Bienenstich (German Bee Sting Cake)

Bienenstich via http://underthebluegumtree.comI love it when you find a fabulous recipe in the most random of places.

Last weekend, me and the OH went to a German themed pub. Now I’ll hold my hands up and admit I’m a food snob. Themed pubs are not my usual eating establishment of choice. But it was late and everywhere else was packed out. So the German pub it was.

A plate of sausages, a stein of beer and a good dosage of 80’s electro-pop later, we were actually having a pretty good time so decided to brave the dessert menu. The OH plumped for the Bienenstich for the simple reason that we didn’t have a clue what it was. A fortuitous decision as it turned out.

For Bienenstich, (or ‘bee sting’ as it translates into English) just happens to be one of the most delicious, light-as-a-feather cakes I’ve ever tasted. Rather than sponge, the cake is made from an airy, sweet brioche dough which is filled with a vanilla creme patissiere and topped with a layer of crunchy flaked almonds cooked in butter and honey.

If a pub dessert could be that good, I just had to see how amazing a homemade version could be and a quick Google led me to this post by Debby from A Feast for the Eyes and published on Ask Chef Dennis.

Debby’s recipe produces a gorgeous Bienenstich. Every bit as light and fluffy as that slice I ate in the pub. Plus I loved how the butter and honey caramelised around the edges of Debby’s version to give a truly decadent and sticky topping.

My only word of advice would be to make that custard filling thick. Really thick. Thicker than you think it needs to be when you are stirring it on the hob. Otherwise when you put the layers of the Bienenstich together, your beautifully crafted creme patissiere will splurge all out of the sides like mine did on the first attempt.

Bienenstich via

You can find Debby’s wonderful and thoroughly recommended Bienenstich recipe here.

I am also entering this post into this month’s Classic French Challenge over at Blue Kitchen Bakes as the theme is brioche.


  1. Your Bienenstich looks great. Exactly what I expected to see when I saw the link. I didn’t have a Bienenstich for ages, yet to speak about trying to make one myself. Oh, I never tried. However, Bienenstich really tastes luvly!

  2. Um, wow! I was feeling smug that I managed to make brioche and now you’ve shown me that I’ve only scratched the surface. I’m properly impressed – thanks so much for taking the time to write it up and share it.

    • Ah, good point! I actually didn’t use liqueur (I forgot to mention that, doh!) as I didn’t detect any in the version I ate in the pub and I liked the simplicity of the brioche, vanilla custard and nuts. If I had to pick one though, I would go with brandy – again just for simplicity of flavour. But I would be interested to hear how it fairs with any of the suggested liqueurs.

      • Brandy is a good choice for simplicity but base on the ingredients in the cake, Amaretto would also be a good choice –to echo the flavor of almond in the cake since the topping is almond flavored. Your photos are just gorgeous!

  3. That looks amazing! I’d never have thought to make a cake from brioche dough, but I guess it makes sense if you think about it. I’ll have to bear this one in mind for future reference.

  4. Fantastic! And I will overlook the fact that it is a German recipe for a French challenge🙂 I have a recipe for bee sting cake in one of my magazines and after seeing yours I’m going to have to dig it out. Thanks for entering into Classic French and sorry I’m so late stopping by!

  5. I made Nigella’s creme patissiere yesterday and it splurged out the sides – I was devastated! Tasted fantastic, but I was gutted. I will heed your advice next time. Your recipe sounds fantastic!

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