Ukrainian honey cake

Ukrainian honey cake aka medivnyk is a cake from childhood. This dessert melts in the mouth and leaves nobody indifferent.

Delicately thin and airy cake layers soaked with sweet sour cream frosting and topped with incredibly gorgeous and at the same time simple topping made of fine crumbs – this is all about the honey cake which Ukrainian grandmothers cooked for years.

Almost all housewives baked and some continue to bake it nowadays for New Year, Christmas, Easter, and birthdays. In home culinary notebooks the recipe for this bakery is the most “used” one, and in Ukrainian culinary books – it is marked with special notes)

But the cherry on the cake is honey giving a special pleasant flavor and aftertaste. So be careful when choosing honey for your cake – opt for quality and fragrant honey.

Baking this medivnyk is like taking a little home cooking adventure. There is something magic in making honey crusts resembling the sun and whipping sour cream frosting looking like clouds)

We encourage you to try and enjoy this majestic medivnyk with honey-infused cake layers.

Ingredients:

Honey cake layers

  • 450 g (15 oz) flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 ml honey
  • 200 g (7 oz) sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 70 g (2,5 oz) dairy butter
  • A pinch of salt

Sour cream frosting

  • 700 ml sour cream
  • 300 g (10,5 oz) powdered sugar

Topping

  • Walnuts – to taste
  • Pomegranate seeds – to taste

Cooking

Combine honey and dairy butter in a pan with a heavy bottom. Melt the mixture over low heat (don’t bring the mass to boil). You can also melt the mass on the water bath.

Turn off the heat and stir in soda – the mixture will bubble and increase in volume if you have natural honey. If you use artificial honey, then mix soda with vinegar or lemon juice before adding it to the mass. Next, add a pinch of salt and sugar. Whisk this all together. Set aside for a while.

Crack two eggs in a separate bowl and whip them with a fork. Add eggs to the honey mass and mix everything thoroughly. Put the pan on a stove and cook the mass over low heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring the mass continuously.

Remove the pan from the heat, and let the mass slightly cool (yet it should remain hot).

Now it's time to knead the dough

Place the flour in a fine-mesh sieve and gradually sift it over the honey mass. Knead the dough using the spatula at first and then continue to knead with your hands on a work surface dusted with flour.

The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. You can add more flour if needed but be careful. Don’t overload the dough with flour since in that case, your cake layers will get too dense (and they shouldn’t).

Form a long sausage out of dough.

Divide the dough into 9 pieces. Shape balls and put them on a plate sprinkled with flour. Cover the balls with plastic wrap.

Put the first ball on a piece of parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Sprinkle the dough and rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough into a thin circle.

Put above a lid, round plate or springform pan and cut around. Remove the scraps and set them aside. Prick the cake layer with a fork thoroughly to prevent it from bubbling during baking.

Do the exact same thing for the remaining dough pieces

Bake cake layers at 180°C (356°F) for 5-7 minutes until golden brown on top. Rotate baking sheets if needed to ensure even cooking.

Cool the prepared crusts separately. Don’t put them one above another. Before the layers cool entirely, pull each one from the parchment paper and put on a flat surface to let cool completely.

Frosting and topping

Finally, bake the scraps on a reused sheet of parchment paper. Once the scraps are baked, and cooled, put them in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or grind them in a food processor.

To make frosting, in a separate bowl, whip sour cream with powdered sugar using a mixer.

Ready to assemble your cake?

Add a bit of frosting on a serving dish. Put a honey cake layer atop the frosting and center it. Spread over 3 tbsp of frosting and top with another cake layer. Repeat until you use all cake layers.

Grease the top and sides of the cake with the frosting. Use a spatula to smooth the mass evenly. Dust the top and sides with fine crumbs. Let the honey cake stand for a couple of hours in a fridge to let the cream soak into crust layers.

Decorate the cake with walnuts and pomegranate seeds before serving.

Enjoy your meal!

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