This incredibly tender Fluffy Honey Layer Cake is perfect for any occasion. The creamy sour cream frosting pairs so well with the honey cake and the fresh fruit and almonds make it classically beautiful.
Words don’t do this cake justice, so I’m going to keep it short. This honey cake is perfect any time of year and is relatively simple to prepare. The honey gives the cake a sweet and caramelized flavor, which is so magical and pairs so well with the tangy cream cheese and sour cream frosting.
Decorating with fruit is a great choice always. Fruit is beautiful, and no matter how you arrange it, you know it will make a gorgeous presentation. It also adds so much fresh and juicy flavor to the cake.
This cake has been a family favorite for decades. I hope you will enjoy it too.
Preparing the Honey Cake Layers
The honey cake layers are very similar to a sponge cake, so it’s important to start out with room temperature ingredients, so that you get as much volume as possible. This will help the cake layers to become very fluffy and rise as they bake.
Sift the dry ingredients into the beaten eggs, sugar and honey mixture and then fold it in gently using a rubber spatula so that you retain as much of the volume of the cake as possible. Mix just until all the flour is incorporated, making sure to get all the flour from the bottom of the bowl too.
Tips To Keep the Cake Layers Flat and Even
To prevent the cake layers from caving in the center as they bake and then cool, DON’T grease the sides of the cake pans with butter or oil. This will help the cake to get a good “grip” on the edges of the cake pan as they bake and will result in a flat and even surface of each cake layer. However, make sure to place a round piece of parchment paper on the bottom of each cake pan to help you get the cake out of the pan after it’s finished baking.
Cool the cake in the cake pan for 5-7 minutes, before using a very thin knife to go around the edges of the cake and then gently remove the cake layers out of the cake pan.
Cool the cake layers completely before slicing each of the cake layers in half horizontally.
What Cake Pans Should Be Used For This Cake
I recommend using 10 inch round cake pans. They will bake through faster which will keep the cake layers much more tender. However, 9 inch cake pans will also work, you will need to bake them longer though, since they will be taller and require more time to bake through.
Preparing the Cream Cheese and Sour Cream Frosting
This is my favorite frosting to use for this cake. It isn’t as thick as a typical butter cream of cream cheese frosting, because it has sour cream, sweetened condensed milk and whipped heavy cream part of the ingredients. I think it makes a really delicious frosting. Since it’s thinner, it is able to soak into the cake layers more, resulting in the most tender cake.
Make sure to start with softened cream cheese, which will mix up much better. The sour cream and heavy cream should be cold though.
When the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk are smooth, add the sour cream and vanilla, mix until combined.
Heavy cream vs Cool Whip
I use heavy cream and powdered sugar for this frosting. You can also use the same amount of already prepared whipped topping, such as Cool Whip. The Cool Whip has stabilizers in it, so it will give the frosting a much thicker consistency. I prefer to use heavy cream, but the choice is up to you.
Fold in the whipped cream gently into the frosting.
If you want a thicker frosting
As I already mentioned, it is my opinion that this particular frosting works the best for this cake. However, if you prefer a frosting to be thicker and richer, use only cream cheese, (add an additional package of cream cheese, powdered sugar to taste and 8 oz of Cool Whip. This will give you a really thick frosting.
Tips To Frosting the Cake
You should use ALL of the frosting for this cake, so be generous when spreading it on the cake layers, leaving only enough frosting to go around the edges and the top of the cake. If you don’t use all of the frosting, your cake will be more dry.
To keep the cake from sliding around, I use the sides of a springform pan and place it around the cake after I have frosted it and place it into the refrigerator for a few hours to chill and set as the frosting is soaking into the cake layers.
Then, I use a really thin knife to go around the edges of the cake and carefully remove the springform pan, and then use the remixing frosting to frost the sides of the cake.
Use the palms of your hands to add toasted almonds around the edges of the cake. Decorate the top of the cake with fresh fruit.
How Far In Advance Can You Prepare This Cake?
I like assembling and frosting the cake the day before I serve it, so that it chills in the refrigerator overnight. Add the fresh fruit right before serving, up to a few hours in advice only. The fruit will wilt if you place it on the cake too far in advance.
The fluffy layers of this honey cake are frosted with a creamy sour cream frosting. This is such a tender and delicious cake, perfect for any occasion. Decorated with almonds and fruit, it’s also classically beautiful.
6 eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons honey
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 (8 oz. packages) cream cheese, softened
1/2 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/3 cup powdered sugar, or to taste
Optional garnishes to decorate the cake:
1–2 mangos or peaches, peeled and sliced
1 box strawberries, halved or sliced
2 kiwi, peeled and sliced
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Cut out parchment paper to fit into the bottom of 2 round cake pans. You can use either 9 or 10 inch pans. Do NOT use butter or oil to brush the sides of the cake pans.
Using a hand mixer or a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and gradually add in the sugar. Mix until the eggs are pale and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.
Add the honey.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and the baking soda. Sift the dry ingredients over the batter and gently fold it in using a rubber spatula until all the flour is incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly between the two can pans.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes for the 10 inch cakes and the 9 inch cakes will take longer to bake through in the center.
Take out the cake layers from the oven, cool for 5 minutes. Use a thin knife to go around the edges of the cake and gently take the cakes out of the cake pan. Place on a cooling rack and cool completely. You can bake the cake layers up to 3 days in advance, but if you don’t use them within the first few hours, cover them with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap to keep from drying out and to keep the cake layers fresh.
Meanwhile, make the frosting.
With a hand mixer or using a standing mixer and a paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese and condensed milk, until they are smooth. Use only half a can of sweetened condensed milk.
Add the sour cream and vanilla. In another bowl and using a whisk attachment, whip up the chilled heavy cream with the powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold in the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until the frosting is smooth.
Place some aluminum foil around the edges of the plate where you’ll be assembling the cake. This will keep the sides of the plate clean while you’re working with drippy frosting, crumbs and almonds.
Cut each cake layer in half horizontally.
Generously spread each cake layer with frosting. Don’t smoosh the cake too much while you’re doing it.
Spread more frosting on the sides and top of the cake. You may need to chill the cake in the refrigerator for a few hours until the frosting has soaked into the cake and to make frosting it much easier. I usually assemble and frost the cake the day before I am planning to serve it.
Using the palms of your hands, coat the sides of the cake with toasted almonds. Decorate the top of the cake with fruit. If you’re going to be serving the cake the next day, leave the fruit off the cake and decorate it before serving.
Keywords: Honey Layer Cake, Russian Honey Cake, Fluffy Honey Layer Cake, How To Make a Honey Cake
The recipe for this Fluffy Honey Layer Cake was originally published on August 23, 2013. I have updated the pictures and clarified the instructions to give you the best results.