Medovik (Czech Honey Cake)

Medovik, also known as Czech Honey Cake, is a popular (and delicious) sweet treat.  There are 15 layers of goodness on this dessert…take a bite today!

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Medovik, also known as Czech Honey Cake, is a popular (and delicious) sweet treat.  There are 15 layers of goodness on this dessert...take a bite today!So the other day, I was sitting in Robbie’s room reading him a bedtime story.  The story of the night involved Winnie the Pooh hunting for his lost honey pot.  (Don’t worry…Pooh found the honey pot.  It was sitting under the bee hive right were he left it!)  But that story then led Robbie to ask if he could have some honey.  So the next morning, I gave Robbie a spoonful of honey.  I told him it was some of Pooh Bear’s honey, and he loved it.  Then I decided to take the whole thing one step further.  I decided to bake this Czech Honey Cake called Medovik.

Medovik, also known as Czech Honey Cake, is a popular (and delicious) sweet treat.  There are 15 layers of goodness on this dessert...take a bite today!I first came across Medovik last year when Laura and I were in Prague.  I was immediately drawn to the fact that this cake has about 62 layers of goodness!  Ok, maybe 62 is an exaggeration, but it does have 8 (!!) layers of cake with a cream filling in between each layer.  Medovik is a popular dessert throughout eastern Europe, and it appears in many different forms.  (Indeed, my friend Ben @ Havoc in the Kitchen is originally from Russia, and he’s posted a couple versions of this cake before.  His lavender version is a fun spin on this classic sweet treat.)

I consider myself a fairly experienced baker, but this cake introduced me to a couple of new ideas that I had never tried before.  First, the layers of cake are incredibly thin.  The cake batter is actually more like a dough in that it can be rolled out.  (Yes, a cake where the layers get rolled out.  Crazy, huh?)  And the thin layers only get baked for a short time.  After ~5 minutes, they’ll be golden brown and ready to come out of the oven.  You’ll repeat that step several times since it’s not possible to get all of the layers in the oven at the same time.

Medovik, also known as Czech Honey Cake, is a popular (and delicious) sweet treat.  There are 15 layers of goodness on this dessert...take a bite today!The second new concept?  The cream filling is largely comprised of sour cream.  Now I’ve used sour cream quite a bit as an ingredient in cake batter…but I can’t recall a time when I’ve used sour cream in a filling.  And certainly not when sour cream is ~75% of the filling!  To be honest, I was a little skeptical.  But one bite, and I immediately went right back to that bakery in Prague!  This Medovik is a delicious and unique dessert for sure!

Medovik (Czech Honey Cake)

Fair warning: Medovik is well known for it’s lengthy preparation time.  For starters, there are a lot of layers that need to get baked.  And then once you assemble the cake, you actually wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight.  So you’ll need to plan ahead when making this cake.  However, planning ahead is kinda nice because it means the cake requires little to no work on the day you want to serve it.  Just pull it out and slice it up!

Medovik, also known as Czech Honey Cake, is a popular (and delicious) sweet treat.  There are 15 layers of goodness on this dessert...take a bite today!The cream filling in Medovik is traditionally sweetened condensed milk and sour cream.  I took this one step further here and cooked that sweetened condensed milk into dulce de leche.  (It’s a super easy process, and I recommend this guide from Serious Eats.)

According to legend, this cake was originally made by a young chef trying to impress a Russian Empress.  She didn’t like honey, but he didn’t know this.  He constructed this honey cake, and it turns out she loved it.  Whether or not that story is true is subject for debate.  However, the point remains that this cake doesn’t have an overly honey taste.  It’s sweet, but not too sweet.  And it has a bit of a tang thanks to the sour cream filling.  In fact, Laura compared it a cheesecake, and I think that’s a pretty good comparison.

Medovik, also known as Czech Honey Cake, is a popular (and delicious) sweet treat.  There are 15 layers of goodness on this dessert...take a bite today!Medovik is most definitely a European style dessert in that it’s not as sweet as many American desserts.  (I love American desserts, but I admit that many of them are known for being cloyingly sweet – think about grocery store birthday cakes.)  However, it’s still delicious, and I highly recommend making this sometime.  Just don’t be like Pooh Bear and forget where you left your honey pot!  Happy baking, my friends!

Did you bake this Medovik at home?  Leave a comment, or better yet snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

Medovik, also known as Czech Honey Cake, is a popular (and delicious) sweet treat.  There are 15 layers of goodness on this dessert...take a bite today!


