Medovik – Honey Layer Cake: Торт “Медовик”

IMG_0613 (550x367) (2) My mom has been making this cake since before I was born. I loved watching her in the kitchen; I was always in awe of how she expertly made beautiful creations right before my very eyes. She made it looks so easy and effortless. As I watched her, it all seemed so magical and I couldn’t wait until I made this cake myself.

I was probably about eleven or twelve when I felt confident enough to approach her and plead with her to let me have a try. Mom told me it was a really hard cake to make, really finicky and I wouldn’t be able to do it. Well, she didn’t forbid me from making it. The next time Mom wasn’t home, I rolled up my sleeves and made this cake, from start to finish. When Mom came home, the Medovik was finished and standing proudly as if personifying my victory. (By the way, this is exactly the same thing that happened with Borsch and cake Napoleon.) Ha ha! I was always a very determined girl:). Love you, Mom.

I can’t believe I haven’t shared this recipe yet, since this is MY FAVORITE CAKE. I guess it’s a good time to share a Christmas variation of it. Multiple thin layers taste almost like caramel. This cake is so tender and delicate, it’s fit for royalty. 

For the cake layers:

Place the butter and sugar in a large nonstick pot.

If you don’t have a nonstick pot, or your pot burns easily, you may wish to use a double boiler. (Just place a metal or glass bowl on top of a pot with about an inch or water in it and keep it simmering, but make sure the bottom on the bowl never touches the simmering water. Add more water if it evaporates.

Cook it just until the butter melts but is still barely warm, NOT HOT. Take it off the heat.  Add the eggs, baking soda and honey and mix to combine. IMG_0471 (550x367) IMG_0473 (550x367)

This is important, if you add the eggs to hot butter, it will scramble.

Cook the mixture on medium low heat for about 7 minutes, longer if you’re using a double boiler. The batter will puff up and turn a deep caramel color. IMG_0475 (550x367) IMG_0479 (550x367) (2) Add the flour and mix quickly with a wooden spoon. IMG_0481 (550x367)

I always add less flour than I need and add more when I’m rolling out the cake layers. If you add too much flour, it will be really hard to roll out.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the cake layers.

Take approximately 1/4 cup of batter and knead it on your work surface. If it’s sticking to your hands and the counter, add more flour. Roll it out thinly into somewhat of a circle. Use the bottom of a cake pan or the bottom of a tart pan to cut around it with a paring knife to make a perfect circle.  IMG_0486 (550x367)

You can save all the scraps just the way you cut them and place them on a baking sheet and then bake. Later, you can crush them into crumbs and sprinkle the sides and top of the cake.

I usually just take the scraps and knead them into the batter as I roll out each new cake layer. It works great.  IMG_0489 (550x367) I use 2 (9 inch) round tart pans to bake the cake layers. If you don’t have a tart pan, use a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkled with flour or lined with parchment paper.

Sprinkle the bottom of the tart pan with flour and bake the cake layers for about 4 minutes each. IMG_0487 (550x367) IMG_0490 (550x367) Take them off the tart pan right away. As the cake layers cool, they will become pretty hard. Work quickly; you can roll out the cake layers and set them aside, waiting to be baked.

You want to roll them all out while the batter is still warm. As the batter cools, it becomes harder and harder to roll out.

You will end up with about 10-12 layers.

IMG_0527 (550x421)

IMG_0529 (550x363) For the frosting:

Cream the softened cream cheese and condensed milk in a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer until it’s well combined. IMG_0518 (550x367) Add the sour cream and vanilla. IMG_0520 (550x367) In another chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream with the powdered sugar. Gently fold it into the rest of the frosting. IMG_0523 (550x367) IMG_0524 (550x367)

To assemble:

Dust off any excess flour from the cake layers. IMG_0535 (550x367) Line your serving plate edges with aluminum foil. Place a dollop of frosting into the center of the plate, just to keep the cake from sliding around. IMG_0541 (550x367) Top each cake layer with about 1/4 cup of frosting and spread it around evenly. IMG_0542 (550x367) Repeat with all the cake layers. As you place the layers on top of each other, some of the frosting will ooze out of the sides. Spread it out evenly over the sides. IMG_0544 (550x361) IMG_0547 (550x367) IMG_0549 (550x353) Gently remove the aluminum foil. Grate some white chocolate on top of the cake and chopped nuts or crushed cake layer scraps over the sides of the cake.

