Honey Cake (Medovnik)

Posted by Pussycat in Sweets | 52 Comments

This cake is butter, nut and honey heaven.  It is filled and covered with a rich butter cream caramel and nuts.  A truly traditional Czech dessert!  The caramel is the easiest I’ve ever seen and the hard cookies turn into a soft moist rich cake.


  • 450 grams Flour
  • 180 grams Icing Sugar
  • 180 grams Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 6 tablespoons Honey
  • 4 tablespoons Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Cocoa Powder

In a double boiler warm mix with a hand mixer, the butter, sugar, egg, honey and cream for about 5 minutes.  In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda and cocoa powder.  Then mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and let sit for about 10 minutes covered with plastic wrap.  At this point it should be a nice cookie dough consistency and you should be able to roll it out onto parchment paper without it sticking.  If it’s too sticky then let sit another 5-10 minutes or use a little bit of flour to keep from sticking.

On parchment paper draw an 8 inch circle and roll out approximately 160 grams of dough into a circle onto the paper to bake.  Roll out 8 same sized circles and bake each one for 6 to 7 minutes at 350 degrees.

Once they are baked set aside and cool on wire rack.  These can be baked ahead of time and kept in fridge for up to a week or frozen for up to a month.

(The amount of dough will not be exact for the cookies, bake the extra amount and later grind it up with the nuts to coat the outside of the cake)

** Use the extra pieces of cookie and once baked, grind with nuts to use to cover the completed cake.

Caramel Cream

  • 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 200 grams of Unsalted Butter
  • 70 grams roughly chopped walnuts or pecans

To make the cream you must first boil the can of sweetened condensed milk for 3 hours, in the can.  The timing for this is not exact, but the longer you boil the darker the caramel becomes.  I boiled mine for 3 hours and it came out a nice rich caramel color.  Do not open until several hours later when the can has cooled sufficiently.  I would boil the day before I want to use it.  This process caramelizes the milk.  You can boil several of these, as they will keep for as long as the canned milk would.

Once you have the caramelized milk, blend 1 can with the butter until creamy. This will be used between the layers and to coat the cake.


Secret Ingredient

  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 150 ml of Water
  • 50 ml of Rum (or more depending on taste, with this amount you won’t actually taste the rum)

Mix the rum, sugar and water in a bowl and reserve.



Layer the cookies thus, lay the first one on a plate, and brush the rum water on the top of the cookie then cover with cream and sprinkle with the chopped nuts.  Brush both sides of the second and subsequent cookies with the rum water and cover with the caramel butter and nuts until all the cookies have been layered.

Cover the whole cake with the caramel cream and then with the cake/cookie crumbs and nuts.  Place in the fridge for a least 4 hours or overnight to set and allow the cream to soak into the cookies to ensure that it isn’t crunchy. Once the cream soaks into the cake and it has had a chance to sit, it will remain moist and perfect for over a week in the fridge even uncovered.


*  Post translated from ekucharka.com

52 Responses to Honey Cake (Medovnik)

  1. Li-hsia Wang says:

    How many layers did you use? I weighed the dough, and only got 5 8″ discs, so that leaves me with only 4 layers, which seems skimpy.

    I had this cake three (3!) times in Cesky Krumlov, but never saw it in Prague this summer. What a discovery!

    • Ann Marie says:

      Medovnik is a holiday cake which is why you didn’t see it in the summer. I had a piece with a cup of tea on a rainy December afternoon. My mouth did the “happy dance”!

  2. Li-hsia Wang says:

    Duh! There were two more in the oven! I assume that 6 layers are enough and I can crumble #7 for the coating. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Pussycat says:

      Yes I got 6 layers. I have to admit that I didn’t weigh mine, guess kind of eyeballed it. Certainly the more layers the better. You could even double the recipe if you wanted. Glad you liked it. 🙂

  3. Cathy Johnson says:

    where can i buy this in the USA? I had it in Prague and absolutely love it!

    • Pussycat says:

      I honestly have no idea where you can buy this already made, at least not outside of Prague. You can make it on your own though… and then eat the whole thing… 😉 it gets better and better as it sits and it’s not really that difficult to make.

      Let me know how it turns out if you give it a whirl.

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  5. sine says:

    i try some honey cake in perth australia http://www.thehoneycake.com.au/
    i love it and never can find in malaysia so i find the recipe from net..i find out your recipe and i want to make this cake for my husband.. so i want to know what type of cream that i need to use in cake ingredients ? flour is all purpose flour right ? thank you so much for sharing your recipe

    • Pussycat says:

      Hi there,

      I if you’re talking about the cream that goes in between the layers then I use a can of condensed milk (sweetened) and boil it in water for 2-3 hours (unopened) and it will turn into a beautiful caramel. As for the flour, yes, I just use whatever I have on hand, generally all purpose white flour.

