This honey cake (medivnyk) is a traditional attribute of Western Ukrainian Christmas baking and one of the most delicious Ukrainian desserts!
“Everyone should have the Ukrainian honey cake (Medivnyk) for Christmas. Full stop” – this is the life credo of my grandmother Maria
Even if you baked a ton of gingerbread cookies, made a whole tray of spiced cookies, decorated ten cream cakes, prepared a Broken glass dessert and a Swiss roll with jam… BUT… you did not bake the Ukrainian Christmas honey cake… know, that you are not ready for Christmas… at least that’s what my grandmother Maria will tell you. According to her gastronomic theory, a Christmas table without this spiced honey cake is not a perfect table, you can’t let that happen! Christmas without Medivnyk is like a birthday without a cake! It’s a terrible tragedy! And, you know, Grandma is right after all.
I’m not talking about the Medovik cake now (yes, it’s also super delicious, but we’ll talk about it another time)… today I will tell you about the Ukrainian honey cake Medivnyk – the most delicious Christmas spiced cake with honey, nuts, cinnamon and cloves.
Honey cake (Medivnyk) is an invariable sweet attribute of Christmas in most families in Western Ukraine
I cannot imagine the winter holidays without this unique honey cake, its delicious aroma and delicately spicy taste.
Medivnyk tends to become even tastier and more aromatic in a day or two after baking. Well, it’s delicious right after baking too, but if you want to fully enjoy the taste of honey cake for Christmas, plan your time so that you bake it at least two or three days before the holidays. Then let it cool completely, wrap it in foil and store it in the fridge.
You can experiment with spices to your taste
… and the more spices, the better. You can prepare soup, meat stew or cutlets without spices, but you cannot bake this honey cake without them:
- Do you want to add raisins? No problem.
- Do you like nutmeg and ginger? They are not added to the classic Ukrainian cake with honey, but if you like these spices, add them too – you will get a modern Medivnyk.
- You can even add chocolate drops (just don’t tell my grandmother that I gave you this advice, she’s a terrible fan of classics in everything … haha … and she won’t understand such an innovation. Although, grandma has been getting used to the orange peel in this cake for a long time, now she considers it a classic ingredient… miracles do happen…lol)
What to serve this Ukrainian Christmas spiced cake?
This honey cake is perfect on its own, without anything. Its taste is so rich, and the aroma is so inviting and festively special that it does not need any “help”.
But if you really want to add something to Medivnyk, then take into account: this cake with honey loves the simplicity – it is best combined with two ingredients:
- thick jam (preferably homemade)
- butter (yes, normal butter … you just need to cut a slice of Medivnyk and spread it with butter – the yummy is ready! … this “exquisite” combination has been tested by my many years of experience, so don’t hesitate… ha-ha…
Make yourself a cup of hot tea (ordinary black, green, herbal or some exotic fashionable white tea), coffee, hot chocolate or cappuccino. Honey cake goes well with them too.
Attention! Be careful – it’s very difficult to resist in front of Medivnyk, so never leave it where you often pass: on the kitchen table, for example – you risk eating the whole cake piece by piece at once. This dessert should be shared with other family members.
Oh, I almost forgot – add at least one teaspoon of good mood, two pinches of love, half a glass of Christmas miracle and two cups of family comfort to the honey cake.
Honey. It’s a must ingredient in this recipe
Unflavored kefir. It can be substituted for buttermilk
Flour. All – purpose flour is perfect for this cake
Spices: ground cinnamon, ground cloves and ground black pepper
Grated zest of 1 orange
Nuts. We always add walnuts to this honey cake, but you can substitute them for almonds or hazelnuts
Ukrainian honey cake recipe
Beat eggs with sugar. Add honey, soda and kefir. Beat everything again with a mixer or a whisk.
Add flour, cocoa and spices (cinnamon, cloves and pepper). Mix well
It remains to add the chopped nuts and grated orange zest. Mix again
Pour the dough into a form greased with a little oil
Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350F (180°C) (check readiness with a toothpick)
Ukrainian honey cake (Medivnyk)
- 6 ½ Tbsp (140g) honey
- ½ cup + 1Tbsp (120g) sugar
- ¼ cup + 3Tbsp (100ml) kefir
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup + 2Tbsp (180g) flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp cocoa
- 2 pinches of ground black pepper
- grated zest of 1 orange
- 3 oz (80g) chopped walnuts
- Beat eggs with sugar. Add honey, soda and kefir. Beat everything again with a mixer or a whisk.
- Add flour, cocoa and spices (cinnamon, cloves and pepper). Mix well
- It remains to add the chopped nuts and grated orange zest. Mix again
- Pour the dough into a form greased with a little oil
- Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350F (180C) (check readiness with a toothpick)