Bee sting cake is a delicious German dessert comprising a yeasted cake topped with honey and almonds and filled with a sweet pastry cream; it’s the perfect dessert for your Oktoberfest festivities!
When my friend Milena asked me a few weeks ago if I wanted to participate in her Oktoberfest Bash recipe round-up my immediate reaction was OF COURSE! Of course I want to have fun planning delicious Oktoberfest recipes with some of my favorite blogger friends.
My second reaction was what the heck do Germans eat for dessert?
This is something I feel I should know, because I am one FULL quarter German.
The only German dessert I could think of was this pudding-type thing my dad raves about but I really didn’t want to make that. . .it’s called herrencreme, which to me sounds like it should be made with creamed herring. No thank you. The English translation, “gentleman’s cream,” is no better.
(Herrencreme is actually a vanilla pudding spiked with rum and is quite good but I just couldn’t bring myself to post a dessert recipe that sounds like fish.)
So I hopped onto google and set out to find a recipe my great-great-grandmother might have posted on her blog. You know, if she’d had internet access in her village.
I finally settled on bienenstich, or bee sting cake, mostly because I loved the name.
But the name isn’t all this dessert has going for it; it’s delicious too! The cake itself is a not-too-sweet yeasted dough, which gets topped with a sugary sweet almond and honey topping. After the cake cools, you split it in half and fill it with pastry cream.
I’d intended to include a chocolate beer sauce but I forgot. . .then I had some computer troubles and ran out of time to re-shoot my recipe with the sauce included. This recipe from Craft Beering is what I would have used, in case you need a little chocolate with your bee sting cake.
Oktoberfest officially kicks off this Saturday and my friends and I have your meals for the next few weeks covered, start to finish. Be sure to check out their fabulous creations! (Don’t worry. I already looked and the recipes sound completely delicious–absolutely zero include creamed herring.)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons tepid water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- Place the milk in a medium-sized heavy saucepan and set pan over medium heat. Warm milk until very hot, but not boiling.
- While milk is heating, combine the eggs, egg yoks, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer set to medium speed until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. With mixer on medium-high, gradually add the sugar (2 to 3 tablespoons at a time), beating 30 seconds after each addition. Continue beating until the mixture is very thick and pale, about 3 minutes more.
- Turn mixer to low and beat in the vanilla and cornstarch, mixing until very smooth. With mixer still on low, gradually add the hot milk—beat in about 1 teaspoon at a time at first, then slowly begin adding more, beating well after each addition.
- Once all the milk has been added, pour the mixture back into the saucepan you used for the milk. Add the cold butter, then set the pan over medium heat. Heat the mixture, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. When mixture begins to thicken (it will look lumpy), decrease the heat and switch to stirring with a whisk. Continue stirring the mixture gently for another 7 or 8 minutes, until very thick. At this point, reduce heat to very low and cook 1 minute more, stirring with your spatula again.
- Remove from the heat and scrape mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap onto the surface of the pastry cream. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.
- Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on low speed until ingredients are combined. Turn mixer to medium and mix until the dough becomes smooth and supple, about 5 to 10 minutes. (You do this by hand if your mixer is too large to knead the dough effectively.)
- Lightly spray a large mixing bowl with cooking spray. Transfer dough to the prepared bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour, until puffy.
- Generously spray an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and deflate gently. Pat into an 8-inch circle. Place dough circle in the prepared pan.
- Cover pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, gently stretch the dough so it reaches the edge of the pan.
- Ten minutes before the dough finishes rising, make the topping and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, honey, and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the heat and stir in the almonds.
- Spread the topping into an even layer on top of the dough. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Gently remove cake from the pan, then cool completely on a wire rack almond-side up.
- Once cake is cool, use a large serrated knife to split it in half horizontally. Top the bottom layer with the chilled pastry cream. Slice the top layer into 8 wedges, then place on top of the pastry cream. (Slicing the top first prevents the filling from oozing out when you slice the cake.) Serve and enjoy.
Cake adapted from King Arthur Flour
Pastry Cream Filling adapted from Fine Cooking