Heat 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan just until the sugar dissolves. Pour it into a shallow dish. Place about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of sugar in another shallow dish. Dip the rosemary and the red currants in the sugar syrup and dip it in the sugar. IMG_0569 (550x367) (2) IMG_0571 (550x367) IMG_0575 (550x367) Place on a parchment paper to dry and then place it on the cake. Now you have a beautiful winter masterpiece.  IMG_0576 (550x367) IMG_0613 (550x367) (2) IMG_0621 (550x367)

Medovik – Honey Layer Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 1 (9 inch) cake
Ingredients
Cake:
  • 1 stick of butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3½ – 4 cups flour
Frosting:
  • ½ package of cream cheese (4 oz total)
  • ½ can sweetened condensed milk
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
Sugared rosemary and currants:
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Red currants or cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup plus ½ cup sugar
Instructions
For the cake layers:
  1. Place the butter and sugar in a large nonstick pot. If you don’t have a nonstick pot, or your pot burns easily, you may wish to use a double boiler. (Just place a metal or glass bowl on top of a pot with about an inch or water in it and keep it simmering, but make sure the bottom on the bowl never touches the simmering water. Add more water if it evaporates.
  2. Cook it just until the butter melts but is still barely warm, NOT HOT.
  3. Take it off the heat. Add the eggs, baking soda and honey and mix to combine.
  4. Cook the mixture on medium low heat for about 7 minutes, longer if you’re using a double boiler. The batter will almost double in size and will turn a deep caramel color. Take it off the heat.
  5. Add the flour and mix quickly with a wooden spoon. I always add less flour than I need and add more when I’m rolling out the cake layers. If you add too much flour, it will be really hard to roll out.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the cake layers.
  8. Take approximately ¼ cup of batter and knead it on your work surface. If it’s sticking to your hands and the counter, add more flour. Roll it out thinly into somewhat of a circle.
  9. Use the bottom of a cake pan or the bottom of a tart pan to cut a perfect circle. You can save all the scraps just the way you cut them and place them on a baking sheet and then bake. Later, you can crush them into crumbs and sprinkle the sides and top of the cake. I usually just take the scraps and knead them into the batter as I roll out each new cake layer.
  10. I use 2 (9 inch) round tart pans to bake the cake layers. If you don’t have a tart pan, use a rimmed baking sheet., sprinkled with flour or lined with parchment paper.
  11. Sprinkle the bottom of the tart pan with flour and bake the cake layers for about 4 minutes each.
  12. Take them off the tart pan right away. As the cake layers cool, they will become pretty hard.
  13. Working quickly, repeat with the rest of the cake batter. You can roll out the cake layers and set them aside, waiting to be baked. You want to roll them all out while the batter is still warm. As the batter cools, it becomes harder and harder to roll out. You should have approximately 10-12 cake layers.
For the frosting:
  1. Cream the softened cream cheese and condensed milk in a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer until it’s well combined.
  2. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix to combine.
  3. In another chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream with the powdered sugar.
  4. Gently fold it into the rest of the frosting.
To assemble:
  1. Dust off any excess flour from the cake layers.
  2. Line your serving plate edges with aluminum foil.
  3. Place a dollop of frosting into the center of the plate, just to keep the cake from sliding around.
  4. Top each cake layer with about ¼ cup of frosting and spread it around evenly.
  5. Repeat with all the cake layers. As you place the layers on top of each other, some of the frosting will ooze out of the sides. Spread it out evenly over the sides.
  6. Grate some white chocolate on top of the cake and chopped nuts or crushed cake layer scraps over the sides of the cake.
  7. Gently remove the aluminum foil.
  8. Heat 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan just until the sugar dissolves. Pour it into a shallow dish.
  9. Place about ⅓ – ½ cup of sugar in another shallow dish.
  10. Dip the rosemary and the red currants in the sugar syrup and dip it in the sugar.
  11. Place on a parchment paper to dry and then place it on the cake. Now you have a beautiful winter masterpiece.

 

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Comments

    • says

      I bought it in a regular grocery store. Rosemary is sold in every store, usually with other fresh herbs. Red currants are very seasonal, so you may not be able to find them. You can easily substitute cranberries.

    • says

      Hi Natasha,
      You can bake the layers approximately a week and a half in advance. Just make sure to store them at room temperature, very well sealed.

  1. angelina says

    Olga you don’t know how excited i am right now. I love you so much! I tried making medovik two times….and guess what? Failed both times! It is my husbands favorite cake and i cant even make it…..Now I can! With your wonderful guidance! Thank you so much! Now i know what cake I will make for Christmas!

  2. Elena says

    Olga this cake looks beautiful!!!!! At the top you mentioned something about cake Napoleon. Is their anyway you can post the recipe for Napoleon cake. Thanks

  3. Nodira says

    Thank you for the recipe. I cooked the honey cake it was delicious, everyone liked it. My friends thought I bought the cake from the shop. Because the Cake layers were profesionaly done. I have similar recipe of a honey cake it is yumyyy too.

  4. Julia says

    Olya, thanks for the lovely recipe! Can you please tell me what temperature to set the oven for baking the cake layers?

  5. Olga M says

    Thank you so much for posting this. Your pictures and directions are so easy to follow. I make this cake but can never explain it to anyone. The only thing that I do different is to cut the layer into a circle as soon as it comes out of the oven. The edges are softer, more even and rarely burned. I also use whipped cream and cooked sweetened condensed milk for the frosting, but will try out your recipe next time.

  6. Olga says

    Hi Olga,

    I tried to make your cake, it is very nice. It is similar to my mum’s cake recipe but she makes a cream differently with butter. When I purchased sour cream I wasn’t sure about the peasant age of fat so I bought 20% fat but I think the cream wasn’t thick enough even though very tasty. What sour cream do you usually use?

