Russian Honey Cake Recipe

Russian honey cake is perfect for any special occasion. Featuring layers of soft honey cookies and sweet sour cream frosting, this cake is a real treat. And while it might look complicated, this Russian honey cake recipe is surprisingly easy to make. Your friends and family will adore this delicious dessert!

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez
Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Cookie Layers

Things You'll Need

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 3 eggs, room temperature, beaten

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 1

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the honey, sugar, butter and vanilla extract.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Melt the ingredients until smooth and combined, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 2

Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Beat the eggs in a separate container, then slowly add to the honey mixture as you quickly whisk it. Constantly whisking will prevent the eggs from cooking.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 3

Add the salt and baking soda. Stir well.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 4

Add 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour. Mix well, then continue adding the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

As the mixture forms into a dough, you'll need to use your hands to mix and knead. Repeat until the dough resembles clay. If it's too sticky, gradually add all-purpose flour and knead some more.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 5

Place the dough onto a well-floured surface. Using a dough scraper or pizza cutter, separate the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

To make 8 equal pieces, cut the dough in half. Halve each one to make 4 pieces. Finally, halve each quarter to make 8 pieces.

Step 6

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll the pieces of dough into balls.

Place one ball of dough on a large sheet of parchment paper. Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

You'll have two large circles on each sheet, so roll out each one on either side. Avoid rolling the dough in the center.

Step 7

Place an 8-inch-wide plate on top of the dough. Slice away the excess dough with a knife or pizza cutter. Set aside the dough scraps, as you'll use them later.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 8

Repeat with a second ball of dough. Transfer the parchment paper onto a large baking sheet.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 9

Bake for 4 to 5 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. As the first 2 layers cook, work on preparing the next 2 on a separate sheet of parchment paper.

Once golden brown, remove the cookies from the oven. Let cool slightly, then carefully transfer onto a cooling rack. Pierce any large air bubbles with a fork or knife, but be sure to avoid cutting straight through.

Place the next 2 layers in the oven. Repeat until all 8 layers are baked.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

If you have a large oven or several baking sheets, you can bake more than 2 at a time.

Step 10

Finally, bake the dough scraps for 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 11

Let cool, then pulverize in a high-powered blender or food processor. Set aside in an air-tight container.

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Sour Cream Frosting

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Things You'll Need

  • 2 cups sour cream

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 1

Using a hand mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream for 1 to 2 minutes or until fluffy and stiff.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 2

Add the sour cream, vanilla, honey and powdered sugar. Fold to combine, taking care to avoid overmixing. Taste and add more powdered sugar, if necessary.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 3

Place the first cookie layer on a plate or cake stand. Spread 1/2 cup of frosting across the entire cookie.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 4

Add a second cookie layer, then firmly press down to get rid of any air pockets. Spread another 1/2 cup of frosting on top.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 5

Continue alternating cookies and frosting, making sure to press down on each layer. Spread the leftover frosting across the top and sides.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 6

Sprinkle the cookie crumbs on top of the cake.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 7

Cover the cake with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Or, if your cake is on a plate, you can put it in a large aluminum pan with a lid. In either case, try and limit air exposure.

Chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. As the cookie layers absorb moisture from the frosting, they'll become wonderfully soft and decadent.

Top the cake with berries, chocolate shavings or both!

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Drizzle with extra honey just before serving.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez