This Uzbek honey cake is a simplified version of the original Russian multilayered honey cake called Medovik. In Uzbekistan, it’s impossible to have any sort of celebration without this delicious honey cake taking the centre of the table.
Uzbek Honey Cake & Russian Honey Cake Differences
Traditionally, the Russian Medovik recipe is made up of thin cookie dough-like layers that are baked individually. The layers are then softened with a whipped cream filling consisting of double cream, sour cream, sugar and vanilla. However, the Uzbek version that I was taught, is baked all in one go or you can divide the mixture into 3 individual layers. The cream is made with whipped butter and condensed milk. The consistency of the cake batter in the Uzbek honey cake is light and fluffy and not dough-like at all. But, regardless of which type you are baking, using good quality organic raw honey is the key to this mouthwatering honey cake recipe.
How is Uzbek Honey Cake Decorated and Served?
Traditionally, the honey cake is layered with and generously enveloped with the silky smooth buttercream frosting, then it is coated with the crumbs of the cake crust that were removed to shape the cake. I have customised its decoration for Ramadan and Eid, and because it’s quite a sturdy cake, I even found it easy to work with for weddings and tiers.
Please note that this honey cake is best served 1 whole day after it’s made to allow the layers to attain its irresistible chewy texture and absorb the flavours of the cream. This honey cake only gets better the longer it is in the fridge and it keeps very well. Actually, I have even pre-baked and cut the sponge and then frozen them, which has not affected the texture or flavour.
When this Uzbek honey cake is made for celebrations it’s commonly baked in large rectangular shapes consisting of about 3 or 4 layers that are slightly thicker. This shape is then cut and served in squares. The Russian Medovik cake is usually circled in shape and built up into a tall 8-layer cake, and this is cut and served in triangular slices. Both versions are customary and equally scrumptious. So, today I will mix the 2 styles by making the thicker 3 layer honey cake in a circle shape tin 🙂
Uzbek Honey Cake
- 1 Electric cake mixer
- 1 25cm round cake tin
- 1 Cake divider
For The Sponge Base
- 8 eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 cups flour sifted
For The Honey Mix
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tbsp butter
For The Butter Cream
- 1 250g block of unsalted butter
- 1 397g tin of condensed milk
- Seperate the egg whites and place the yolks in a small bowl and set a side. Then whisk the egg whites up in a mixing bowl/mixer until it's big, white and frothy. (Similar to meringue in texture and able to hold when bowl is upside down)
- You can use a hand mixer but it's much easier to mix this cake with a hands-free one.
- Start to add the ½ cup of sugar a tiny bit at a time while mixing the egg whites.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time and mix on a low speed until the yellow of the yolk completely blends into the mixture before you add the next yolk.
- When you have finished adding the yolks, start adding the sifted flour a tiny bit at a time in the same way, while still mixing. (The mixture may deflate a little during this process if you add the flour too much at a time or too quickly, but don't worry too much about it if it does, you will still have an awesome-tasting cake.)
For The Honey Mix
- Add ½ cup of honey to a saucepan with ½ cup of sugar and put over a medium heat, add 1 tbsp of baking soda and mix really well. Stir continuously until it expands in size and turns golden brown and fluffy. (The deeper the brown colour, the darker and more flavoursome the honey taste will be, but be careful not to burn it.)
- Turn off the heat and continue to stir before adding 2 tbsp of butter. Continue to stir until the butter melts in and smooth.
- Add the honey mixture to the egg mix while mixing. It's important that you do this bit before the honey mix cools down too much, as then the honey will be too hard to mix.
- Grease a 25cm diameter round cake tin with some butter and transfer the cake mixture to it.
- Place the cake in a preheated oven at gas mark 3 or 4 and bake for 20 min.
- Check that the middle of the cake is fully cooked by inserting a wooden skewer. If it comes out dry, it's done.
- Place on a cooling rack and leave to cool
For The Cream
- Whisk the butter until soft and fluffy adding the condensed milk a little at a time while whisking. This should form a soft, light and fluffy cream. (Please note, the butter is much easier to whisk when at room temperature and that this cream is NOT suitable for piping.)
- Cut the cake into 3 equal slices, then stack them up again and trim any access edges. These cake trimmings are then crumbled up small to decorate over the creamed cake.
- Generously fill each layer with cream while building up. Then spread the whole cake over with the remaining cream and decorate with cake crumbs.
- Refrigerate for 24hrs before serving.