Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Russian Honey Cake (Medovik) Recipe

Russian Honey Cake

Looking at the photo you probably think this is an ordinary honey cake, cut across and filled with cream. Russian honey cake is quite different from any other cake that I made, even different from the Armenian Cake.

Honey cake batter is similar to a cookie batter, no milk is used and the consistency is similar to cookie dough. The dough is rolled out relatively thinly and then baked. You end up with something resembling large cookies. The ‘cookies’ are layered with cream and allowed to rest for many hours. As a result the cookies become soft like soggy biscuits, nice soggy biscuits, not the kind associated with British ‘tradition’! Sorry for mentioning this.  

The texture of the cake is fantastic. Some of the moisture from the cream filling goes into the cake, softening the cake and firming the cream.

The near perfect layers looks like something that only professional bakers can achieve. Obviously not, if I can do it. This cake is really quick and easy to assemble.

Russian honey cake is normally served with a sour cream filling. Instead of sour cream filling I made egg free vanilla custard. I have given recipes for both below. Also, I used much less cream that normally used. The cream layer is quite thin, as you can see. You should be a lot more generous with cream than I was.

Russian Honey Cake

Recipe source: Whats Cooking America

¾ cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour

Sour Cream Filling
2 cups sugar
1½ litre smetana or sour cream 

Egg Free Vanilla Custard
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
½ vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 190°C/375°F. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and eggs
  3. In a large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add honey, egg-sugar mixture and baking powder. Stir constantly until well blended and foamy.
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in flour until dough is not sticky If the dough is sticky, add more flour (a little at a time).
  5. Separate dough into five (or more, or less) equal pieces, depending on how many layers you want
  6. Using a floured rolling pin, roll one piece of dough into a round 1/4-inch thick. Place on floured or greased cookie sheet and bake until just barely golden but not brown, about 3 to 5 minute. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining four sections of the dough, re-flouring cookie sheet if necessary.
  7. To prepare Cream Filling. Whisk together sour cream and sugar. Don't whisk too hard otherwise it may split or get runny. Chill before using.
  8. To prepare custard: Heat milk and sugar until milk almost boils. Slit the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds and add to the milk, or add vanilla extract. In a bowl mix cornflour with a small amount of water to form a paste. Add the paste to milk and simmer until you get the desired consistency. Keep stirring throughout the process.
  9. To assemble cake, coat each layer with cream and place on top of each other. Allow to set for at least 6 hours before serving. Optional: For the top layer crumble the last piece of cake and sprinkle over the top layer

Russian Honey Cake


  1. Oh my favorite cake! It looks quite different from what my mom used to make. I think it must be the custard. My mom would also frost the cake and sprinkle it with chopped walnuts :-)
    I am a beginner baker so something like this would be a project for me and would definitely take a whole day. Kudos to you!!!
    Where are you actually from, anyways?

    1. Its different probably because I didn't use cream, used way less custard and didn't cream the sides and put crumble on top...almost a light version:)
      I think it will be no problems for you to make this

  2. I still maintain this cake looks very impressive! Congratulations for the number of layers, patience and the final amazing result. Moreover, you making a Russian cake or Belorussian pancakes is as incredible as for some I am with my Japanese or Korean dishes! (You know what I meant by food geek soul mates?).
    I think I have been hypnotised by your layered cake and feel like making something sweet and layered too... I have something in mind but it's far from being so splendid.
    I have never heard of sour cream in a cake! (Well, there are some differences between Central and Eastern Europe apparently even in cooking ;-) ).

    1. Thank you. Its certainly not as difficult as it looks.
      Food geek soulmates is an interesting term. I see exactly what you mean, cooking foreign dishes.
      Its the first time I am hearing of cake hypnosis. I would love to be hypnotized this way, sounds sweet:)
      The sour cream filling sounds unusual - many cakes are made with sour cream but not filling. Have you tried sourcream/creme fraiche/yogurt, cocoa and sugar - very nice.

    2. I haven't! I must try it. Thanks for the idea!
      By the way, when I was a child (at the time when people weren't afraid of raw eggs and other normal food products...) I loved a dessert consisting of well stirred raw egg yolk with cocoa and sugar. Children made this one in glasses. One yolk per child.

    3. That sounds like a delicious rich chocolate sauce. Even children could make it until the gov't said raw eggs are dangerous and instead promoted junk food:)

  3. What a beautiful layer cake! I can't believe your layers are so perfect!

  4. Really, your cake is very beautiful and the post you have written is also very beautiful, in the same way, you keep writing more beautiful posts in your life, I am very much impressed by this post for your reading.
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