      Thanks for stopping by and let me know how the recipe works out for you!

      • Alice says:

        Hello! It wasn’t my question but I’m attempting this cake this weekend and I was also wondering about the cream in the cake ingredients section – is it single cream or double cream?

        I’m excited about making the cake but a bit scared I’ll manage to explode the condensed milk all over my kitchen!



        • Pussycat says:

          Hi Alice,

          I use whipping cream, cream and don’t worry about the condensed milk exploding, just keep it covered with water and once it starts boiling maybe turn it down a little, medium maybe. Just don’t forget about it and keep adding water as it evaporates. Though I have certainly boiled mine for 4 or 5 hours when I wanted the caramel darker and it’s fine.
          Good luck and let me know how it turns out. 🙂

          • Alice says:

            Thank you for your reply! Do you whip the cream first or use as it comes? Thanks for the extra advice on the condensed milk too 🙂 Will be sure to report back on how it goes!

          • Pussycat says:

            Hi Alice, No problem. And no I don’t whip the cream first, just add the amount listed. Good luck, I look forward to hearing back.

  6. Ann Marie says:

    I had honey cake (Medovnik) in Prague last Christmas season. I was told it is a Christmas item. I was hoping to find a bakery in New York City that would have it, but I can’t find anything. I may have to resort to making it myself. It was wonderful on a rainy afternoon with a cup of tea as I took a break from sightseeing.

    • Pussycat says:

      Hi Ann Marie,

      Interesting, it was never a Christmas staple in our house growing up, but that certainly doesn’t mean anything. I hope you give it a try, it’s really not that challenging, and this version of the recipe comes from a true Czech!

      Let me know how it turns out if you give it a go. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. hadeel says:

    can i replace the rum with something else ?

    • Pussycat says:


      I’m sure you probably could, you could replace with other liquor but if you don’t want to put alcohol at all then I would say just replace with sugar water or maybe even coffee. It won’t be the real Medovnik then but I’m sure it would still be really good. Actually as I think about it, I think the coffee would be great.

      Let me know how it turns out for you. 🙂

      • Sharon Mounsey says:

        In evergreen colo there is a restaurant called The Prague and we had honey cake tonight. So good I am going to try to make it soon.

        • Pussycat says:

          I’m so glad you liked it. You will have to let me know how it turns out for you. I never realized this cake was so popular, other than the taste I love the fact that it can be made in advance… makes my life easier for sure when I have an event I need to bake for!

          Thanks so much for your comments!

  9. Harmony says:

    Hi, just a quick question. The first line of the recipe, is it supposed to be warm all wet ingredients in a double boiler then beat, or just warm the butter and honey then beat them all together before adding to the dry?

    • Pussycat says:

      Hi, no problem, when I made this I put the ingredients in the double boiler cold and then warmed them slowly in the double boiler beating the mixture while it’s warming up.

      Let me know how this turns out for you… 🙂


  10. Nix says:

    Hi Im so excited to find this recipe but will you clarify the temperature to cook at, is it centigrade or farenheit please?

    • Pussycat says:

      I’m glad you’re excited, you’ll have to let me know how yours turns out. As for clarification, we use farenheit.

  11. Vi says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! How much does your can of condensed milk weigh?

    • Pussycat says:

      Hi Vi,

      I just weighed my can and it’s 443 grams. Let me know how yours works out for you.

      • Vi says:

        Thank you for your help – I finally tried the cake and it worked out well! 🙂 I didn’t have rum, so I used apple juice (and didn’t add sugar) which other sites suggested as a substitute. I’d like to try with rum or coffee and see if it makes a difference in the taste.

        • Pussycat says:

          Hi Vi,
          I’m so glad it worked out for you. I’m thinking coffee might be very good… would give it a different taste for sure. I’m used to rum as so much of the Czech baking seems to have rum in it… or at least my mom’s did… 😉

  12. Cyn says:

    hi, I chanced upon this honey cake recipe and it looks so delicious. do you mean to boil the can of condensed milk (WITHOUT opening the can, and place in a pot of water)?

    • Pussycat says:

      Yes… that’s exactly what I mean… just make sure that the whole can is covered in water… you slowly simmer it for hours and it comes out the most amazing caramel sauce. I’ve done 2 or 3 at a time and often have done one for about 4 hours so that it’s a bit darker.

  13. jess says:

    Anyone in search of medovnik in Berlin should try Caffetteria Buchhandlung (in Mitte). The owner, who is Czech, said that on Fridays his mother brings home-made desserts to be sold at the cafe. I went on a Tuesday and got the last piece. I can safely say it’s the closest food has ever come to making me weep with joy.

