try These German Dessert
Butterkuchen - Classic German butter cake.
Strudel Cookies - impress your guests with these easy-to-make cookies that look like you've bought in a fancy bakery.
Engelsaugen Cookies - German Thumbprint Cookies
Vanillekipferl Cookies - These classic German cookies are a real treat.
German Bee Sting Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter and sprinkle with a light dusting of flour. Set aside.
Making The Batter
- Beat eggs and powdered sugar in a large bowl with a mixer until the sugar has dissolved and the egg mixture is creamy. About 5 minutes.
- Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt and continue to beat until well combined. Pour the batter into the pre-greased springform pan. Drizzle the batter with sugar and almonds.
- Bake the cake at 350° Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Use a wooden toothpick to check for doneness. Remove the sides of the springform. Set aside and wait until the cake has cooled.
Making The Filling
- In a medium bowl beat instant pudding mix and heavy cream t until thick, creamy, and easily spreadable. Add a couple of tablespoons of milk if the filling is too thick.
Assembling The Cake
- Use a long, sharp knife to slice the cake horizontally in half. Spread the filling evenly across the bottom layer. Place the top layer back. Serve and enjoy