Russian Honey Cake (Medovik)

 medovikMedovik, or Russian honey cake is one of the most popular cakes in Russia. It has 6 cookie type layers which are combined with a sour cream type cream. It’s very good. Mom used to make it to almost every event. It was loved by all.

I think every russian baker has their own version of this cake. This one’s my moms with a bit tweaking from my sister. :)


It only takes 5 minutes to bake, but the whole process might take some patience. You’ll see why in a bit, but it’s so worth it.medovikPreheat oven to 400°F. Line a 17×12 in. baking sheet with parchment paper. (You can use up to 3 baking sheets if you have them, I only had one, which works just fine.)medovikAdd the egg yolks and sugar into a mixing bowl, and mix on medium speed for about 10 minutes. (I used a paddle attachment on my electric mixer).medovikWhile yolks are mixing, melt the butter in a saucepan. Pour into a large bowl.medovikSwirl the butter in the bowl so the sides get oiled, that way when you add the honey, it won’t stick to the sides and life will be easier. :)medovik Now for the honey: add to saucepan and wait till it just starts to boil, add the baking soda and mix. Here’s the tricky part: it will start to fuzz and rise. Keep mixing for about 20 seconds. As soon as you notice the color changing, take it off the heat. You want it to be a nice golden color, not pale and not orange. If it’s pale, you need to let it sit on the stove a little more, if its bright orange, you over heated it.medovikAdd the honey mixture to the butter and mix until combined.medovikBy this time your yolks and sugar should be done. You’ll know its done when all the sugar has dissolved. Mix into the honey mixture until combined.medovik Slowly add the flour, couple tablespoons at a time while mixing. You should have a very soft and slightly crumbly/sticky dough.medovikDivide into 3 equal parts. Use a scale if you have one.medovikTake one dough ball and divide it into 4 equal parts onto your prepared baking sheet.medovikPut on some latex or kitchen plastic gloves and press down on the dough. You need to spread it over the sheet as thin as possible, about 1/8 inch. medovikDon’t be alarmed if it seems too thin, it’s supposed to be almost see-through.  And try to make it as even as possible.medovik

I know, I know… It’s not fun. Just hang in there for a few minutes (or maybe 15…ish). Believe me, its worth it!medovikBake no more then 5-6 minutes. medovikRepeat with remaining dough.Add MediaMedovikFor the cream: mix sugar and sour cream and vanilla together and let sit for about 8 minutes to let the sugar dissolve.medovik Generously spread 1/3 of the cream on to the first layer.medovikThen take the next layer and flip it over upside-down onto the first layer. So the bottom of the cake layer is facing you. (Yes my layer did crack, don’t worry if yours does, it won’t be noticed after it soaks up the cream.) Spread 1/3 cream on top of second layer, then finish by adding the last layer (face up) and spread the remaining cream on top.medovikCut the cake in half and place one half on top of the other half. Cut the rugged edges for a nice presentation. medovikDecorate with chocolate shavings, or walnuts, or both. Leave on counter for 2 hours that way the layers will soak in more of the cream,, then place cake in fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.


Priyatnogo Appetita! 

Russian Honey Cake (Medovik)

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 12

Serving Size: 1 piece


  • 9 egg yolks (room temp.)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • Cream
  • 2 16oz containers of sour cream
  • 1.5 cups sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a 17x12 baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Add yolks and sugar to mixing bowl, and mix on medium speed until sugar has dissolved. About 10 minutes.
  4. Melt butter in a saucepan and pour into a large mixing bowl. Swirl the butter around so the sides get oiled.
  5. Add honey to the saucepan and heat until it starts to boil. Add the baking soda. The mixture will start to bubble and rise. Mix together for about 20-25 seconds, until its a nice golden color.
  6. Take off heat and pour honey mixture into the butter, mix until combined.
  7. Add the egg yolk mixture into the honey mixture and mix until combined.
  8. Add flour slowly into the batter, couple tablespoons at a time while mixing.
  9. Divide the dough into 4 equal logs.
  10. Take one dough log and lay it horizontally onto a prepared baking sheet.
  11. Divide the log in half the long ways by gently pressing down with your fingers.
  12. Press dough onto the sheet with your fingers, starting from the center and working your way to the edge of the pan. Spread it out very thin, about 1/8 inch, until the entire sheet is covered. Use kitchen gloves or latex gloves so the dough wont stick to your fingers.
  13. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.
  14. Repeat with remaining dough.
  15. Cream:
  16. Mix sour cream, sugar, and until combined and let sit for about 8 minutes until sugar has dissolved.
  17. Putting it together:
  18. Spread 1/4 of the cream on the first layer. Flip the second layer upside down and place it onto the first layer. So the bottom of the second layer is facing you. Spread 1/4 cream onto the second layer. Place the last layer forward facing, on top of the second layer, and spread with 1/4 cream. The last layer bottom will be facing you (you'll need to flip it again) and spread with remaining cream.
  19. (optional) Cut cake in half and place one half on top of the other half.
  20. Decorate cake with walnuts and chocolate shavings.
  21. Cut rugged edges for a nice presentation.
  22. Place in fridge for 4 hours or overnight for layers to soak in the cream.








