Wednesday, April 27, 2011

U is for Ukrainian Honey Cake (Medivnyk)

When I was really little, I lived in a predominantly Ukrainian/Polish neighbourhood.  We all went back and forth to each others homes and ate wherever we landed.  We shared holidays and toys and just really had a great neighbourhood for being a child in.  Disaster struck when I was about nine years old and I found out I was Irish, not Ukrainian - I was quite flabbergasted by this realization.  I remember saying to my mom that we celebrated all the same holidays and stuff - what do you mean we're not Ukrainian?  I was quite appalled by this turn of events in my life.  lol

I have since recovered from this terrible shock but still love a lot of the traditional Ukrainian foods. Among them was this cake.  I haven't made it in years but thought I would share the recipe anyway.  You should use buckwheat honey but a nice clover honey is just as good.

Ukrainian Honey Cake

1 cup honey
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs, separated
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder (I use double action baking powder.)
1 tsp cinnamon or ginger  (I sometimes use half and half of each.)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream (yogurt works in a pinch and is lighter on the fat)
1/2 or so cup nuts 
1/2 or so cup raisins (I soak mine so the cake doesn't dry out.)

Boil honey and cool.

Cream butter and sugar adding in egg yolks one at a time along with the honey.

Combine dry ingredients and add in three batches to the creamed butter/sugar mixture.

Beat egg whites until stiff.  Fold into batter along with the nuts and raisins.

Grease a 10 inch Bundt pan.

Bake at 325F for about an hour.  Test with toothpick.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack.

You can dust this cake with a bit of icing sugar - it is quite sweet so an icing would just make it overpowering.


  1. This is making me hungry! I could eat a slice for breakfast!

    Thank you for the recipe. I am going to try it.

  2. well, you were Ukrainian at heart. :)