Honey Layer Cake “Medovik” Recipe
Honey Layer Cake “Medovik” Recipe -wafer thin layers of honey cake and rich custard pastry cream make this cake insanely delicious.
This is a Russian (Eastern European) cake and one of my favorite desserts. I very rarely make it. It reminds me of my childhood, when a Russian neighbor, who was a great baker used to make this cake and give me some.
I’m not Russian and I can’t say this is an authentic recipe. This is just a variation of the original recipe, which I’ve tested and can say works best for my taste.
I’ve seen recipes for this cake with different cream fillings, but I personally think that the custard one is the best. The thin and dry cake layers need a moist filling, like pastry cream, so they can soak up some moisture and flavor.
You basically make cake dough with honey in it, split it into 8 equal parts and roll out thin circles. I used the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, for a guide to make circles with the same size. Then you bake each layer for 4-6 minutes. Once they have cooled to room temperature, you can assemble the cake, by adding a generous amount of custard.
Do you wonder where the crumbs that the cake is covered with came from? These are the scraps, left over after cutting the cake layers from the dough. I baked them separately until golden, then placed in a food processor to make fine crumbs. I used them to coat the cake, to make it look more authentic. Cookie crumbs could be used instead.
Hope you get to try it! I know the 8 layers might seem like a lot of work, but trust me, they are super easy to make.
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- For the honey cake layers:
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp butter, melted
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp vinegar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, (1/2 cup of which reserved on the side)
- For the custard cream filling:
- 6 egg yolks
- 3 cups milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (I used alcohol-free)
- 1/1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
- In a saucepan combine milk and flour, whisk to combine, make sure there are no clumps. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, don’t let it boil. Remove from heat.
- In the mean time in a deep bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
- Slowly add hot milk to egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly, so the egg yolks don’t cook.
- Return mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 8 minutes. At this time, custard should have formed and should be covering the spatula in a thin layer. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Transfer to a bowl, let custard cool at room temperature for 20 minutes, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour until cold.
- In a saucepan, whisk together honey, sugar, butter and eggs. In a small bowl combine baking soda and vinegar, let it bubble, this will prevent from the soda taste to be present in the cake layers. Add mixture to the saucepan.
- Transfer to the stove top and cook over medium, stirring constantly for 8 minutes. This mixture will bubble and first and double its size, then it will turn into darker amber color. Remove from heat and let it cool for 4-5 minutes.
- Start by adding 2 1/2 cups flour, a little at a time to the saucepan, mixing to incorporate with a spatula. Make sure there are no lumps. Slowly add the remaining 1/2 cups of flour. The dough might be a little oily, but not sticky.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Dust a working surface with flour and transfer the dough on it. Form a ball, then cut into 8 even pieces.
- Roll each piece into a circle. You can either make 8 or 9-inch layers. I like to use the bottom of a spring form pan, a 9-inch one in this cake to guide and cut out circles with the same size and shape.
- You can roll cake layers over parchment paper and then bake them directly over it. Reserve the scraps left after cutting the layers for later.
- Repeat with all 8 balls of dough.
- Bake layers for 4-6 minutes each, until golden.
- Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool completely.
- Place scraps on a baking pan and bake for 5-6 minutes, until golden. Let them cool, then transfer to a food processor and process until you get fine crumbs.
- Start by placing the first layer on a plate. Spread a generous amount of filling over it. Top with the second layer and add custard. Repeat with the remaining layers. Spread custard over the sides of the cake and on top, over the last layer. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Add a second layer of custard over the whole cake and top with crumbs. Gently try to place crumbs over the sides of the cake, too.
- Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
- Serve and enjoy!