    Many thanks,
    Olga

    • says

      The frosting is not supposed to be thick. If you’re thinking of butter cream, it is definitely much thicker than a frosting made from sour cream, however, I personally do not like butter cream.
      The sour cream I use is the regualr full fat version that is sold in grocery stores, not the low fat, part skim, any of those sour creams. I’m not sure what %fat content is in the sour cream. I’ve never noticed it written anywhere on the package.

  7. marina says

    Oh how I love this cake! I have been looking for “the” honey cake recipe that would be like the classic from my childhood. You have done it Olga:)) I made it twice already, and I absolutely love it!
    Thank you and may God bless you.

  8. Irina says

    Olga, I am planning in making this cake:-) my question is, can I substitute the heavy cream for whipping heavy cream? What’s the difference? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Irina!
      Heavy cream and heavy whipping cream are basically the same thing. Yes, they will both work. However, heavy cream has a slightly higher fat content, so it will keep it’s shape better and longer. Heavy whipping cream will whip up too, but it will deflate faster. For this recipe, both will work just as well. If you’re whipping up cream for desserts where the whipped cream is on it’s own, it’s best to use heavy cream.

  9. HB says

    Hi Olga,
    I should say I admire your talent. You are clearly very artistic. I like the care that you use in your creations. I have a couple of questions regarding the honey cake. I used to make it long time ago. There were diferent variations on it. I remember making man’s ideal, which was a no-fat batter cooked on a double boiler.
    Now I am trying to make it and every time I fail. I should say that I am not a novice when it comes to baking. What I do not like in the recipes I use is that they do not seem to be porous, and, most importantly they do not turn brown even though I use honey and cook them. What I remember about these honey cakes is that they were soft and chewey. Not the ones that I bake now.
    Any advice?
    Best,
    Hasmik

    PS I am going to try your recipe this Friday, but if you have any tips, I would really appreciate.

    • says

      Hi Hasmik,
      Did you already try this recipe? I’m not exactly sure what you were having trouble with. If you follow the recipe, it should turn out. I try to be very detailed in the instructions.

  10. HB says

    Olga, I did try this recipe on Friday and cut it yesterday. Wow! it worked perfectly. I used dolce de leche and equal parts of whipping cream and sour cream. (It took me 8 recipes to find the right one, but it was worth it). Thank you so much!
    Olga, I was wondering if you had the recipe of’mujskoi ideal’.

    • says

      I’m so happy to hear that, HB. Thanks for taking the time to write and tell me.
      Can you describe the cake to me? Sometimes there are different cake names.

  11. HB says

    The cake I am referring to has eggs, sugar, honey and flour (no butter). It is made on a double boiler. It is not a thick dough, so you either press it on foil or spread with knife. It is very porous and chewey. You peel the foil when it is baked. The frosting is dolche de leche and butter (but frankly I like the version with sour cream and whipped cream better). You put walnuts between the layers and on the top. Does this ring a bell? I imagine all former Soviet bloc was making this.
    Another favorite from that era was bird’s milk (ptich’e moloko) – not the one with souffle, but the layered cake with ganache on top.

  12. julie says

    olga, спекла медовик по твоему рецепту! получилось замечательно, необыкноенно нежный торт! мои гости были в восторге! спасибо!

  13. Melissa says

    Oh my goodness Olga! SO beautiful! Just glorious, really. I cannot wait to make this next Christmas. Since the cake doesn’t rise much, I’m going to try converting it with gluten free flour for my family with allergies. Thank you for your wonderful blog!

  14. says

    I made this cake last night in honor of the Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremonies. Everyone loved it and we going back for seconds before the finished their first piece. It was surprisingly delicious. It wasn’t too hard to make but it looks like it takes a lot of work :) Thank you for this recipe I will definitely be using it again.

  15. Susanna says

    Hi Olga,

    I am so excited to make this cake for my family this weekend. I am trying to plan ahead….can I bake the layers on one day and then make the frosting and assemble another day, or do I have to do it all in one day (not sure if the layers will get too hard if not assembled the same day). Or another options is, could I make the cake completely two days before serving? Would it get too mushy?

    Thanks!

    Susanna

    • says

      Hi Susanna,
      You can bake the layers ahead of time, even up to a week ahead of time. Just store them somewhere tightly wrapped so they don’t absorb the smells of the room, etc. You can also make the whole cake a day or two in advance as well. It will not get too soggy.

      • Susanna says

        I made it!!!! It’s SOOOOO GOOD! Thank you so much for posting this great recipe! My Russian and American families were quite impressed. By the way, in the last two weeks I also made your recipes for pelmeni, chicken kotleti and the salmon appetizer cake. All were AWESOME! Can’t wait to try more Olga’s treats!

        Thank you! All the best to you!

        Susanna

        • says

          I’m so happy to hear that you had good results with the cake, Susanna. I’m so honored that you’ve been using some of my other recipes too:). I’m always thrilled to hear that.

  16. says

    Love it! I made Medovik with 16 layers for my wedding…. Only I made a traditional cream – whipped butter with sugar + кляр. I will definitely try yours. Thank you!

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