  14. Molly says:

    What kind of honey do you use (clover, orange blossom, wildflower??). Also what kind of rum? I’m not a big drinker so I have nothing to go on…

    • Pussycat says:

      Hi Molly,

      The honey I’ve used is never anything special, just regular store bought honey. I’m sure you could use other honey an it would just have a slightly different flavour and that might be interesting. Also, I just use a cheap smelly rum… The one I have on hand these days is Bozkov Tuzemsky, I’m pretty sure I got it in Europe but you can certainly use any rum.

      Hope that helps,

  15. Nicole says:

    Hi, I would love to try out your recipe but am wondering if it’ll work if I cut down on the sugar as my family doesn’t have a sweet tooth. Do you think it’ll work if I substitute cream for plain yoghurt? And normal sugar instead of icing sugar? Thanks much!

    • Pussycat says:

      Hi, I’m not sure how it would work out with those changes all I would say is give it a shot. I would say the the sweetest part of this dessert is actually the cream filling, if you want it less sweet I would say make the cake according to the recipe but change the filling to maybe whipped cream that isn’t very sweet. Let me know how it works out for you.

      Happy Holidays!

  16. Nicole says:

    Awesome! Mine worked out well. Only thing I wondered was if the filling could me more thick (toffee-like) I think mine may have been a bit runny, and the layers bled into each other a bit more than I had hoped. But delicious- I was also introduced to this at Christmas via the Perth Honeycake shop, and had to try myself for my husband’s birthday. Thanks!

    • Pussycat says:

      Hi Nicole,

      Glad yours turned out and you liked it. I have to say that my cream always turns out runny too… I think if you refrigerate it then it will thicken up a bit but I’ve always been in a hurry 😉

  17. Lisa says:

    My daughter is doing a country report on the Czech Republic & she said there are lots of references to honey cake, so she wants to make it & take it in for the class on the day of the presentation. I’ve looked at a few recipes & I like this 1 – except serving it to 5th graders, we’ll need to leave out the rum. Could we mix vanilla with the water & sugar in place of the rum? Also, can you provide the correct Czech pronunciation for the cake? Thanks!

    • Pussycat says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you, hope it’s not to late a reply. You can certainly change the ingredients and you don’t even need to add the rum just replace with a little sugar water. Also the pronunciation of Medovnik is much like it sounds but the ‘nik’ is ‘neek’ Med as in medical ‘ov’ and then ‘neek’. I hope that helps.

      I’d love to hear how the cake works out for you.

  18. Nick says:

    Hi thanks for the recipe I tried it but sadly couldnt roll it out. I wondered if you would clarify whether you really meant tablespoons which in England are big serving spoons or the ones used on the table please? I have tried twice now and think there is too much liquid so I am hoping that the third time will be perfect.

  19. Max says:


    I’m worry about boiling the can (unopened) of condensed milk.
    I remember doing it with mini sausages (knacki) and it did the painting of my kitchen…
    Is not there any risk of the can exploding???


    • Pussycat says:

      Hi Max,

      I’ve made this several times and haven’t yet had an issue. I think the trick is to make sure the can is covered in water at all times and that you simmer the pot. I understand that you can also do it in sealed mason jars in a slow cooker for about 10 hours on low. You can search the repine on the internet and see that many others do this the same way. Just search “making Dulce de Leche from condensed milk” and you’ll see numerous recipes doing it this way.

      Hope that helps,

  20. Jo says:

    I’m following your recipe as we speak 🙂 Making this cake for a Czech friend’s birthday – hope I can do it justice!
    The only issue I’ve had so far is that the mixture is too wet to roll so I’m going to have to add more flour…. wish me luck!

  21. Lee says:

    I had this cake in the Czech Republic, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Delicious!

  22. Kelly says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I tried it out but my cookie layers never softened up – still tastes divine though! Do you have any ideas on what Imay have done wrong? My cookies were pretty hard coming out of the oven and my caramel cream wasn’t runny… could those be the issue? How can I fix the cream of so? Thanks again! !!

    • Pussycat says:

      Hi Kelly, Yes, the cookies are supposed to be hard and the caramel cream should soak into them to soften them up but it shouldn’t need to be runny. Did you brush them with the rum water first? That also softens them. Also, how long did you let the cake sit before trying to eat it? It should be wrapped in the fridge for several days after being brushed with the rum water and layered with the caramel. The longer it sits the better, within reason of course, a few days should do it, even up to a week. Hopefully one of these fixes it?

      Let me know how it works out.

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