Recipe by Megan Crist
Photography and Styling by Michelle Smith
Hey there fellow foodies. Have you fallen off the January health-kick bandwagon in search of the perfectly decadent treat to reward all of your amazing lifestyle changes? Ha. Me too. (Total veganuary fail, if I’m being honest, because cheese exists…) This is a bit of an involved recipe, but lucky for you, you’ve got the whole week ahead to dream and plan for making this. Enter the Bee Sting Cake.
This is a yeasted German pastry (officially called Bienenstich). The cake part has a texture somewhere between actual cake and a cinnamon roll dough. The filling is a fluffy pastry cream. You might want to save this recipe just for that. I use a variation of it for my banana pudding. It’s crazy good.
TIME 4 hours
9” cake pan
liquid measuring cup
1 tablespoon yeast
6 ounces milk, warm
2 ounces honey
10 ounces AP flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 ounces melted unsalted butter
4 ounces unsalted butter
3 ounces sugar
3 tablespoons honey
6 ounces sliced almonds
¼ teaspoon salt
4 ounces milk
12 ounces cream, divided 4 ounces and 8 ounces
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 ounces sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ounces butter
1 tablespoon honey
- Add milk and 4 ounces of cream to a saucepan until warmed through and approaching a simmer.
- Meanwhile, whisk egg, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small mixing bowl.
- Slowly pour the milk into the egg mixture, whisking quickly until completely combined. Don’t pour the milk too fast or your eggs might cook and we’re not looking for scrambled eggs in our pastry cream, am I right?
- Pour everything back into the saucepan and stir continuously over medium heat until thickened. You should be able to see the bottom of the pan when you stir and it should not fill in quickly.
- Remove from heat and stir in the butter and honey until melted and combined.
- Strain the pastry cream into a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap to avoid the formation of a filmy layer.
- Refrigerate until cool (at least 2 hours). You can make the pastry cream up to 2 days in advance.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.
- Line a 8” cake pan with with round of parchment and butter or spray the sides.
- Mix the yeast, honey, and warm milk together and set aside.
- Measure the remaining dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast, honey, milk, and eggs, and mix on low speed until combined. Add the melted (but not hot) butter and mix until incorporated, about 2-3 minutes.
- Allow the batter to rise in a warm location for about an hour. It won’t quite double in size.
- At this point, pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and allow to rise again.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and begin to make the honey almond topping.
- In the same buttery sauce pan, add the butter, sugar, honey, and salt. Once the butter melts, boil mixture for about 3 minutes over medium heat. When it starts to look caramel-y in color, take it off the heat and stir in the almonds with a wooden spoon (This is going to be thick, so you want something sturdy).
- Let it cool for a few minutes before you pour it onto the cake. Distribute the topping as evenly as you can over the surface of the batter.
- Bake for about 25 minutes on the middle rack. Allow to cool about 10 minutes in the pan before turning it out onto the a rack.
- Whip the remaining 8 ounces of cream. Fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream in batches. Until evenly combined.
- Use a serrated knife to slice through the center of the cake horizontally. Remove the top half.
- This is not required, but I occasionally have some flavored simple syrups in my fridge. A generous brushing of a vanilla or orange syrup on each side of the open cake is a nice touch. (Simple syrup is 1:1 water and sugar heated until sugar is dissolved.)
- Scoop the pastry cream onto the bottom layer of cake and spread evenly to the edges.
- Return the top half of the cake it’s place on the pastry cream and enjoy.