Posted by Pussycat in Specialty Cakes, Sweets | 28 Comments


Happy New Year everyone!!!  I wish you all warmth and love and prosperity in 2014.  It’s been a very cold week here in the centre of Canada and I have been hibernating.  In my own little world…..

Winter Wonderland-3

… sneaking out very quickly… to take some pictures that manage to make minus 40 degrees beautiful….. and to kick my and your New Year off right I’ve decided to share with you one of my favourite and most popular recipes.  The Medovnik….  I promised staff at work that I would bring in a cake for tomorrow… to finish off our holiday festivities and this is the one I chose to make.

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When I made it for the folks at work I also make a mini one out of some of the dough…. I knew I wanted to take pictures of it… and it’s not exactly that photogenic without being cut into – and I wanted to make sure it tasted good without having to cut into the one I’m taking to work… and yes… it’s YUMMY!   I see why it’s one of the most sought after recipes.  It was surprising to me to see how many hits this recipe has been getting… and consistently over time.  So I googled it and came up with a couple of interesting sites.

In Perth Australia it’s an entire business…. here you go…The Honeycake and Radio Prague talks about Honey Cake Fever where one business sells over 20,000 of these on average a month and that was back in 2004!  I almost feel guilty giving the recipe away… but not really… 😉

Medovnik large - blog0054

Typically when I want to make something I search the internet or my cookbooks and get a sense of how people make something and then go for it.  So more often than not most of my recipes are a combination of several.  I had misplaced the origins of this particular recipe and was serendipitously able to discover recently.

Medovnik large - blog0060

The original recipe of this cake comes from a czech website and can be found at ekucharka in Czech but there are several all over the internet.  I’ve only made this one so I can’t speak to the rest.

The last time I posted this was March 31, 2012…. it was one of my first posts so the pictures were awful…. this post does the cake justice.  To save you from going back and looking at the terrible pictures… the recipe is reposted below…..  Happy New Year everyone!


  • 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 7 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.  (I’ve actually just watered down some rum and left out the sugar… the cake does’t really need extra sugar given the cream is sweet enough)


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. In fact the longer it sits the better…. so it’s a great make ahead cake for a special occasion.


28 Responses to Medovnik

  1. Siti Masturah Ali says:

    Hi, I followed your recipe and the cake turned out great. The only problem I had was the cake layers break when I cut it. And the layers are detachable ie it doesn’t stick together. I used coffee instead of rum as I’m a Muslim. I used whipping cream. Can you advise what had gone wrong? Thanks very much!

    • Pussycat says:

      Hi Siti,

      The trick to this cake is that once you make it you have to let it sit (refrigerated) for a few days or even a week is better. The layers will suck in the cream and will soften and the whole thing will stick together. The coffee instead of rum shouldn’t be a problem but if you used whipped cream in-between the layers of the cake then maybe the cake isn’t able to absorb the whipping cream in the same way it does the caramel cream? I’m not sure but I would say that the consistency is for sure different as the caramel cream is quite sticky and the cookies (layers) will draw in all that moisture and then it wouldn’t come apart.

      • Siti Masturah Ali says:

        Hi. I’m so happy to see your reply as I thought my question did not get posted to your page

        • Pussycat says:

          Hi Siti, Sorry it just sometimes takes me a day or two to respond.

          • Shahirah Ali says:

            Hello! I’m Siti’s sister. What she meant is that she used whipping cream in the recipe to make the cake, not that she had placed whipped cream between the layers. What is the best cream to use in the recipe? Is it whipping cream, cooking cream or full cream? Also, can she use granulated sugar instead of icing sugar? Is using almond essense a good substitute for rum?
            Thanks very much!

          • Pussycat says:

            Hi Shahirah,

            Yes I used full fat whipping cream in the cake as well (sorry I wasn’t more specific). I’m not sure that the granulated sugar would make much of a difference except I think that granulated sugar is sweeter than icing sugar and icing sugar dissolves much easier. Also, I think if you flavour the cookies (cake layers) with almond essence you probably wouldn’t want to use as much. I would suggest something a little less strong like either apple juice or coffee would be good as you essentially need to wet them a fair bit. These changes will of course change the taste of the traditional essence of the cake but I’m sure it would be just as good.

