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Russian Medovik (Honey Cake)

A layered cake made from hard dough discs softened by soaking in a mixture of sweetened dairy products, this cake is not quick to make - but it is quick to disappear!
Prep Time 8 hrs
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 8 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Russian
Servings 1 9-inch cake

Equipment

  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Pizza cutter
  • 9 in. pie plate, cake pan, etc to use as a guide cut around
  • Stand mixer
  • Hand mixer

Ingredients
  

For the cake layers

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs (beaten, room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

For the frosting

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 16 oz sour cream (full fat)
  • 4 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions
 

  • First get everything prepped. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Flour a work surface and get your rolling pin, pizza cutter, and 9-in plate, bowl, etc ready to roll.
  • Begin with the cake dough. Melt the butter, honey, and sugar together in a medium saucepan over a medium-low heat, stirring every so often to avoid the sugar burning. You're looking for the sugar to melt and not be grainy, about 7-10 minutes. When the sugar has melted, remove from the heat and add the eggs in a slow stream, whisking constantly to avoid the heat of the sugar mixture turning them into scrambled eggs.
  • Whisk in the vanilla and the baking soda. Fold in the flour with a spatula until you have a dough that no longer sticks to your hand (it will be a little sticky, but we don't want it to be glue. Then it's just a nightmare to work with). Quickly turn the dough out onto a floured surface and cut into 8 pieces that are roughly the same size.
  • Working one piece at a time, roll them out until they can be cut with the pizza cutter, using the pie plate (or other 9 in. vessel) as a guide. Save the scraps off to the side. Make sure your work surface and rolling pin stay well-floured to avoid the dough sticking and tearing. Place as many as will fit onto your prepared baking sheet (I got 3 at a time, you may be able to do 1 or 2 depending on the size of your sheet), and bake until golden brown on top (5-7 minutes).
  • Put the discs on wire racks to cool. They will be flexible, but will harden up as they cool. Proceed with the other discs until all are baked. Bake the scraps until golden - these will be processed into crumbs for decoration later, so it doesn't matter if you make them look pretty or not!
  • While the discs cool, make the frosting by whipping the heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high for 3 minutes, or until soft peaks form. While it's whisking, gradually add 2 Tbsp of sugar to sweeten it. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the sour cream, cream cheese, honey, and vanilla. When combined, gently fold in the whipped cream with a spatula until everything is mixed together.
  • To assemble the cake, place 1 disc on your serving platter and top with a generous slather of frosting. Make sure it goes right to the edges - this is what soaks in and makes the cracker-like layers nice and moist like any other cake. Layer the discs and frosting until all of the discs have been used. Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides. Chill in the fridge overnight.
  • To finish decorating, put the scraps in a bag and crush with a rolling pin, or pulse in a food processor to produce fine crumbs. Sprinkle over the top and pat into the sides for full coverage. Serve with berries or a nice cup of hot tea depending on the season, and enjoy!

Notes

  • The recipe for the cake comes mainly from Natasha's Kitchen with small edits, while the frosting is created by me and is inspired by a combination of many other recipes that I found during my research. Particularly helpful websites included Russia Beyond and Smitten Kitchen.
Keyword cake, dessert