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Paleo Bienenstich Swirl Bread

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

Aka Bee Sting Bread, this swirly honey-almond loaf will be called "all gone" in no time!

Paleo Bienenstich Swirl Bread

For the printable recipe click here.

Inspired by a traditional German dessert

If you've ever perused Aldi during the Oktoberfest season, you've likely seen the incredibly tantalizing image of German bienenstich, a traditional German cake, adorning dessert boxes in the frozen section.

This "German bee sting cake" is traditionally composed of two round layers of sweet, yeast cake (often cooked in a springform pan), filled with a creamy custard or pastry cream (sometimes lightened with whipped cream to be almost mousse-like), and finished with a honey-almond topping.

Paleo Bienenstich Swirl Bread

A sweet yeast dough

Unlike typical American cakes that are leavened simply with baking powder, baking soda, or eggs, bienenstich is leavened with yeast and is more similar to brioche dough than what we typically think of as cake batter.

Unlike traditional bienenstitch, which relies on wheat flour, our paleo/gluten-free version employs a trio of cassava flour, almond flour, and potato starch. We use a combination of baking powder and yeast to give our dough a little boost, and like our other recipes for paleo yeasted dough, we use a little xanthan gum to help provide structure.

Paleo Bienenstich Swirl Bread

​Bee-sting filling

I mentioned that the traditional German recipe for beinenstich boasts a creamy filling, similar to pudding or pastry cream, based on sugar, egg yolks, and milk or heavy cream. Some modern versions may even call for instant vanilla pudding powder made according to the package instructions to simplify the process.

Unlike these bienenstich recipes, our reimagined Beinenstich Swirl Bread swaps the pudding-like custard for a filling that doubles down on the flavors of sweet honey and nutty almonds found in the crunchy, caramelized almond and honey topping on the top of the cake.

This filling requires a food processor for best results but does not require any cooking or setting time in the fridge, so it's actually much quicker and simpler than the pudding-type vanilla cream filling.

​Cashew butter and an egg yolk keep things a little on the gooey/creamy side, while almond extract enhances the almond vibes.

Paleo Bienenstich Swirl Bread

Rolling up the paleo bienenstich swirl bread

I like to pat my rich yeast dough out on a silicone mat before filling. Then I scatter dollops of filling across the surface of the dough and use the mat to roll it into a loaf. If you do not have a silicone mat, you can use parchment paper, but I prefer the sturdiness of the silicone mat.

Note: the thick filling will not spread easily without tearing the dough, so it is important to scatter dollops rather than dumping and spreading.

Rolling up the Bienenstich Swirl Bread

Rolled up Bienenstich Swirl Bread dough with filling

After rolling the dough into a loaf shape, you will then gently press the seam to seal it and carefully lift the loaf into a parchment-lined loaf pan. The parchment should hang over the edges so you can use it like handles to lift the loaf out after cooking.

Filled Bienenstich Swirl Bread dough in loaf pan

Two cuts of almonds

You will notice this recipe calls for slivered almonds in the filling and sliced almonds in the caramelized almond topping.

The reason for this is that slivered almonds are already blanched and skinless, which makes for a creamier, more uniform filling, while the thinly sliced almonds in the topping create a crunchier and more attractive crust.

If you had to, you could use one of the two in both places, but your results will be slightly different. I do not recommend using whole almonds.

Bienenstich Swirl Bread before powdered sugar

Crunchy almond topping

While an egg yolk goes in the filling, the topping gets the white. That previously-reserved egg white gets beaten up with sweet honey till light and frothy--we're not going for stiff peaks here, so a whisk or fork will easily do the trick.

Egg white and honey for topping

Sliced almonds mixed into egg whites beaten with honey

Sliced almonds bathe in the frothy mixture and get spooned all over the top of the loaf to create a crunchy caramelized crust!

bienenstich loaf with honey almond topping

Bienenstich Swirl Bread before slicing

Echoing the original

We haven't taken it to this level at the Monster casa yet, but if you wanted to get a little more in touch with traditional bienenstich, a fun serving idea would be topping slices of Bienenstich Swirl Bread with dollops of with whipped coconut cream or drizzles of paleo custard. Yum!

Bienenstich Swirl Bread

Here's what you'll need:

For the dough:

  • 1 ¼ cup cassava flour

  • ¾ cup potato starch

  • ½ cup almond flour

  • 1 T baking powder

  • 2 tsp active dry yeast

  • 1 tsp xanthan gum

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 2 T honey

  • ¼ tsp almond extract

  • 1 egg, room temperature

  • ¼ cup coconut oil, softened

  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

For the filling:

  • ½ cup slivered almonds

  • ½ cup cashew butter

  • ¼ cup honey

  • 1 egg yolk

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • ½ tsp almond extract

  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

For the topping:

  • 1 egg white

  • 1 T honey

  • 3 T sliced almonds

  • 1 tsp organic powdered sugar, optional

Here's what you'll do:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the first 6 dough ingredients (cassava flour-xanthan gum). In another bowl, whisk together the next 4 ingredients (warm water-egg). Add the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl along with the coconut oil and beat with the paddle attachment, starting on low speed and increasing to med-high, beating at least one minute or till very thoroughly mixed. You could switch to the dough hook before increasing the speed if desired, but it is not necessary. Add the salt and beat another 30 seconds. Transfer the dough to a large, well-greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a slightly warm area (like an oven with a “proof” setting) for 40 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, make the filling: in a food processor, process all filling ingredients together till smooth.

  3. When the dough is done proofing, remove the dough from the oven (if it was proofing in there) and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan and line it with parchment paper so that the parchment extends over the sides.

  4. Turn the dough out onto a silicone mat and pat into a roughly 8x11” rectangle.

  5. Drop small dollops of the almond mixture all over the rectangle as evenly as possible. The filling will not spread well without tearing the dough, so the goal is to place it rather than spread it.

  6. Starting on one of the short ends, use the silicone mat to help roll the dough into a log. Use your fingers to gently press the seam. Gently lift the log and place in the prepared loaf pan.

  7. In a small bowl, prepare the topping: Whisk the egg white and honey together till light and frothy, then add the sliced almonds. Spoon this mixture over the top of the loaf.

  8. Bake the loaf at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. The almond topping should be beautifully golden brown. Cover with foil and cook an additional 15 minutes (the internal temperature of the loaf should be 200 degrees when done). Allow to cool, uncovered, for at least 10 minutes. Then use the parchment (handles" to lift the loaf out of the pan to cool completely on a wire rack. Before slicing, dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Bienenstich Swirl Bread

For the printable recipe click here.

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Hey Y'all!

I'm the Monster Momma.

I'm a Christ-follower, wife, mother to five sweet paleo monsters, writer, and

paleo food fiend.

Join me and my family on our paleo journey!

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