Yield: 8 honey almond brioche buns // Total Time: 2 hr. 50 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.
Light and fluffy brioche, topped with a honey almond topping and filled with a cinnamon honey pudding.
Honey Almond Brioche Buns | Bee Sting Buns
Bee sting cake (Bienenstich in German) is a German dessert that features soft and fluffy yeast bread, a crunchy honey almond topping, and a sweet vanilla bavarian cream. If you’ve made my bee sting cake, this recipe is essentially that one, but in personalized brioche bun form. The flavor in these is truly so delicious and I might be a little biased but I highly recommend making them. Below you’ll find a whole bunch of tips and notes before the full recipe!
Honey almond brioche buns recipe tips
Weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient. In a small batch recipe it is especially important to get those correct measurements because there is less room for error. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
Kneading the dough
Kneading this dough will take a longer time than you are probably used to. This dough is enriched with eggs and butter which makes it take longer for the proper amount of gluten to develop. Kneading in the mixer can take me anywhere from 10-20 minutes. The dough is ready to be used when it passes the windowpane test and has pulled away from the sides and bottom of the bowl. If you are weighing your ingredients, just trust the process! If you are using cup measurements and the dough just is not coming together after 15 minutes, try adding in 1 tbsp. of flour at a time.
Room temperature ingredients
It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other. Take out the egg and butter at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hr 30 min. before starting the recipe. To bring an egg to room temperature quickly, you can place it under hot water for 1 minute. To bring butter to room temperature quickly, slice it, place it on a plate, and microwave it in 5 second intervals!
Heating the milk
Heating the milk is important for bringing the yeast to an optimal temperature for rising. The milk should be heated to ~100°F / 38°C but it does not have to be exact. As long as the milk is between 95°F – 110°F, it is good to be used. If the temperature exceeds 110°F, wait for it to cool down before using so that you do not kill the yeast!
The windowpane test
The windowpane test is (in my opinion) the best way to tell that your dough has been properly kneaded. Once the dough starts to pull away from the sides and the bottom of the mixing bowl, it is most likely ready. However, just to be sure that it’s good to go I check if it passes the windowpane test. To do that, take some of the dough in your hands and start to slowly stretch it out. If it can get thin enough to where light passes through it before tearing, then it’s good to go! If not, keep kneading until it does!
Ingredients and substitutions
For the brioche buns:
All purpose flour: for structure and chewiness.
Active dry yeast: for making the dough rise. You can easily substitute in instant yeast if that is what you have on hand. You will just skip the step of combining the warm milk, sugar, and yeast!
Salt: for balancing and bringing out the sweetness of the brioche. Salt also “controls” the yeast to make sure that it does not overly expand.
Granulated sugar: for sweetening the brioche and for helping the yeast with rising. We will use a little bit of sugar in the brioche as well as in the hazelnut sugar.
Eggs: for binding and adding moisture.
Unsalted butter: for tenderizing the brioche rolls and giving them a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth feel. I would not recommend substituting in salted butter since salt is important to controlling yeast growth and the amount of salt in salted butter is quite variable.
Whole milk: for tenderizing and hydrating the dough. Whole milk will provide the softest rolls because the extra fat helps tenderize the dough. You can however swap in 1%, 2% or your favorite non dairy milk alternative! Just note that the dough may be a little less soft and fluffy due to the varying fat content.
For the honey almond topping:
Honey: sweetens, gives that delicious honey flavor, and creates that solid layer of honey almonds on top of the brioche buns.
Granulated sugar: sweetens the topping.
Unsalted butter: for flavor and texture. You can use salted butter here, just be sure to omit the extra salt from the topping.
Salt: balances and brings out the sweetness and flavor of the topping.
Sliced almonds: the star of the show!
For the cinnamon honey pudding:
Vanilla pudding mix: a fast an easy way to make ‘bavarian’ cream. No cooking of eggs required! I know it’s not conventional, but trust me – it’s delicious and kind of like a “secret ingredient”.
Heavy cream: thickens up the pudding so that it is a more pipeable consistency.
Whole milk: used to dissolve the pudding mix. 1% or 2% will work great here as well.
