Can you believe it’s May already?! This month is going to be nuts! Lots of birthdays and family functions, not to mention the school year is winding down. I was looking at my calendar and I said to my husband, “So what should my next recipe be?” His reply, “Why don’t you make Bienenstich?”
Bienenstich or “Bee Sting” cake is a delicious German confection made with a light yeast cake which is then sliced in half, filled with Bavarian cream, and topped with almonds and honey. From what I’ve found everyone seems to have their own recipe and it’s not a very easy cake to master when you’re only German-by-marriage. 😉 Plus I’ll be the first to admit that baking with yeast freaks me out.
Needless to say, I still have to figure out the traditional way to make Bienenstich. My mother-in-law has a recipe in her old school, German cookbook that is definitely on my bucket list to try. For now we just have to enjoy it when we go to German Fest in Milwaukee this summer. LOL
Sometime ago after yet another failed attempt of making an “authentic” version, my husband said “I bet this would make a tasty cupcake.” I thought, I may not be able to figure the original version out just yet, but I DEFINITELY can make it into cupcakes!
In my cupcake version I use all the elements to capture the essence of the original (except the yeast… thank goodness!). A nice vanilla cake with a hint of almond, filled with a delicious Bavarian cream, topped with a yummy honey buttercream, and sliced almonds in honey. Just perfect for a beautiful sunny day!
Happy Spring and happy baking!
xox Roxana- The Red Eye Baker
*Cupcake recipe adapted from a Sally’s Baking Addiction recipe. 🙂
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 1/4 c flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 c butter, room temperature
- 1 3/4 c sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 c whole milk, room temperature
- BAVARIAN CREAM
- 1 c plus 3/4 c heavy cream
- 1 (.25 oz) envelope unflavored gelatin
- 2/3 c cold water
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 c sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 egg whites
- 3/4 c sugar
- 1 c (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tbsp honey
- HONEY ALMOND TOPPING
- 1 c sliced almonds
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp honey
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pans.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
- Add the vanilla to the milk and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (approximately 2-3 minutes) scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat on medium speed until just combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour mixture alternating with the vanilla milk in three addition, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
- Using a scoop fill the lined cupcake pans about 3/4 full.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Let stand for about a minute and move cupcakes to a cooling rack.
- Place a medium metal bowl and the beater bars from your hand mixer in the freezer. You’ll use this later to beat the whip cream.
- In a small bowl or custard cup sprinkle gelatin into the cold water.
- In the top of a double boiler (not over the heat yet) using a whisk, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Mix until the egg yolks pale in color slightly.Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, gently heat 1 c of heavy cream. You just want it to come to a simmer, you will see bubble start to form around the edge of the pan. Stir occasionally to keep from the cream from getting scorched on the bottom.
- Remove the cream from the heat and VERY slowly, while whisking constantly, pour the cream into the egg yolk mixture.
- Place the double boiler over simmering water and continue whisking gently until the mixture thickens. It will be the consistency of a thin pudding and coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla.
- Add the dissolved gelatin and place the mixture over a bowl of ice water to cool. Mix well to be sure that no lumps are in the custard. Continue to stir the mixture occasionally as it cools. I made the mistake of being impatient and putting the custard in the fridge to cool… big mistake. lol Allowing it to cool slowly will keep it smooth.
- Once the custard is cooled completely. Beat the 3/4 c of heavy cream in the metal bowl from the freezer until stiff peaks form. Then fold the cream into the custard.
- In a double boiler, whisk the egg whites, granulated sugar, and salt. Continue whisking over simmering water for about 3 minutes until all the sugar is dissolved and is warm to the touch. You can test it be rubbing it between your fingers, it will be smooth and thin. Be careful not to cook the egg whites because this will result in gritty frosting.
- Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beginning on low speed, gradually increasing to medium-high, whip the egg white mixture until stiff glossy peaks form and it has cooled. This takes approximately 7 minutes.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. Cut up the butter, 1 stick at a time, into the mixture and beat briefly for 30 seconds on medium speed between each addition. When the last stick of butter has been added, scrape down the bowl and mix on medium high speed. When you add the butter the meringue deflates, but don’t panic. Keep mixing and in about 2 minutes the mixture comes together and looks like silken goodness.
- Add the vanilla and honwy and beat until it is completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Melt butter in a pan over medium heat and add the sliced almonds. Mix to make sure all the almonds are coated in the melted butter.
- Add the salt and just heat the mixture for about a minute.
- Add the honey, mix and remove from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool.
- Using small knife, melon baller, or cupcake corer, core the center of each cupcake. (Save the centers for any leftover Bavarian cream.)
- Fill each cupcake center generously with Bavarian cream.
- In a piping bag fitted with a star tip, pipe a border of buttercream around the center.
- Using a teaspoon drop the honey almond topping over the Bavarian cream centers.