Russian Honey Cake Recipe – Торт “Медовик” (video)
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!
- Walnut Prune Honey Cake – a traditional Eastern European cake with honey cake layers, walnuts, prunes and sour cream frosting!
- 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)
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I never know how to decorate Medovik….thank you for beautiful idea!!!! You sure have a talent….thank you for the recipe will have to try that custard cream…
Thank you for watching! 🙂
Hi Tatyana, I’m making this cake right now and I was wondering how long you wait for the honey mixture to cool down before putting in the flour? It’s gone down in size but the foam is still there. Do I need to skim the foam off? The video is awesome! Thanks a bunch
Hi Nadia! Sorry for the late reply! Hope the cake turned out well for you! I usually just stir the mixture and the foam settles down. Thanks for watching! 🙂
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Just made it. Easy and delicious. Thank you!
Awesome! 🙂 I’m glad you liked it! 🙂
I made it , it’s so delicious and awesome TvT … I’ll prepare this recipe again ^^
Thank you () .
Tried this recipe and it was a total flop. My eggs were totally scrambled.. Any advice? Thank You
Oh, no! 🙁 Sorry that your recipe didn’t turn out! It’s VERY important to add the hot cream into the eggs slowly and to cook the mixture at a low heat. It takes a little while for the custard to form but it’s worth the wait! 🙂
what do you think about substituting sugar with honey, meaning that the cake would be all honey….. 1 cup honey instead of 1/2 sugar and 1/2 honey… Any reason you would advise against it? Thank you!
I think that might work, too 🙂 I haven’t tried it that way but no reason why it shouldn’t work!
hey tatyana , really love all ur recipes thank you so much ,and could u please tell me if I use honey instead of sugar or if I could decrease the quantity of sugar how would u suggest I do that as my family doesn’t like very sweet , but we all are big fan of medovik cake !
I recommend sticking with the quantity of sugar in the recipe because the recipe will turn out differently if you change the amount. The cake is actually not too sweet. I hope you enjoy my recipe! 🙂
Hello, I used your recipe but changed the cow milk for almond milk and the butter for coconut oil because I’m allergic to dairy and baked this cake some weeks ago, it still turned out really good, but somehow there was not enough cake mix in comparison to the cream even though I used the exact same quantity from the recipe. I was wondering if it would affect the ending result of the cake in a bad way if I add a bit more of the ingredients?
Hmm, I’m not sure how the substitutions would affect the recipe. Did you have extra cream? Maybe cut the recipe in half for next time… 🙂
Hello Tatyana! Thanks for sharing this recipe! I’m wondering when I should stop heating the honey mixture? Do I take it off the heat when it foams to its maximum? Or do I wait for the foam to settle down and the honey mixture turns amber before removing it from the heat?
Hi! 🙂 You want to cook it until it reaches an amber color, about 8 to 10 minutes on a medium heat
I just made this, it’s chilling in the fridge. the custard is pretty liquid. I hope it will hold. Also will the edges get soft? I’ve picked up the parchment paper and gathered the edges around the cake so that they remain covered with creme.
Also all the other recipes have sour cream frosting with honey cake. Have you ever used that?which is the authentic frosting?
Hope the cake turned out well for you! The custard will set more once it’s in the refrigerator. The sour cream frosting would work here, too but I don’t like the ‘sour’ taste of it with this cake. Custards are more bakery-style
Hello, i would like to try this recipe and i was wondering if i can use custard mix instead of making the custard. If yes, how much custard would i need?
Hi! Yes, I think that would work. I used about 3 cups of custard
Thank you so much Tatyana. Can’t wait to try it.
i made this cake .it was wonderful.thank u.bt the cake layers kind slipped.i had to fix with toothpic before surving…u hav any idea y it happend?
Next time, try assembling the cake in a spring form pan if it slips too much. The form will help keep it in place while it sets 🙂
Thank you so much…i will definitly try it next time.
Delicious! Made this cake for my mother inlaws bday, so good!
Perfect cake for a birthday! 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
this looks absolutely amazing the thought of adding honey to cake sounds so delicious!!
It’s such a delicious cake! The flavor of the honey is amazing. Hope you love the cake!
This is definitely my favorite cake , brings alot of memories of home. Can’t wait to try it . When baking the layers in an electric oven , do we use bottom heat only or upper and lower heat? And do we use the fan or without a fan?
Hi Sally! It’s a childhood favorite of mine, too! I use the bottom heat only and with no fan. If you do use a fan, it will speed up the baking time slightly so keep an eye on the layers. Hope you enjoy it!