Medovik is one of my favorite deserts. It is known under different names and considered one of the most popular cakes in Eastern Europe. For a long time, I was looking for a recipe yielding really thin layers of dough. Two years ago, my friend and a talented patisserie chef from Moscow, Natasha Dolgikh, shared a recipe of another celebrity patisserie chef from Moscow, Oleg Ilyin. That recipe was exactly what I was looking for — technologically brilliant and perfect for my taste.

This cake was so popular, I took its existence for granted, never wondering who and how created it. Today I found a legendary story of its origin. According to rumors, the Empress Elizabeth A. did not like honey, so all the court cooks avoided using it as an ingredient. Once, a new cook, who was not familiar yet with the gastronomic tastes of the Empress, created a new cake for her — honey-based layers of cookie-like dough and pastry cream between them. It was too late when he found out about forbidden ingredient. The cook was praying for the Empress not to recognize the flavor of honey. And she did not. Elizabeth liked the cake so much, she demanded the new chef to immediately come from the kitchen and tell her what’s in it. He honestly told her he used honey and prepared to accept his punishment. Contrary to his expectations, the Empress acted quite the opposite — she rewarded him for the cake. Medovik has become a popular dessert among the Russian nobility, and later among the common people.

Medovik/Honey Cake
Medovik/Honey Cake

There are many recipes of Honey Cake. The dough layers vary from thick and soft sponge to thin and delicate cookie layers. Most of today recipes use sour cream-based cream, but it might be flavored with condensed milk or caramel. Some home cooks add chopped prunes and crushed walnuts between layers. There are different ways to decorate Medovik, mostly with just crumbled baked dough.

Honey Cake (Medovik)

Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time10 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Eastern European
Keyword: cake, dessert, honey, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, recipe
Servings: 12 portions

Ingredients

for thin cookie layers

  • 110 g sugar
  • 108 g honey
  • 90 g eggs
  • 110 g butter
  • 9 g baking soda
  • 2.5 g citric acid
  • 390 g wheat flour all-purpose

for cream

  • 300 g heavy whipping cream
  • 200 g sour cream
  • 45 g powdered sugar

for 2 fruit layers (optional)

  • 3 cups prunes dry, chopped
  • 100 ml rum
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate syrup unsweetened
  • 1/3 cup reserved cream

Instructions

for thin cookie layers

  • Bring butter to room temperature. Add sugar, honey, and eggs. Mix well using a whisk.
  • Bring the temperature of the mixture to 140F/60C in a bain-marie. Take it off heat, add baking soda and citric acid, and vigorously whip it into foam using whisk. It takes less than a minute.
    Making Honey Cake Dough
  • Add all flour and stir it in using spatula. Let the dough cool to the room temperature.
  • Divide the dough to 9 portions 90g each. Roll them paper-thin between two sheets of parchment paper or between parchment paper and silicon mats. Bake each portion 5-6 minutes on 320F/160C, or until dark golden.
  • Use a 12" plate and a knife to cut disks. Keep leftovers. Crumble them for decoration.
    Honey Cake Thin Layers

for cream

  • Whip cream with sugar powder.
  • Fold it into a sour cream. If your sour cream lack tartness, add some lemon juice (1 tsp). If alternating layers with prune paste, reserve about 1/3 cup of the cream.
  • Assemble the cake. Cover it with the last portion of cream and sprinkle with baked crumbs. Refrigerate the cake for 6-8 hours before serving.

for 3 fruit layers (optional)

  • In an airtight container, mix dry chopped prunes and rum. Keep prunes soaking for at least 12 hours. Shake container from time to time to make sure all dry bits are soaking.
  • Add pomegranate syrup and blend the mixture to a paste consistency. Adjust the taste and texture by adding more pomegranate syrup if needed.
  • Fold reserved cream into the prune paste to soften the spread. Use it for every third layer and sides of the cake.

Notes

Baked cake layers are easier to transfer from baking sheet to a cooling surface while they are still warm and flexible. Shape them to the same size before layering the cake. It is also better done while they are still warm. After cooling down, they harden and become crispy and fragile. Prepare enough space for them in advance.
Торт "Медовик" по рецепту Олега Ильина
Карамельный "Медовик"
Honey Cake (Medovik)
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