Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)

I'm sure that this is a staple recipe in most Mennonite households. . . .so it needs to be included here as well. I was merrily putting this together yesterday. I was half way finished when I suddenly remembered that I originally got the recipe from Anneliese .. .who also contributes to the blog. . .I emailed her and told her that I was making her recipe, I would take the picture and send it to her and she could post it. She graciously told me to go ahead and post it myself.

So. . .here is Anneliese's and most likely her Mom's Bienenstich. . .  A few minor changes were made to the topping when a reader called me to say they did some experiments on the topping and the end result was fantastic.

Base:
  • 4 farm fresh eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Beat the eggs and sugar together really well in a large bowl .. .Beat them until they are thick. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir this into the beaten eggs and sugar. Heat the milk and butter till very hot .. not quite boiling. Add the hot milk/butter to the batter. Pour into a large shallow greased and parchment papered pan. Bake at 350 F for 15 - 20 min
Topping:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup shredded or medium coconut
  • 1 1/2 cup slivered or flaked almonds
  • 6 tablespoons whipping cream
While the cake it baking, spread the coconut and almonds separately on cookie sheets and put them in the oven to slightly toast.  Remove from oven and set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat together the butter and brown sugar and the whipping cream until it just comes to a boil. Add the toasted coconut and the almonds. Spread onto the baked cake as even as you can. Broil carefully for a few minutes until it is nicely browned. .. Do not walk away from your kitchen.

Filling:
  • 2 cups of whipping cream ( or the remainder of a 500 ml container)
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • a packet of whipping cream stabilizer or 2 tablespoons of instant vanilla pudding
Whip the filling together.
Now comes the tricky part. Take the cake out of the pan. . with the paper on. Set it on the counter and with a long serrated knife slice it in half. Very carefully slide your hand under the top layer and slide it off .. as best you can. Put the whipped cream on the bottom layer and then slide the top layer back on top.
Voila. . .well done. Now, just set it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. This actually freezes really well and cuts very easy when partially frozen. I did this to take the picture. Thank you Anneliese for this wonderful recipe. . I've been making it for nearly 30 years I'm sure.

20 comments:

  1. oh my...that is one gorgeous cake there! That is better than any restaurant dessert for sure! You are such a photographer too...making it look so pleasing and tempting.

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  2. Scrumptious looking cake! This Mennonite home never had that cake recipe. Now it does and it will be made for a special occasion!
    Thank you Lovella.

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  3. Lovella, you are kind to acknowledge me, but I don't even remember ... and after all these years, it's definitely yours!!
    Your photo is beautiful!
    One thing I've done is to pour the batter into two spring-form pans.
    That way you have two beautiful round cakes for a special occasion, and all the decorating is done. The horizontal slicing is also easier this way, dealing with a smaller size. Like you said, it's easier to slice into serving pieces when it's partially frozen...using a sharp serrated (sp?) knife in a sawing motion, rather than forcing it down. Very yummy!
    (For a short time I baked it this way for a local German restaurant, before the owners retired.)

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    1. This is omnious for me. I had inquired yesterday if one of the cooks I was following on this site knew of a good Bienenstich recipe. She sent me this one which looks very close to the one I remember. The ominous thing here is that the wonderful woman, close friend of our family (whom I called my "Tante" - aunt) who used to make this was also named Anneliese. She is long passed on (since 1976), but this really hit home for me. I will definitely try this recipe. From the photo, it looks very much like hers, and yes, she usually used two spring form pans as well. The only difference is that she used a custard filling instead of whipping cream. She would serve whipping cream with it (a dollop on each slice), but the inside was more of a vanilla pudding/custard type. It was yellow, not white. The rest of it - crust, and topping, looks very much like hers.

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  4. Yum! This is basically the same recipe that I use, which I got from my mom. She often bakes about 10 of them at a time for funerals or weddings! The size of the "large shallow greased and parchment papered pan" is an 11" x 17" cookie sheet. I love the idea of putting it into two round spring form pans too.

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  5. this was going to be one of my postings.....my oma loved beinenstich and it reminds me of my oma,,,,,,,now i must compare recipes/ ho how i would love a piece RIGHT NOW!!!!

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  6. Oye! That looks good. My mouth is watering...

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  7. i've made this recipe a few times....well, not this exact one, but one similar. raving reviews each time!
    love this version too!
    thanks for all teh great recipes!

