The famous “Медовик” cake, aka the Russian honey cake recipe. This sweet creation is made with 8 wafer-thin honey cake layers and filled with a creamy custard crème! Every Russian person knows what a special treat this cake is! This delicious cake is enjoyed with tea after dinner in homes across Ukraine and Russia! Since this cake is labor-intensive to make, it’s typically reserved for special occasions such as birthdays, or for the holidays around Christmas and New Years.
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How to Make Honey Cake Layers
This honey cake recipe is made with a honey-infused cooked dough. If you’ve never made a cake with cooked dough before, don’t worry! It’s really easy. Once you have the dough ready, just let it cool down until it’s cooled enough to handle. There are a few different methods of shaping the layers. You can roll out each portion of dough out over parchment paper, then cut out a circle using a pan. You can bake the layer along with the scraps, then use those scraps to crumb-coat the cake. I like to simply press the dough into the bottom of the pan. I find this method produces nice and round layers.
Making the Creamy Custard Filling!
The custard crème recipe I’m sharing with you was passed down to me from my mother, who has been making this cake and crème for years and years. The simple flavor of the custard go perfectly with the honey cake layers. The important part of this recipe is letting the honey cake set and soften in the refrigerator. Once you assemble the cake, let it set in the fridge for at least 24 hours. This will allow the layers to become soft and delicate. The wait will be worth it! For the finishing touches, I added some reserved custard on the top, along with berries and some cute waffle cookies.
Check out my latest ‘Vanilla Pastry Cream’ recipe for a step-by-step tutorial for making the filling!
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Enjoyed this delicious Russian cake recipe? Check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy! And, get my ‘European Cake Cookbook’ for an updated version of this classic recipe!
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- Chocolate Spartak – the ultimate chocolate cake with 8 cake layers and a delicate whipped cream frosting!
- Pistachio Honey Baklava Cake– if you love baklava, you’ll love this incredible honey cake with pistachio buttercream and crunchy pistachio filling!
- Ukrainian Easter Bread (Kulich) – the most delicious, rich, buttery and flake sweet bread for Easter, with royal icing!
- Golden Key Caramel Cake – the best-ever caramel cake with dulce de leche, sweetened condensed milk, pecans and whipped cream frosting!
Russian Honey Cake Recipe – Торт “Медовик” (video)
For Honey Cake Layers:
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For Custard Crème Filling:
- 4 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup butter
- biscoff coffee cookies, or similar, for garnish
- Begin by preparing custard creme first. Whisk together egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in large bowl and set aside. In a large sauce pan, combine milk and flour; whisk until no clumps remain. Cook milk and flour over medium heat, stirring constantly until milk thickens; do not boil. This will take about 5 minutes.
- Whisk hot milk into egg yolk mixture very gradually until well combined; this process is called tempering. Return the saucepan to the stove and cook cream over low-medium heat, stirring constantly until custard forms, about 7-8 minutes; do not boil. Remove custard from heat and add butter. Whisk until butter is completely melted. Cover creme and refrigerate until completely cooled and thickened. Creme can be made ahead of time.
- While creme is cooling, begin making cake layers. Whisk together in large saucepan honey, sugar, eggs and butter. In small bowl, combine baking soda and white vinegar, allowing the soda to react. Pour mixture into honey batter. Cook mixture over low/medium heat, stirring constantly, for 7-8 minutes. The mixture will foam, double in size and turn a darker amber color.
- Remove honey mixture from heat and gradually whisk in 2 1/2 cups of flour. Add additional flour only if dough is too sticky! Dough needs to be very soft. Once dough forms, knead by hand until dough is uniform and smooth. Divide dough in to 8 equal parts.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line 2, 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Using your hands, press 1 piece of dough at at time into a prepared pan to form a thin sheet. Try to make the dough as uniform as possible.
- Bake 2 layers at a time for 5-6 minutes until edges turn golden brown. Remove layers from pan onto cooling rack and continue with remaining dough. Layers are fragile at this point so take extra care.
- Place biscoff cookies into food processor and crush cookies until you have fine crumbs. Once layers and creme are cooled, assemble the cake. Spread a generous amount of creme between each layer. Spread a thin layer of creme on the top and sides. Place cake into the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to let the creme set on the outside.
- Remove cake and spread another layer of creme over the top and sides. Garnish cake with cookie crumbs. Can use any remaining creme to garnish the top (see photo for reference). Can also use melted chocolate and drizzle over top for garnish. Place cake into refrigerator and let stand overnight, allowing the cake layers to softened.
- Note: Place strips of parchment paper around edges for easy clean up! Then remove them when you’re done decorating the cake.
- To decorate cake as pictured: place 8 small spoonfuls of custard around the edge of the cake and top with fresh berries and caramel wafers (pictured from Trader Joe’s)