Ukrainian cake – pliatsok “Stefanka”

Ukrainian cuisine is famous for its diverse in flavor and taste cakes, and one of them is pliatsok. This cake is the masterpiece of confectionery. In Lviv and Ternopil the world ‘pliatsok’ is explained as pastry, which combines crusts (baked in a rectangular shape), creams, and fillings.

If you do wonder to deep into the tradition of cooking this amazing Ukrainian cake, I’ll be glad to guide you through the process of baking. Today we’re going the make pliatsok “Stefanka.” Thanks to its rich look and deep taste, this dessert is perfect for some feast days. The cake cutout has interesting patterns owing to different kinds of crusts and creams. This pliatsok will not leave your guests unmoved. Be sure!

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 250 g (1/2 lb) sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 700 g (24,5 oz) flour
  • 150 g (5 oz) margarine

Cream

  • 6 tbsp semolina
  • 1/2 l (liter) of milk
  • 250 g (1/2 lb) sugar
  • 250 g (1/2 lb) dairy butter
  • currant / sour cherry jam – to taste
  • caramelized milk – to taste
  • lemon juice – to taste

Cooking

Melt margarine in a bowl and let it cool. Combine flour with soda in a separate bowl. Beat two eggs in a third bowl and add sugar. Whisk the mass. Pour in melted margarine, stirring the mass constantly. Next, add sour cream and continue to whip. Then stir in honey. Pour the mass above the flour gradually and mix everything carefully.

Knead the dough and divide it into two parts. Set one part aside, add cocoa powder to the second part of the dough and knead it one more time. Divide the brown and white dough in halves. We should get 2 white and 2 brown crusts. Cover your baking tray with parchment paper and grease it with dairy butter. Arrange one piece of the dough there, put the tray in a preheated oven and cook the crust until done (about 20 minutes). Then bake remaining three crusts.

Pour milk in a pan and bring it to boil. Add semolina, stirring the mass continuously. Put sugar when semolina is almost boiled. Mix everything thoroughly. Let the mass cool completely and then whip it with a mixer. Add dairy butter (of a room temperature) and whisk the mass until smooth. Pour in lemon juice at the end.

We’ll need jam, it’s better to use sour cherry or currant jam, to add some slightly sour taste. Put a white crust on a serving plate. Grease it with the prepared cream and then put jam above. Place the brown crust on top and grease it with the cream (we won’t use jam for this layer). Cover everything with the white crust and grease it with the cream and jam. Top the cake with the last brown cake. Put a board and some heavy object above to press all the crusts and let the cream soak them.

In 30-40 minutes, grease the upper crust with caramelized milk. Now we should put our cake in a fridge for 12 hours to let it set.

We’ll decorate the cake just before serving. You may use any fruits or berries you like. I used gooseberries, black currants, and apricot. Cut gooseberries in halves and arrange them in the form of a heart. Slice an apricot and put its slices in the shape of a flower. Add currants between the “petals.”

This pie is incredibly tasty and morish. Better still, it looks festive and can become a lovely present for some occasion.

Enjoy your meal!

Do you have a favorite Ukrainian recipe for a layered cake? If so, please let us know in the comments below or write us an e-mail.