Medovik, also known as Czech Honey Cake, is a popular (and delicious) sweet treat.  There are 15 layers of goodness on this dessert...take a bite today!
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 520kcal


For the Cake Layers

For the Filling

  • cups dulce de leche see note
  • 24 oz. sour cream
  • 1 cup walnuts lightly toasted and chopped


For the Cake Layers

  • Place a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add honey, sugar and butter; stir occasionally until mixture is well combined and smooth (~5-6 minutes). Remove honey mixture from heat and let cool for 3-4 minutes.
  • Using a small bowl, beat eggs until well combined. Once honey mixture has cooled slightly, very slowly pour beaten eggs in, whisking constantly the entire time. (Note: If you add the eggs too quickly, they could scramble due to the heat of the honey mixture.)
  • Once eggs have been completely stirred in, add vanilla extract, baking soda and salt; stir until well combined.
  • Gradually add flour ½ cup at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition. (Note: The finished dough will be rather stiff. This can be mixed by hand, but an electric mixer on low speed will make the job a lot easier.)
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.
  • Working on a well-floured surface, roll each piece into a 9” circle. After rolling each piece out, place a 9” bowl or cake pan on top of the dough. Use a pizza cutter to cut any scraps off the edges. Save the scraps for later.
  • Transfer circles to a parchment-lined sheet pan. (I was able to get 2 circles to each pan.) Using a fork, dock each piece of dough 8-10 times.
  • Bake for 4-6 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove baked circles from oven and repeat process with remaining pieces.
  • Finally, bake the scraps for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Let scraps cool and then pulse in a food processor until finely ground. Cover and set crumbs aside.

For the Filling

  • Using a large bowl, add the dulce de leche and sour cream; beat using an electric mixer until smooth.
  • To assemble cake, place first layer on a large cake plate. Add ~½ cup of filling on top and use an offset spatula to spread filling to edges. (Note: Leave ~¼” edge around outside of each layer.)
  • Add another layer of cake and more filling. Continue process until all layers of cake have been used. Spread a thin layer of filling on top. Combine the reserved cake crumbs and chopped, toasted walnuts. Gently press mixture into top of cake.
  • Cover cake lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, use a large offset spatula to clean up the edges of the cake where some of the filling might’ve escaped overnight.
  • Slice and serve. (Note: This cake must be refrigerated overnight to let cake layers soften. However, the cake can be made 2-3 days in advance and refrigerated until needed.)


1¼ cups of dulce de leche is the amount that comes from (1) 13.4-oz can of sweetened condensed milk. I recommend this guide from Serious Eats for making dulce de leche using sweetened condensed milk. Just remember that it will take 2-3 hours, so this needs to be done in advance of making the cake.

Medovik, also known as Czech Honey Cake, is a popular (and delicious) sweet treat.  There are 15 layers of goodness on this dessert...take a bite today!

Looking for other European dessert recipes?  Check out these other favorites:

A Dresdner Eierschecke is a traditional Saxon dessert featuring 3 distinct layers.  It's a fun (and unique) dessert!Dresdner Eierschecke

The Sachertorte is a classic European dessert featuring chocolate cake brushed with an apricot jam and then glazed with more chocolate!  Grab a slice and a mug of coffee or tea for dessert tonight!Sachertorte

Trdelnik is a unique cinnamon sugar pastry found throughout Prague.  Often filled with whipped cream and Nutella, Trdelnik are a delicious sweet treat!Trdelnik

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  1. 5 stars
    If Laura compared it to a cheesecake, I know I’d love it! Heck, I’d love it even if it wasn’t like a cheesecake because it looks darn amazing! 8 delicious layers (that are perfect btw). What a fun treat, David! Love a big slice later this evening as we’re chillaxing. Also, now I’m in the mood to watch some cartoons 😉 Happy Friday, my friend!

    1. Haha! I’m always in the mood to watch cartoons, Dawn. I think I’m just a big kid at heart – why do we have to do this thing called “work?” 🙂

    1. If you’ve got the honey ready to go, then you’re well on your way! This is a fun recipe for sure, Kathy. Like you, I really enjoy finding and making new recipes – there’s something really cool about discovering new ideas, right? I hope you give this one a shot sometime! Have a great week ahead, my friend!