Ground cinnamon: for flavor! I highly recommend using a touch of cinnamon here but feel free to omit it if you would like.
Honey: I add a touch of honey to the filling to help bring all of the flavors together.
How to make honey almond brioche buns | bee sting buns
While making brioche might seem hard and scary, it’s really super easy and most of the time you are just waiting for the dough to rise!
1. Make the dough. Mix together the warm milk, sugar, and yeast and leave to rest until the mixture begins to foam. Then, combine all of the dough ingredients in a stand mixer and knead. You will know the dough is ready when it passes the windowpane test (more details later in the post!)
2. Let rise overnight. Optional, but I highly recommend it. It eliminates having to do all the work in one day and the dough takes on a bit more flavor. Once the dough is done kneading, butter the inside of the bowl, cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge to rise overnight. If you are making this all in one day, simply butter the mixing bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a towel and leave it out in a warm area for 1-1.5 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
3. Shape the dough. Once the dough has finished rising (either overnight or same-day), lightly punch it down to remove any excess air in it. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. I prefer to weigh the dough at this point to make sure all of the buns are the same size, but you can certainly eyeball it. For 8 small buns, each dough ball weighed 41g. Roll each piece of dough into a tight ball, then place on a lined baking sheet to rise until doubled in size (~45-60 min.)
4. Make the honey almond topping. Once the dough has almost completely doubled in size, start with your topping and preheat the oven. In a small saucepan, add the honey, sugar, butter, salt, and cinnamon. Stir the mixture over medium heat and let it come to a boil.
5. Work super fast! Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and immediately use a pastry brush to brush the honey mixture onto each of the buns, then stick the sliced almonds all over the brushed buns. Be sure to keep the remaining honey mixture for after baking.
5. Bake. Bake the bee sting buns at 350°F / 175°C for 15-20 minutes. Use a thermometer to check when the buns are done cooking (190°F / 88°C.)
6. Touch up the buns. The buns will lose some honey and almonds in the oven, but that’s okay! Reheat your honey mixture and brush it on to the buns that need a little fine-tuning, top with more almonds, and finish off with more honey.
7. Make the filling. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add all of the filling ingredients. Beat for 2 minutes, then set it in the fridge until you are ready to fill the buns.
8. Fill the bee sting buns. Once the buns have cooled to room temperature, poke a hole in the side of each of them and fill them with the cinnamon honey.
9. Serve and enjoy. Serve the buns within 2 hours of filling them, or place them in the fridge to enjoy later!
Honey almond brioche buns Q & A
How to store honey almond brioche buns
Is there anything better than fresh brioche? These will taste their best on the day that they are baked. Because the filling contains lots of heavy cream and milk, it does need to be refrigerated. I highly recommend only filling the buns that you plan on eating so that you can keep the buns out at room temperature, and the filling in the fridge. If making for an event, fill the buns just before you are ready to serve it.
Can I double this recipe?
Yes! I can’t emphasize using a kitchen scale enough for especially this recipe already, but if you are going to double or half the ingredients it is even more important that you weigh your ingredients. The dough is very hydrated and slight alterations can change the texture of the dough.
Can I use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast?
Yes of course! Instead of mixing the heated milk, sugar, and yeast together, just pop all of the dough ingredients into your mixing bowl to start kneading. I do highly recommend refrigerating the dough overnight to make it easier to work with and more flavorful. However, if you are making the recipe all in one day, and using instant yeast, simply let the dough rest for just 10 minutes as the first rise, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Can I make the dough ahead of time?
Yes, and I highly recommend it! Brioche dough is a very enriched dough that can be hard to work with when warm. Simply knead the dough together, cover it, and leave it to rise in the fridge overnight. When ready to make the honey almond brioche buns simply take it out of the fridge and proceed with the recipe.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is a more accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature.
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you. I use this one.
Honey almond brioche buns troubleshooting
My dough just isn’t coming together
I can’t recommend the use of a kitchen scale enough, especially for something as hydrated as brioche dough. If you’ve been kneading and kneading and the dough still won’t pass the windowpane test, add 1 tbsp. of flour at a time and knead for 2 minutes until the dough comes together.
My yeast mixture isn’t foaming, what should I do?