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  8. Hi Lovella;

    I tried making a different Bee Sting Cake recipe today and was disappointed. Then I came across your site. I am going to make this cake. I will let you know how it turns out. It is wonderful that I can get and try a recipe that has been in Anneliese's family for 30 years! I also saw some other recipes on your site I must try!

    Thank you so much!

    Tom R

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  9. My father-in-law is from East Prussia. He told wonderful stories from his childhood how he and his family enjoyed Bienenstich in their Motherland. I am the baker in the family and everybody asked me to make this cake for his 81st Birthday. I terribly worried because it seemed very responsible for me, to bake something I have never tried myself. But I am always up for a challenge. I checked several recipes online and found this one to be the most reasonable and understandable.
    My in-laws’ eyes got round when I brought this cake to the celebration party. My father-in-law said that it tasted exactly like the cakes from his childhood in 1939. Even my husband – an American – said he had never eaten any cake as tasty as this one. It is very well balanced, not terribly sweet or fat, like some cakes from the store. And it is not difficult to make. It just takes some of your time and attention.
    The celebration was successful. This recipe is a keeper in our family. Thank you, Lovella.

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  10. I found your blog after searching for Mennonite recipes on-line. This looks ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! We are doing a study (homeschooling) this year about Mennonites that came to our country. What would you say are the "must try" recipes from the Mennonite background? I'd love your input as we seek to pull a few meals together for each of our provinces. (I have a link to my e-mail on my site, if you like. I don't tend to come back and read comments much.) I'd greatly appreciate any input you can offer. Blessings!

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  11. So, this isn't really a Bienenstich cake at all, just a white cake with pudding filling and coconut/almond topping. A real Bienenstich has yeast batter, and it is supposed to have honey on the top. It is called a Bienenstich or "bee sting" cake because of the honey (made by bees, get it?). Also, I have never heard of one with coconut.

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  12. Anonymous - thank you for your comment regarding the name. It's interesting how recipes change over time and keep the same name. Sometimes the name gets changed for one reson or another and that doesn't seem fair either. This recipe, for example, had been handed down like this with this name and is well known by that name in our particular area.

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  13. i have tried this recipe 2 times today..it is to flat to cut in half, the topping - how long do you cook it? it's crumbling off the cake everytime i touch it. this is a dissaster and i haven't even got to the whipped cream yet.. and i do a lot of baking - this recipe is not that good!

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  14. i did brown the topping and it is very crumbly - i thought is should stay sticky... i put it in the frreezer for awhile and then cut it and put the whipped cream in. it's on a tray ready for a party - looks a mess but hope people can eat it... don't know it i would try this again - think i would just pour the whipped cream on top.

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  15. My "trick" to geting the top layer off is, to use a cutting board to slide the top layer onto.

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  16. That's what I did, I used a cutting board and saran (and another set of hands) to help with the cutting and sliding of the top. I made this for our Easter dinner yesterday, and it turns out we have a family recipe that's a little bit different from this one (that I didn't know about -- we had always bought the cake from a bakery!). Because I have already tried and succeeded with this recipe, I now have the confidence to try one that will be a little bit more complicated. I loved that the reciepe was easy to follow and that it turned out so well. I may just adopt this one and break from tradition! Thank you!!!

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  17. I prepare this bienenstich with cherries on top of the whipping cream. When I take the bienenstich out of the oven, I cut the topping as long as it is soft, so afterwards I can cut easily through the top layer and the cake isn't a mess

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  18. I make a great Bienenstich much like this recipe and I if I just want small cake pieces in the end, I just cut the cake into squares finger dessert sizes and then cut each square in half (top and bottom), layer them in a muffin cup paper with the filling in the middle. My filling is a cream cheese/whip cream filling that is not too sweet. It freezes well assembled like this and you can take out however many you want and let them defrost a bit for a great quick dessert... provided that your family hasn't found them in the freezer and cleaned you out! ;)

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  19. I have been passing this recipe on to others for years. Love the fact that I can make it ahead and freeze it, with the whipping cream layer already done. Would suggest you cut the amount of sugar down to 1 cup in the cake, it turns out delicious. Also, I bake the cake in a large pan, put topping over the whole surface, then when putting the final touches together, I cut the large cake in half, both halves have the topping. Assemble it so there is a crunchy topping under the whipping cream layer, put the other half on top. SO much easier and very delicious. Mixing this cake does take some practise and a light hand.

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