  2. Good Lord, David … have you thought about opening a bakery? You make such amazing things. And you know that if it takes more than a day to make it, I’m going to be making it! I love desserts that take time. I also love desserts that aren’t too sweet. Just the other day, someone gave me a milkshake, and I couldn’t finish it because I thought it was too sweet! I’m becoming one of “those” people. Ahhhhhh!

    1. Hah! You are too kind, Jeff. Honestly, I did think about opening a bakery way back in the day. Then I realized that the hours would be really difficult. Think about what time you’d have to get started in order to have freshly baked bread when you open. That’s when I discovered the blog route instead.

      This recipe has your name all over it! From the multiple days to the less sugar than most American desserts, this cake is screaming your name. Jeff! Jeff! Jeff! <--The cake saying that, not me. 🙂

    1. This cake is mighty tasty for sure, Rahul! It’s different than anything I’ve made in the past, and that alone made for a fun baking project. Thanks so much, my friend!

  3. 5 stars
    I appreciate that this takes a bit of time – but wow, I am sure it is worth it. It is beautiful, and I have always loved the flavour of honey!

    1. You know, I kinda like recipes that take a long time to make. There’s something fun about doing each step until it all comes together in the end. And, yes, this cake was well worth the effort! It was unique, and I enjoyed learning the different techniques here. Thanks, Alex!

  4. Awesome, David! I’m humbled by your generous compliment on my cake especially considering the fact that we all know how you feel about lavender! lol. I am happy you have tried a very similar cake popular in Czech (Didn’t know they have it!) I hope you can try one day a Russian version, where baking soda is incorporated into the honey-butter mixture and cooked for a while; it’s a pretty spectacular process cause it first gets a very foamy situation then quickly change the colour to almost amber, so the layers are with a well-pronounced caramel-honey flavour and deep colour. And certainly yay to the addition of dulce de leche and walnuts! Ben approves 🙂

    1. Haha! I was wondering if you were going to comment on the lavender thing there. 🙂 That’s interesting about the Russian version of this cake – I honestly assumed it was the same thing as the Czech version. The addition of baking soda would be a fun twist on that honey-butter mixture. I’ll have to try that! Also, I kinda suspected you’d be ok with the dulce de leche in the middle of this one. Thanks so much, my friend!

  5. 5 stars
    I get the feeling the time and effort this cake requires are more than worth it. I love all the layers (and the healthy amount of filling that comes with them!). Also love it’s legend of origin, thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh, the time and effort are totally worth it, Lauren! I get an odd appreciation out of making recipes that take a long time. There’s just something fun about it! (Of course, I also enjoy recipes that are quick and easy, too.) Thanks so much, my friend!

  6. 5 stars
    David, I know this cake having enjoyed more than one slice, but I’ve never made such. I’m impressed with your baking skills.
    I first tasted the Russian version and then again from a local bakery here. I wouldn’t have the patience required to make such. Well done my friend.

    1. Well thank you so much, Ron! And you know something…this cake wasn’t all that difficult. I have full faith that you could do it, too! It does take a bit of time, but then again we have plenty of time these days, right? I do enjoy the deep dulce de leche flavors in this cake. And I also appreciated the fact that it wasn’t as sweet as most American desserts. (Don’t get me wrong – I do enjoy sweeter desserts, too, but it’s nice to mix it up.)

    1. Haha! Well I’m not sure it’s so much patience as it is time, Michelle. And if there’s one thing we’ve got plenty of these days, it’s time! 🙂

  7. now that’s dedication david – making your own dulce de leche. i am so impatient i’d probably just buy it in a jar! and wow what a cake – all those layers. once again i am not a patient person so … maybe not for me. but it looks fabulous!

    1. Oh my gosh, Sherry! Homemade dulce de leche is insanely easy if you use the sweetened condensed milk trick. (If you’re doing it by hand, uhhh…no thanks!) So this cake did take a bit of time, but then again I have plenty of time these days. Robbie helped me construct this cake…and then of course he helped me eat it, too. 🙂 Thanks so much!

  8. 5 stars
    Oh wow, David, I am originally Czech and yet I’ve never had this – thank you for teaching me something new! I am loving all those super thin uniform cake layers (something I am doubtful I could ever achieve – no patience here, you see) and the honey and sour cream flavour combination, what a treat! PS: Isn’t it funny how reading kids’ bedtime stories can inspire you to make a cake like this? Love it!