Tagged: , ,

Comments: 15

  1. Russell at Chasing Delicious June 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm Reply

    This looks fantastic! I’ve never tried anything like it. I’ll have to change that.

    • Yelena June 18, 2013 at 6:12 pm Reply

      It’s a great cake. Definitely try it!

  2. Blueberry Cloud Cake - YelenaSweets June 26, 2013 at 12:14 am Reply

    […] week I shared with you the Russian Honey Cake (Medovik) recipe which uses 9 egg yolks. So to use up the egg whites, my sister […]

  3. Natasha of July 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm Reply

    That looks fantastic! Yum! Thanks for posting. I love the step-by-step photos :)

    • Yelena July 6, 2013 at 8:46 am Reply

      Thank you Natasha! :)

  4. Rod July 25, 2013 at 8:32 pm Reply

    This is one of the best things in the world! Thanks for sharing this recipe. Now my wife can make it!

    • Yelena July 27, 2013 at 6:35 am Reply

      I agree, it’s one of my favorites.

  5. […] process of making it reminds me of the medovik cake, where you have to spread the dough with your hands onto the […]

  6. monica October 25, 2013 at 4:28 pm Reply

    Dear Yelena,
    thank you for this recipe: I ltried this cake at some Russian friends and I wanted to learn how to bake it!

    • Yelena October 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm Reply

      Your welcome Monica, hope the step by step tutorial helps!

  7. […] said she gets many compliments when she makes it and her husband chooses it over the medovik cake (which is one of his favorites.) So I’m like ok ok, I need to try […]

  8. Joanne Wilson December 12, 2013 at 11:01 pm Reply

    I wish I would have found this recipe first! I am American and my son is graduating from college this Saturday, his minor is Russian Studies (unfortunately his college does not offer Russian as a major, which would have been his preference). We are having a party for him and preparing Russian foods. This is rather riskey as I do not know what these foods are supposed to taste like. I found a recipe for this cake on an American’s blog. BIG MISTAKE! I will get up early tomorrow and try your recipe. the other called for the whole egg not egg yokes, and baking POWDER rather than baking SODA and called for the layers to be 1/4″ thick. To top it off, I over baked 3 of the 5 layers. I cannot wait to try yours tomorrow. Thank you!! As a side note, my son spent last summer in Russia and had the best time. He wants to go back in the worst way. Unfortunately, a lot of the other American students were only interested in drinking – my son does not drink and chose to abandon his American group and emersed himself in the culture. He made several Russian friends and spent a lot of time at their homes visiting and playing board games.

    • Yelena December 13, 2013 at 5:23 pm Reply

      I’m so glad u stopped by, I’d love to know how the cake turned out! Russian food is amazing, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Sounds like you have an amazing and smart son that makes the right choices. :)

  9. cynthia March 11, 2014 at 12:01 pm Reply

    How come your recipe uses 9 egg yolks which seems like a lot of eggs.

    Almost all other recipes I’ve checked on the net only uses 2-3 for similar yield of flour.

    what is the weight of the egg yolks?

    • Yelena March 12, 2014 at 11:39 am Reply

      this is a unique recipe invented by my mother. She made a lot of keivskiy cake and had tonz of yolks left over, so instead of throwing them out she decided to incorporate them into this cake.
      This makes a very large cake, so you can definitely cut in half and use 4 yolks instead and little less then half the flour called for. It will still feed a large crowd (6 ppl).
      The yolks make the cake layers crunchy and sour cream softens it up and makes a soft cake. You can up the sour cream to your liking if you think it’s too dry.
      I’m not sure the weight of the egg yolks, but if you have scales measure and egg yolk and multiply by 9 to get the exact measurements. Hope this helps :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *