Delicate and Tender Layer Cake – Smetannik

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4.7 from 7 reviews

Smetannik is a Russian cake that has multiple thin and fluffy cake layers with a tangy and sweet sour cream frosting. The cake is so tender and delicate, it just melts in your mouth.




  • 9 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons oil (vegetable, canola, grapeseed, etc.)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda dissolved in 3/4 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

Sour Cream Frosting:

  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/21 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (16 oz) containers sour cream (32 total ((32 oz total))
  • 8 oz heavy cream or Cool Whip


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper and spray the top and bottom with oil. (I do 2 baking pan at one time.) You will need to do this for every cake layer.
  2. Using a standing mixer with a whisk attachment or a large bowl and a hand mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar until they are pale yellow and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Dissolve the baking soda in the vinegar and add to the batter. Add the honey and oil. Mix to combine.
  4. Add the flour and mix just until the flour is incorporated and the batter is smooth.
  5. Spread 1/9 of the batter evenly in the baking pan. (If you want, you can use a scale and it is approximately 5 oz of the batter for each layer.) The cake layers should be very thin, the batter just covering the bottom of the baking pan. You should have 8-9 cake layers. (I set one of the cake layers aside to use for crumbs and the cake is 8 layers tall.)
  6. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the batter. The cake layers will peel off the parchment paper very easily. Cool the cake layers completely.
  7. Meanwhile, make the sour cream frosting. In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl and a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese and condensed milk until they are an even consistency.
  8. Add the sour cream and vanilla until they are incorporated too. Mix the sour cream only until combined, don’t overmix, or it will become too runny.
  9. Pour in the chilled heavy cream and whip on high speed until the frosting thickens. However, if the frosting is really thin, (it depends on the sour cream, some brands of sour cream become very thin when mixewhip the heavy cream separately and then fold in gently into the sour cream mixture. You can also use the same amount of Cool Whip instead of the heavy cream.
  10. Place one of the cake layers in a food processor and pulse it a few times until you have crumbs and set them aside. The crumbs will be used as a decoration for the sides of the cake.
  11. Spread the sour cream frosting on each of the remaining 8 cake layers.
  12. Since the sour cream frosting is on the thin side, the cake layers may slip around on me. That is ok. Sometimes I use a springform pan to put around the sides of the cake to keep it all together better, place it in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. The sour cream frosting will soak into the cake layers and firm up, so the cake will be perfect at that point. This is what makes this cake so magically soft, fluffy and tender.
  13. Take the springform pan off from around the cake, spread some of the frosting on the sides of the cake, just to even up the sides and then press the crumbs onto the sides of the cake.
  14. Grate some chocolate on top of the cake. If you want, you can also pipe a border around the top of the cake from buttercream frosting. (butter, powdered sugar and a splash of milk.) Store the cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.