    1. Wait, what!? You’re Czech, but this cake is new to you? It was so popular when we were there! I wonder if it’s a new tradition? I made Trdelnik a while back (inspired by that same trip), and I heard that Trdelnik are a relatively new fad in the past 10-15 years…but Trdelnik stands are ALL over Prague. I dunno. Either way, this cake was fun to make – I enjoyed learning new techniques like rolling out the dough. So different than other cakes I’ve made in the past. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here, Katerina!

  9. 5 stars
    LOVE THIS!!!! You are making me pine for Prague David!!! Your lovely pics and description are taking me back to my favorite bakery in the city. 😋 (Cukrarna Saint Tropez, soooo good!). I have to make your recipe! It looks absolutely perfect and so delicious. Love learning the history as well, that’s awesome!!

    1. You and me both, Shannon! I’ve really been missing my travel this year thanks to the pandemic. I guess we’ll just have to live with photo memories and remaking our favorites here at home, huh? This is a fun cake to make at home, too – it’s a process, but I actually enjoy those kinds of recipes. Call me strange! Thanks so much, my friend!

  10. 5 stars
    We were in Prague last year too, but somehow we missed this incredible treat! Love the story behind it, (fun whether it’s true or not). And, thanks to you, we can still try it. Looks right up our alley!

    1. Haha! Most food stories have dubious naming traditions, so I suspect this one probably falls into the same category. Who knows? Either way, this cake is a fun one – it’s not often you get to roll out the layers of a cake using a rolling pin! Thanks, Marissa!

  11. Oh wow! 8 layers (though I like the idea of 62 more) of glorious goodness! This is my first time hearing of Medovik and I think I’m in lurve! I’m a huge fan of slightly tangy desserts too and prefer desserts that are not as sweet so this is my kinda cake. Though, sadly I cannot tolerate sour cream. I need to look for a dairy free option so I can get Lil S to make this for me for my birth week! 🙂 Btw – speaking of lil S, she’s applying to NY colleges for further education and if she ends up there, I might have to stop by and “help” you with leftover treats! 🙂

    1. It really does sound like Medovik is right up your alley, Shashi! This is a fun dessert to make, too – yes, I’m strange in that I enjoy making recipes that take multiple days. Haha! I wonder what you can use in place of sour cream? There’s gotta be a good option!

      Also, keep us in the loop on the college applications. Are the colleges all down in NYC??

    1. This is definitely a good rainy day baking project, Nicole! You like to bake, so I think you’d enjoy making this one. Get this – the layers are rolled out with a rolling pin! That’s definitely a new one for me in terms of cakes. That and you have to let the cake rest overnight. Crazy – but so worth the effort! 🙂

    1. Ah, you’re totally right, Raymund! This cake does look a lot like Mille Crepe. That’s another one that I’ve had on my “to bake” list for a while. Thanks so much, my friend!

  12. This looks really, really good, David! Frosting is always the best part of a cake for me, so the thin layers are a brilliant idea. And I like that it’s not overly sweet. This is definitely a labor of love!

    1. This cake is indeed a labor of love, Frank. But then again we have plenty of time these days, so why not tackle something like a cake that takes 2 days to make? 🙂 Seriously, though, I’m with you on the frosting! This one is definitely more in the ‘European style dessert’ as it’s not as sweet. Quite tasty, but just not as sweet as I’m used to with many American style desserts. Hope your week is going well, my friend!

  13. I’m a little late to this but this cake looks AMAZING! I have bookmarked it as those flavors are right up my alley. The first time I had dolce de leche was in Argentina at a ski resort. This was in 2001–so back then I had never heard of it. They eat it on everything there, including toast. I asked about it and the Serious Eats method is how the Argentinians told me to make it. But now Eagle Brand makes it for me, lol. PS David, I read the comment about you having a bakery…I owned a bakery/catering biz once, and I will say this: I was so overworked (and I had 25 employees!) that I got pneumonia 3 times in 5 years. My kids were little and it was so very stressful. I was in my 30s and pretty darn tough, but I can’t even describe how hard it was.

    1. Hey Kim! There’s no such thing as late when it comes to recipes – they’re just as good now as they were then. 🙂

      Wait – you owned a bakery…with 25 employees!?! That’s awesome, Kim! I mean maybe it wasn’t that awesome based on the pneumonia. Yikes. That confirms that I made the right decision – even if it does sound like fun in theory. Now you get to stay at home and bake for fun, and that sounds WAY better!

    1. While it does take a bit of time to make this cake, I still found it a fun process. I’ve always enjoyed learning how to make different recipes – and this one is different for sure. Thanks, Dawn!

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