honey cake

Dating back more than 200 years, it is said the first honey cake was made by the personal chef of Czar Alexander I.

With dozens of variations, this version by Kalyna Store baker Nina Zakharova uses whipping cream, where others use sour cream or condensed milk.

Medovik is a layered cake consisting of multiple thin layers, with a generous amount of filling between each layer. The honey infusion in this recipe imparts a distinct taste in each layer offering a unique sweetness and hint of of floral notes depending on the type of honey used.

Medovik (Honey Cake)

The primary ingredient in this cake is honey and there are several local suppliers in and around Calgary to support and buy honey from.


Cake Layers

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

Cream Filling

  • 4 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla, or 1 sachet of vanilla sugar (available at European stores)
  • 1/2 cup sugar


Cake Layer

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a bowl, whisk eggs and sugar together until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, gently melt butter and honey in a bain-marie (hot water bath) until hot, avoiding boiling. Add baking soda into this blend, mixing thoroughly until it begins to foam.
  • Gently stir the egg mixture into the hot honey and butter, then slowly add the flour until the dough is thick and a bit sticky.
  • Put the dough on a generously floured surface. Continue to add flour as necessary as you roll out the layers. Divide it into 8 equal pieces, and roll each piece to a thickness of 2 mm (1/16 in) on separate, lightly floured parchment papers. Each piece should be about 25 cm (10 in) in diameter.
  • Bake each layer for about 4 minutes each until golden. Don't over bake.
  • As you remove each layer, use a pizza cutter and plate or cake mold to trim each layer to  22-cm (9-in) diameter circles. Set trimmings aside for finishing crumbs.

Cream Filling

  • In a stand mixer or with a hand-beater, slowly mix together whipping cream, vanilla and sugar on low speed. Once all the sugar is added, switch to high speed and mix for about 5 minutes until stiff peaks form.

Assembling and Finishing the Cake

  • Assemble the cake on a serving surface (plate, platter, etc.) by spreading about 30ml (2Tbsp) of filling on each layer.
  • Cover the sides and top of the cake with cream.
  • Grind the cooled layer trimmings in a food processor and sprinkle the crumbs generously on the sides and top of the cake.


Tip 1: Instead of using a hot water bath, try melting butter and honey in the microwave. Use short 30-second bursts and stir in between each time.
Tip 2: Sprinkle water on the table surface to help the parchment stick while rolling.
Tip 3: Roll out all the layers first and then bake them one by one.
Tip 4: Trimming the layers after baking, instead of before, is an easier method
that results in even layers thickness both in the center and on the sides.
Tip 5: Let the layers cool completely before assembling to prevent the filling from melting.