Vegan German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich)

reading time: 3 min

One of my favourite childhood memories is: Bienenstich aka bee sting cake! Creamy, fluffy, sticky yeast cake with a vanilla custard filling and caramelized almonds on top. A German classic.

Last weekend I gave in to my boyfriend's pleas to bake a vegan bee sting cake, and so this scrumptious creation was born! After sharing this with my boyfriend's family and my parents, my dad wrote me an e-mail asking me what I did to make the cake taste as "original". In other words: It was a hit!

It does take quite a while to bake this cake, but it's definitely worth it! Perfect for any occasion such as birthdays, anniversaries, or any rainy autumn Sunday :)


Preparation time: 3 h 30 min

Main ingredients: spelt flour, vegan butter, almond slices, plant-based milk, yeast
difficulty level: moderate
makes: one 9-inch spring form
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, wheat-free


1/8 cup packed (25g) fresh yeast
1 tbsp lukewarm water
1 tsp organic brown sugar
2 heaped tbsp (30g) vegan butter
(I use the German brand Alsan bio)
1/2 cup (120ml) plant-based milk (I use almond milk)
2 cups (250g) spelt flour
pinch of salt
1/8 cup + 1 tsp (30g) organic brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 package (40g) vanilla custard powder
1 cup + 5 tbsp (250ml + 5 tbsp) plant-based milk (I use almond milk)
2 tbsp brown organic sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (250 ml) vegan whipping cream, chilled
1/2 cup (100g) vegan butter, room temperature (I use the German brand Alsan bio)

1 1/3 cup (125g) almond slices
1/3 cup (80g) vegan butter (I use the German brand Alsan bio)
4 tbsp agave syrup
4 tbsp plant-based milk (I use almond milk)
pinch of salt

powdered sugar to garnish


For the dough:

Dissolve fresh yeast in 1 tbsp lukewarm water and 1 tsp sugar in a small bowl. Let prove for 15-20 minutes until foamy. Gently heat up vegan butter and plant-based milk until the butter has melted. In a large mixing bowl combine spelt flour, brown sugar and salt. Add the yeast as well as the warm butter/milk mixture and the vanilla extract. Knead using an electric whisk. 

Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the glaze (see below).

Transfer the dough into a greased spring-form and allow to prove for another 30 minutes. (yep, a lot of proving here!)

For the topping:

Melt vegan butter in a pan. Add plant-based milk, agave syrup and salt. Allow to boil up briefly, then stir in almond slices until well covered, and remove from heat.

Allow to cool slightly before spreading over the dough.

Bake in the non-preheated oven for 25-30 minutes at 180° C / 350° F until golden brown (I did 25 minutes fan-assisted). Make sure the almond topping doesn't burn.

In the meantime, prepare the filling (see below)

Take the cake out of the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the filling: 

While the cake is cooling, bring the plant-based milk to a boil, add the custard powder and stir. Switch off heat, fold in vegan butter, soy cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Allow to cool completely. (To speed up the process, refrigerate once it's chilled enough.)

To assemble, cut the cake in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Spread filling on bottom layer, leaving a 1-inch boarder. Place the remaining cake half (almond side up) on top and press gently to push the filling out to the edges.

Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. Slice with a serrated knife, and serve with  powdered sugar dusted on top.
Store in the refrigerator. You can also freeze individual pieces to thaw and eat later!



  1. Hi Mäisy,

    I was super excited to find a vegan Bienenstich recipe, as it was a childhood favourite of mine as well. I had a few issues with the recipe though. In the dough ingredients you mention 1/8 cup + 1/2 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla, but in the dough directions you don't say when to add them in. There is also no mention of when to add the yeast to the dough. I ended up adding the sugar, vanilla, and yeast into the butter and milk mixture and then adding all of that into the dough. I will mention that I used Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour, plus the 1/2 tsp Xanthan gum per 1 cup flour that is recommended, which may be why I got different results. But I have made yeast doughs before and have not had this issue. The dough was very dry and I had to use my hands to mix it as a whisk wouldn't have been able to handle it. The dough did not end up rising at all despite proofing it for more than the amount of time written. It also did not rise at all during baking and ended up as more of a slightly sweet biscuit. I just waned to mention the issues I had with this recipe to hopefully help the next person trying it out, and maybe it's because I used gluten free flour, but a bit more direction in the recipe would have been helpful. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to trying out the filling if I attempt this recipe again.

    All the best,

    1. Hi James, thank you so much for your comment. I don't know how I could forget to include the instructions about the yeast and sugar etc., but I've now added it to the recipe! Basically, you intuitively did it the right way. Why your cake didn't turn out as it is supposed to is a mystery to me. Did you use fresh yeast? I know that dry yeast can act quite differently when it comes to rising. If I'm not mistaken, gluten free flour is usually corn or rice based and therefore indeed slightly "drier" or crumblier than glutenous flour, so perhaps you will need to either slightly reduce the amount of flour OR add a splash of warm milk to make it work? I hope you don't give up on the recipe because it does taste amazing :)