Russian cake

Some edgy young Russian guys told me that I needed to try Russian cake, and how it was so much different. They were right. The cake I tried was life-changingly delicious. I love our cakes, but they are definitely American style. International recipes are wildly inspiring, and I want to see cakes from all over the world- those delectable creations that every society uses to celebrate. Whether they are out of African yams or Mexican Tres Leches. Even if they were made from Thai cricket powder- count me in.

I took the Russian Honey Cake to my friend’s house. It was very popular. The only thing better than cake, is being able to share it with others. And it was eight layers of love that had to be shared. Yup, I need to make one.
The following looks similar to what I tasted, except for the frosting.
Thanks to Natasha’s for the recipe. Shared cooking can heal a lot of wounds, and prevent many more.

8-Layer Honey Cake Recipe (Medovik)

Prep time
2 hours
Cook time
25 mins
Total time
2 hours 25 mins

The honey in the cake layers pairs perfectly with the simple sour cream frosting. It stays amazing in the fridge for a few days (the longest we’ve tested was 4 days), so this is also a great make-ahead cake. It’s definitely a special occasion cake and will WOW your crowd, but it’s easier to make than typical Russian honey cakes that require a double boiler. This one’s not that sensitive, making it more attainable for everyone.
Author: Natasha of
Skill Level: Medium
Cost To Make: $8-$10
Serving: 10-12
Cake Layers Ingredients:
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) honey
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 large eggs, beaten with a fork
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached, organic)
Sour Cream Frosting Ingredients:
32 oz sour cream
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
For the topping:
½ lb Fresh Berries, optional
How to Make The Cake Layers:
Add ¾ cup sugar, ¼ cup honey and 2 Tbsp unsalted butter to a medium sauce pan and melt them together over medium/low heat, whisking occasionally until sugar is melted (5-7 mins). Don’t put them over high heat or they may scorch to the bottom.
As soon as the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and while it’s still hot, add in your beaten eggs in a slow steady stream while whisking vigorously until all of your eggs are incorporated (whisk constantly so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs).
Whisk in the baking soda until no lumps remain, then fold in your 3 cups flour ½ cup at a time with a spatula until the dough reaches a clay consistency and doesn’t stick to your hands. Mine took exactly 3 cups flour (measured precisely, scraping off the top of the cup).
Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and move on to the next step right away (these roll out best when the dough is still warm)
On a well-floured surface, roll each piece out into a thin 9″ circle (about ⅛” thick). You can sprinkle the top with a little flour too to keep dough from sticking to your rolling pin. Place a 9″ plate or base from a springform mold over your rolled dough and trace around it with a pizza cutter to get a perfect circle. Keep the scraps for later. Transfer the dough to a large sheet of parchment paper and bake 2 at a time at 350˚F for 4-5 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before stacking. Repeat with remaining layers.
Finally bake the scraps separated evenly on a re-used sheet of parchment. Once the scraps are baked, cooled and firm, you can crush them with a rolling pin or pulse them in a food processor until you have fine crumbs.
How to make the frosting:
Beat 1 cup heavy cream until fluffy and stiff peaks form (1-2 min on high speed).
In a separate bowl, whisk together 32 oz sour cream with 2 cups powdered sugar. Fold the whipped cream into the sour cream and you have your frosting. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Assembling your Cake:
Spread about ⅓ cup frosting on each cake layer (don’t skimp on it since the cake needs to absorb some of the cream to become ultra soft. Press the cake layers down gently as you go to keep the layers from having air gaps. Frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting.
Dust the top and sides with your breadcrumbs, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. This cake needs time to absorb some of the cream and soften, so be patient. It’s worth the wait!
Tips for Success: Roll out the next layers while the first ones are in the oven and total combined baking time shouldn’t take more than 25-ish minutes. Some of mine bubbled up a little on top which is fine since after it’s frosted, it won’t make a difference. I deflated any real whopping bubbles after they came out of the oven.
If you don’t have a baking sheet large enough to place the parchment paper on, just bake directly on the rack.

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9 Responses to Russian cake

  1. nobody says:

    *trying not to drool on the keyboard*

    I wish you could come bake for me. Then again, I’m allergic to pretty much everything that goes into baking.


    • Hmmm, that does present a challenge, but I’m always re-working recipes with healthier ingredients so that more people can eat them…thanks for the comment 🙂


      • nobody says:

        With me, it’s not just a matter of healthier ingredients–I can’t have gluten, eggs, or dairy. A lot of gluten-free baked goods substitute corn for wheat, but that’s my #1 worst food enemy. I have had some good peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that a GF friend made me, but most baking recipes are impossible. GF flours tend to produce drier, harder products, so the recipes add in more dairy/eggs to compensate.

        I just make life difficult for bakers. 🙂 There’s only one brand of bread I can even eat. It’s kinda ridiculous, and it costs three times what a normal loaf of bread would cost.


      • I totally have a cake that has no gluten, eggs, or dairy!!! As long as you can have applesauce and flours made out of rice, fava bean, tapioca, or potatoes? Should I dig the recipe out and post it for you?


      • Will do! Give me a bit to type it up! Are there any other dietary restrictions?


      • nobody says:

        Nah, if I had any other food restrictions, I’d probably die of starvation. (I don’t eat meat, either, but I figured that wasn’t important because most cakes don’t involve meat.)


      • Lol, noted! Some of my cakes/baked goods have been known to involve bacon, but I will omit it from this recipe 🙂


      • Ok, it’s rough and not precise as I got it from someone else, so read it through and make sure it mostly makes sense before you try it… I’m not positive on baking temp, so I went with a standard. And the secrets to gluten free baking are applesauce and xanthan gum 🙂 Here it is, I hope it goes well:
        Gluten free Berry cake

        2 lbs, 4 oz oil of your choice (coconut adds nice flavor)
        2 lbs sugar

        1 cup pineapple juice
        9 cups applesauce
        2 Tablespoons real vanilla

        Mix then add:
        2 lbs, 12 oz Gluten free flour (Try Bob’s Red Mill Rice, potato, tapioca blend)
        2 teaspoons salt
        4 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
        8 Tablespoons baking powder
        4 Tablespoons baking soda
        4 Tablespoons xanthan gum

        Pour mix into pans, sprinkle a couple of cups of room temperature berries (personal preference) across the tops, along with the following:

        8 cups brown sugar
        1 cup sugar
        1/2 plus 2 tablespoons cinnamon.
        Makes 4 cakes, bake for 30-40 minutes at 350.


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