This is such a beautiful and unique cake! I saw a Bienenstich for the first time at a baby shower for a close friend. After having a piece, I became captivated by how the taste, smell, and visual presentation created a masterpiece – I knew I had to make one. Being me, I found the lovely woman who made the cake and begged her for her recipe.
About a week later, we planned a potluck brunch at our home for a group of friends. I decided to make this cake as it would be perfect for the occasion (not that you need a reason to bake a cake!) I learned that it does take a bit of time, but it is not difficult, and your family will congregate to the kitchen like bees when they catch a whiff of the cake baking!
It was a solid hit and I passed along the recipe to our guests. Don’t be intimidated by the appearance of difficulty and complexity in the recipe – it really is not and every step is worth it.
For the Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
2¼ teaspoon (1 packet active dry yeast)
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature
4 tablespoons butter – softened to room temperature
3 tablespoons honey
For the Honey Almond Topping
6 tablespoons butter
⅓ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups sliced almonds
For the Filling
2¼ cups heavy cream
1 box (5.1 oz.) instant vanilla pudding
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Gather all the ingredients and bring the eggs, butter, and milk to room temperature.
Add the flour, granulated sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
Add the eggs, milk, honey, and butter to the center of the well. Mix well with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until the mixture comes together to form a soft dough.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 60 minutes. The dough will not rise much.
Generously butter a 9″ round springform pan – however, a 9″ cake pan will work as well.
Fit the bottom of the buttered pan with a disc of parchment paper sprayed with baking spray.
Add the cake dough to the pan and spread it out evenly.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise again for approximately 45 minutes.
Make the Honey Almond Topping
Preheat oven to 350°F
While the dough is rising, melt the butter, sugar, and honey in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat.
Stir well and allow the mixture to cook, stirring frequently until the mixture deepens in color and turns a golden brown.
Stir in the heavy cream, salt, and almonds.
Stir frequently and allow the mixture to deepen in color but not burn. You want a light amber color to develop.
Remove the honey almond mixture from the heat.
Spoon the honey almond mixture over top of the unbaked cake, making sure to spoon the almonds all the way to the edges of the cake.
Notes – Do not try and spread this mixture as it will tear the cake dough. Spoon it gently to cover as much as the surface of the cake as possible.
Place the cake pan on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool the cake completely on a wire rack.
Once cooled, invert the cake on a second wire rack. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake.
Invert the cake one more time so it sits almond side up.
Use a serrated knife to gently slice the cake evenly in half, lengthwise for the filling layer.
Make the Vanilla Cream Filling
In a medium bowl whisk heavy cream, vanilla pudding mix, and vanilla extract until it becomes thick and creamy.
Place the bottom half of the cake on a serving platter, and drizzle honey liberally over the cake bottom.
Spoon and spread the pudding mixture in an even layer over the bottom half of the cake.
Gently place the top of the cake, almond side up, onto the cream layer and press gently.
Cover and refrigerate until ready serve.
Make Ahead: You can make this cake up to two days prior to serving.
Rising/Proofing: Don’t expect the dough to rise much. The two rises are not about increasing volume but developing the flavor. The cake will rise during baking. Be sure not to proof to long. Too many bubbles build up and affect the structure – the result is a sunken center.
Yeast: Don’t be concerned that the cake will just taste like bread. The yeast flavor complements the honey and gives the cake the fabulous texture.
Storing the Cake: Cover and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Do the same with any leftovers which will keep for up to 5 days. It is doubtful that it will last that long!
Spices: While it is lovely and delicious as is, adding a pinch (1/8 tsp.) of cardamom to the cake is fantastic.