Serves a Crowd

Bee Sting Cake

August 10, 2015
Photo by Yossy Arefi
Author Notes

This delicious yeasted cake comes from Deb of Smitten Kitchen. It's a traditional German cake is made from yeasted cake batter, which is topped with sticky almonds and filled with a thick vanilla pastry cream. —Yossy Arefi

  • Makes one 9-inch cake
  • For the cake and honey-almond topping:
  • Cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Honey-Almond Topping
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
  • For the pastry cream filling:
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
In This Recipe
  1. For the cake and honey-almond topping:
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl Stir to combine. Make a well in the center and add the milk, eggs, and butter. Stir the batter together until it is well combined and cohesive. The batter will look somewhere between a loose bread dough and a thick cake batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a draft-free spot for an hour. The mixture will not quite double in size.
  3. Butter a 9-inch cake pan and line it with parchment paper. Stir the batter a few times to deflate it slightly, then scrape it into the prepared pan and spread it until it more or less fills the bottom of the pan. Cover again with plastic wrap and set aside for another 30 minutes. While the cake is rising again preheat the oven to 350° F and make the honey-almond topping.
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the butter, sugar, honey, cream, and salt, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted. Bring to a simmer and let boil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture becomes a shade darker (it should go from a yellowish tone to a light beige), stirring frequently. Stir in the almonds. The mixture will be very thick and sticky. Set it aside to cool slightly.
  5. Once the cake has risen and the honey-almond topping has cooled slightly, use a spoon to place small amounts of the topping over the cake batter. Make sure to cover the entire top of the cake, all of the way to the edges.
  6. Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes, until top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let it sit in the pan for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a knife along the outside of the cake and invert it onto a cooling rack. Invert it back onto another rack to cool completely. While the cake is cooling, make the pastry cream.
  1. For the pastry cream filling:
  2. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, vanilla bean pod, and vanilla bean seeds until it comes to a simmer. Set aside to steep for 30 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until pale yellow and smooth. After the milk has steeped, remove the vanilla bean pod, rewarm it slightly, then whisk it into the egg mixture.
  4. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to bubble. Cook the mixture for 1 full minute, then take the pan off of the heat and whisk in the butter.
  5. Transfer the cream to a bowl then press a length of plastic wrap on the surface. Refrigerate until completely cool.
  6. To assemble the cake: When the cake and pastry cream are completely cooled, slice the cake in half horizontally. Stir the pastry cream to loosen it slightly, then spread it over the bottom of the cake. Top with the almond-crusted layer and serve immediately. Store leftover cake, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at &