Amazing recipe for a layered Honey Cake (also known as Russian Medovik). Soft and airy honey cake layers with an easy sour cream frosting.

A slice of honey cake on a plate with a spoonful full of cake next to the cake slice.

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Russian Medovik is soft honey cake layers with sweet cream – the perfect combination of flavors. Though the cake is more time consuming than most cakes, it’s absolutely delicious and worth all the effort.

How to make the BEST Honey Cake-

Prepare layers:

We’ll be using a double boiler method for this recipe. You want to be sure the bottom of the glass bowl doesn’t touch the hot water.

  1. Combine the flour and baking powder and sift using a sieve.
  2. Add about 1½” of water to a saucepan, bring to a soft boil. In a glass bowl, add the sugar, butter, honey and baking soda. Place over the saucepan.
  3. Cook mixture until sugar dissolves and butter melts, stirring frequently. Slowly add the whisked eggs, once incorporated, remove from heat.
  4. Quickly stir in the flour mixture with a spatula.
  5. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Step by step collage on how to prepare and bake the honey cake layers for this classic Russian honey cake.

Roll out layers:

  1. Generously flour working surface.
  2. Divide the dough into seven pieces and cover with a towel to keep warm.
  3. Take one piece of the dough and roll it out to about a 9” circle. Place a 9” pan or dish and cut out an even circle with a sharp knife. You’ll want to keep the scraps and set them aside.
  4. Bake for about 6-7 minutes, until golden. Transfer layers to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Repeat with remaining dough. You’ll get 7 layers.
  6. Finally take all the leftover scraps and bake them until crispy.

Step by step collage on how to make the sour cream frosting and how to assemble the honey cake.

Prepare the Frosting-

  • In a medium bowl, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form.
  • In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add sour cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar and beat until creamy. Fold in the whipped cream with a spatula. Refrigerate cream until ready to use.

How to Assemble the Cake-

  • Add a dab of frosting to the cake platter to keep the cake from sliding around.
  • Add the first cake layer and generously top with cream.
  • Continue with remaining layers and cream. Then add the frosting to the sides and top of the cake.
  • Take the scraps and crush them with a hand blender (we use this blender all the time) or add to a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.
  • Cover tops and sides of the cake with the crumbs.
  • Refrigerate overnight. The cake layers need to absorb the cream and this will take time, we recommend at least 10-12 hours.

Honey cake on a blue cake stand next to a bowl of honey and teacups in the back.

Tips when making Honey Cake-

  • Honey- Any honey will work in this recipe.
  • Floured surface- Be sure to keep your working surface and dough floured generously so the dough doesn’t stick to the rolling pin.
  • Parchment paper- You can easily reuse the same parchment paper during the baking of the layers.
  • Baking sheet- We used THIS large baking sheet allowing us to bake two layers at a time, making the process quicker.
  • Cool layers- Be sure to cool the layers for about 10 minutes or they’ll be too runny to work with.
  • Scraps- Baked the scraps until crispy, not soft.
  • Frosting- When frosting the cake layers, add generous portions. It will seem like it’s too much cream but it’s not – you got this!
  • Layers- We made 7 layers that weren’t overly thin. If you prefer thin layers, divide the dough evenly, and make 8-9 layers.
  • Serving the cake- Allow the cake to sit at room temp for 1 hour so the layers and cream are soft before serving.

A slice of homemade honey cake on a white plate with a golden spoon next to the cake slice.

How to store Honey Cake?

Refrigerate– Because the base of the cake is sour cream, the cake is best refrigerated. Be sure to cover it tightly or store it in a cake container.

    TIP: If you don’t have a cake container. Add toothpicks to the top of the cake and cover with plastic wrap. The toothpicks will keep the plastic wrap from ruining the cake decor.

Freeze– The cake may be prepared in advance and frozen for up to one month. Be sure it’s covered rightly. Thaw overnight. 

   TIP: You can store the cake whole or cut into pieces and store individual pieces, allowing you to thaw a few pieces at a time.

The classic sweet Russian medovik cake on a blue cake platter next to spoons and coffee mugs.

I hope you ABSOLUTELY love this classic Russian Cake.

It’s always so popular at weddings, parties and potlucks. I love that you can easily make it ahead of time and forget about it.

Other Russian Cake Recipes: