Medovik Russian Honey Cake – layers of caramelized honey goodness with creamy tangy sour cream filling – it’s a showstopper dessert sure to create a statement!
I first encountered this cake while traveling through Eastern Europe and fell instantly in love with it. (Insert missing travel hashtags and emojis!!) Its taste reminds me of Dutch stroopwafels and honey biscuits. It might sound like a rich heavy cake, but it’s in fact surprisingly light with flavours of burnt honey taking it to another level! (honey is not burnt technically, just caramelized)
Baking the layers
This Medovik Russian Honey Cake is totally worth every ounce of effort that it took to make the layers. I put on some music and got into a production line. I drew two circles of 7″ on 3 sheets of parchment papers that fit my baking tray perfectly. One sheet inside oven, one ready to go, and one getting rolled and prepped. Divide the dough into 8 parts, roll them on the circle you drew. Using the 7″ ring or a pan for reference, cut into neat circles to match the circles drawn. Do not discard the extra – we’ll bake them to make the crumbs to cover the final cake! Poke some holes with a fork and they are ready to be baked. These take just 8-9 minutes to bake!
The hardest part of all was to chill this cake overnight in fridge for the layers to soften and soak up flavours. While the thin layers harden shortly after coming out of the oven, the moisture of the filling softens it again over time.
I’ll be more generous with the frosting between layers next time since they get absorbed by the layers as the cake sits.
If you don’t have access to sour cream or cannot make your own, you can use a mix of cream cheese and Greek Yogurt instead.
It’s really interesting to discover and experience what different countries have to offer in terms of food and specially desserts! Check out the recipe for Chimney Cake (Kürtöskalács in Hungarian or Trdelník in Czech)!
Medovik – Russian Honey Cake
- 100 g honey
- 85 g unsalted butter
- 100 g Caster Sugar
- 3 regular eggs
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 400 g All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder – optional
- 350 g sour cream
- 60 g icing sugar
- 40 g honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 350 g heavy whipping dairy cream – skip the icing sugar if using non-dairy whip topping
Prepare Burnt Honey
- In a deep saucepan, cook HALF of the honey on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes till it turns deeper caramel brown colour. Turn off the heat and add 2-3 tbsp of cold water to stop it from cooking further. Keep aside to cool completely.
Prepare Cake Batter
- In a saucepan, heat the butter, sugar, burnt honey and regular honey for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the baking soda. The mixture will bubble and get lighter in color. Let it cool to lukewarm. Add the vanilla and salt and mix. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Whisk the eggs in a separate small bowl. Add the eggs to the butter-honey mixture slowly while continuously whisking to incorporate all the eggs properly.
- Sift in the flour and fold it in. You'll get a soft cookie-like dough. Cover it and keep the dough in fridge for about 15 minutes.
Bake the cake layers
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare 3 parchment sheets the size of your baking tray. Draw 2 circles of 7" on each (or one on each if your oven is smaller).
- Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces (about 100g each). Roll each piece on the circles you drew on parchment paper. Cut them into exact 7" round with the cake ring. Reserve the extra scraps for baking at the end.
- Prick each disc with a fork. Bake them for 8-9 minutes at 180°C till they turn evenly golden brown.
- Transfer the sheet to a cooling rack and transfer the next parchment paper with discs. Bake them all two at a time (or one at a time depending on your oven size).
- Bake the reserved cuts for about 8-9 minutes until golden. Cool completely. Pulse them in a food processor to fine crumbs and reserve them for decoration later.
Prepare the frosting
- In a large bowl, mix the sour cream, icing sugar, honey and vanilla.
- In another chilled bowl with a chilled whisk, whip the cream until stiff peaks. Gently fold in the sour cream mixture until well combined.
Assemble the cake
- Add a little frosting on your platter and put one cake disc on top. Spread 2 large spoonfuls of frosting evenly across the layer. Repeat the process for all 8 layers of cake. Cover the whole cake on top and sides with frosting.
- Transfer the cake to refrigerator to chill completely and let the layers soften.
- When ready to serve, cover the whole cake with the crumbs. You can also pipe some whipped cream on top for decoration. Cut into slices and enjoy!
- If you don’t have access to sour cream or cannot make your own, you can use a mix of cream cheese and Greek Yogurt instead.