            I think the issue you were having with the cake is that the layers weren’t slicing and were crumbling for that I would say that the cake needs to sit for a couple of days… even up to a week so that the layers have a chance to soak in the cream filling. And the idea behind brushing the cake layers with the rum or water/rum mixture is to soften them a bit so that they can soak up the cream easier and then they shouldn’t crumble when you cut them.

          • says:

            Wow! We really appreciate your fast reply and will give it another go tonight!

          • Pussycat says:

            LOL… I’m glad, it actually worked out that I was just checking my emails. Good luck and let me know how it works out! 🙂

          • Siti Masturah Ali says:

            Hi. The cake turnout nice, though some of my family members say it’s sweet. I used almond to replace the rum. Do you have a suggestion to reduce the sweetness? Thanks!

          • Pussycat says:

            Hi Siti,

            I think it’s just a sweet dessert and I think it’s the condensed milk in the cream that makes it so. I suppose you could make a different kind of cream for the filling that is less sweet maybe experiment? Just make sure any cream you use instead is still of similar consistency? I know that I don’t make this one often as it’s a treat given its sweetness. If you do find a less sweet way to make this please come back and let me know how it works out for you.

            take care

          • Siti Masturah Ali says:

            I thought so too. Maybe I’ll experiment with homemade caramel instead. But nonetheless the cake is yummy and it’s not difficult to make though it takes time. I’ll also try to not roll the dough too thin to create a nice height. Thanks for your advise!

          • Pussycat says:

            You’re welcome… 🙂

  2. kateulrich says:

    Is what you call icing sugar what Americans would call powdered sugar?

    • kateulrich says:

      That is, people from the United States. Technically Canadians are “American” too! 🙂

      • Pussycat says:

        🙂 Yes, I know… though we like to call ourselves Canadians… If we call ourselves ‘Americans’ then people think we come from the United States… and we don’t… 🙂

        • bakerchick says:

          Powdered, icing, and confectioners’ sugar are all the same stuff, just a different name. And we ARE Canadian, not ‘technically American’ Can we say North American instead, when we talk about recipe ingredients?

          • Pussycat says:

            I have to say… I’ve never thought of myself as “American”…. I am a Canadian… though I also live in North America… No offence… 🙂

    • Pussycat says:

      Yes I’m pretty sure it is.

  3. Karen says:

    I tried this cake today for the first time. I’m in Perth Australia and I tasted the Honey Cake. As soon as I got home I started googling recipes!
    Can you please tell me what sort of rum you use? Normal, dark, white?

    • Pussycat says:

      Hi KD,

      Any rum will do for this, I don’t really think there would be much difference between them. The kind I’m using these days and have on hand is Bozkov Tuzemsky that I bought in Prague a few years ago. I only use it for cooking though it’s certainly a drinking rum. My mom would say you can use any ‘smelly’ rum and the smellier the better. 🙂 Let me know how your cake turns out.

    • Mitzi says:

      I’m in Perth too and Googled as we do went to good Food & Wine show
      and tasted the Honeycake there-OMG it was nice but very pricey!!

  4. Kylie says:

    Yours is the best recipe and I vary the nuts, my favourites are macadamias and pistachios. I”m from Perth in Western Australia and the honey cake made here is more like a honey flavoured sponge, very nice but nothing like yours?

    • Pussycat says:

      Thanks so much Kylie, I’m glad you like it. I’m not sure if you looked closely or not but in mine I actually forgot the nuts in the layers. Oops…. but it was still good. 😉

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  6. Sierra says:

    Thanks for this tasty looking recipe! I can’t wait to try it:

    Happy cooking + Happy travels!

  7. Charlene teel says:

    Just finished making this cake. The cookie dough did not make 7 160 gram amounts.

    Was the butter supposed to be soft? Mine had chucks, so I microwaved the cream mix-then it ran off the cookie tops.

    The cake is not even close to the height of the cake posted.

    I think it will taste ok but it looks like a disaster.

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