The mixture should start foaming around 5 minutes in. If it has not foamed after 10 minutes, the yeast is likely dead. You want to make sure that the milk temperature does not exceed 110°F / 43°C or it will kill the yeast. If you try it again and it still does not foam, the yeast you are using may be expired and you will want to purchase some more before proceeding.
Some honey and almonds fell off the buns while baking!
This is completely normal! Once the buns are out of the oven, reheat your honey mixture and brush some more on top of the buns that look like they need some more topping, and top with more almonds and honey. Once the buns have cooled to room temperature, you can easily peel away any honey stuck to the bottom of them.
Tools and ingredients
Cookie Sheet: I absolutely love USA pan products because of their great quality. I use their cookie sheet which is always the perfect size for all of my small batch recipes!
Silicone baking mat: parchment paper will always do the job, but I like to use a silicone mat when I can to try to cut down on waste. This is the one I use.
Piping bags: these bags are super sturdy, I love them!
Wilton #10 piping tip: This size works perfectly for filling the buns. I recommend using a piping tip as it makes it easier to fill them!
For a full list of tools, equipment and ingredients that I use and love, you can check out this page here.
Did you make these bee sting buns?
If you made these bee sting buns I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Honey Almond Brioche Buns | Bee Sting Buns
- 60 g whole milk (¼ c.)
- 1 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 160 g all purpose flour (1 ⅓ c.)
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 egg room temperature
- 42 g unsalted butter (3 tbsp.) room temperature
Honey Almond Topping
- 60 g honey (3 tbsp.)
- 60 g granulated sugar (¼ c. + 1 tbsp.)
- 41 g unsalted butter (3 tbsp.)
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 60 g sliced almonds (¾ c.)
Cinnamon Honey Pudding
- 1 packet instant vanilla pudding (96g / 3.4 oz.)
- 225 g heavy whipping cream (1 c.)
- 225 g whole milk (1 c.)
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. honey
- In a microwave safe measuring cup, heat the milk to 100°F / 38°C. Whisk in the yeast and the sugar. Set aside until the mixture begins to foam. (~5 minutes)
- While waiting, add the flour, salt, egg, and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. When the yeast mixture begins to foam, add it in to the rest of the ingredients.
- Knead the dough on low speed for 1 minute to allow the ingredients to come together. Increase the speed to medium-high and knead for an additional 10 minutes, or until the dough passes the windowpane test. (This will happen after the dough has cleaned the sides and bottom of the bowl)
- At this point I would recommend covering the bowl with plastic wrap and leaving it to rise overnight in the fridge. If making the buns in one day, cover the bowl with a towel and leave it to rise in a warm environment until doubled in size (~1 hr.)
- Once the dough has doubled in size (or after taking it out of the fridge after rising overnight), lightly punch it down to remove excess air.
- Divide the dough into 8 equally sized pieces (~41g/each), then roll each piece into a tight ball. Place the dough balls equally spaced apart on a lined baking sheet, then lightly cover them with a towel and leave them to rise in a warm environment until doubled in size (~30 min.)
- Once the dough has almost completely doubled in size, start with your topping and preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C.
Honey Almond Topping
- In a small saucepan, add the honey, sugar, butter, salt, and cinnamon. Stir the mixture over medium heat and let it come to a boil.
- Boil for 2 minutes, then remove the mixture from the heat and immediately brush the tops of each bun with the hot honey mixture. Stick the almonds to the tops and sides of the buns, then top the buns with more honey. Keep the remaining honey mixture for after baking.
- Bake the buns for 15-20 minutes, until the buns begin to turn golden. Use a thermometer to make sure the buns are done (It should read 190°F / 88°C)
- The buns will lose some honey and almonds in the oven, but that's okay! Reheat your honey mixture and brush it on to the buns that need a little fine-tuning, top with more almonds, and finish off with more honey.
Cinnamon Honey Pudding
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, add all of the filling ingredients. Beat for 2 minutes, then set it in the fridge until you are ready to fill the buns.
- Once the buns have cooled to room temperature, use a knife to poke a hole into the side of each bun.
- Add the pudding to a piping bag fitted with a round tip, and fill each of the buns.
- Serve and enjoy!