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Miodownik – Polish Honey Cake Recipe

The Polish honey cake recipe is often made for Wigilia dinner and tastes really rich and delicious. Easy to make in 90 minutes, this miodownik cake is the perfect treat!

About The Miodownik Recipe

Usually served for Christmas at the Wigilia Dinner where families gather, the Polish Miodownik cake has been part of Polish cuisine since the 12th century. You’ll find it served from the last day of Advent till Carnival or presentation of Jesus at the temple in February. 

The cake is made in many forms – from spiced with ginger, to slathered with budyn pudding, glazed with chocolate, or soaked with a sugar syrup called – there are many different recipes for the honey sugar cake. 

Who Invented The Miodownik? 

It’s believed that German nuns in the 12th century invented the ancestor of the Miodownik cake in the form of gingerbread and honey cookies.

This honey-flavored cake soon developed and became popular in France as a honey cake. As the cake spread throughout Europe, more spices were added to the cake in different cultures.

Some say the present-day ‘medovik’ was invented in Russia for the wife of Emperor Alexander I. Others say it was a part of Jewish culture that got assimilated into different countries they lived in.

And yet others say the Miodownik, the sponge cake topped with honey originated in the region that was once Galicia and is now Central Poland.

This cake is also called chonek łejkech or grysikowiec when made with semolina.

How Is The Miodownik Cake Made?

Step I – Prepare The Walnut Topping

Melt butter, sugar, and honey in a pan. Chop the walnuts fine and add to this. Fry for a few minutes and its ready to use.

Honey, butter and sugar.
Honey, butter and sugar
Walnuts in the honey in a pan.
Walnut topping
Walnut topping for miodownik.
Walnut topping with honey and butter

Step II – Bake Three Cakes For The Miodownik

Follow the steps given in the instructions below and bake three different cakes for the miodownik layers.

You can use one pan 3 times or three different pans. Use a large rectangular pan if you can. If not, any other pan will work too.

Add the flour for the dough.
Add the flour for the dough
Cake batter in a tray.
Cake batter in a tray

Step III – Make The Custard

Using egg yolks, milk, potato starch, and sugar, make a creamy custard with the consistency of a pudding. 

Milk and honey in a pot.
Make a custard with the consistency of a pudding

Step IV – Assemble The Cake

Assembling the parts of the miodownik Polish honey cake is easy.

Place a layer of cake on a flat board. Cover it with half the plum jam, followed by half the custard.

Plum jam being added to the cake.
Spread a layer of plum jam on the cake
Adding a layer of custard on the cake.
Add a layer of custard on the cake

Cover this with the second layer of cake. Again, spread plum jam and custard on top of it, before covering it with the third layer of cake (the one made with the walnut topping).

Let the cake rest for 2 days before you serve it. It tastes even better after a whole week!

 
Sponge cake with layers of jam and custard.
So that’s the second layer of sponge cake with layers of jam and custard
Walnut filling on top of sponge cake.
The walnut layer goes on top
Slices of miodownik cake.
Cut into slices and serve!
Miodownik cake in a white plate.
Miodownik cake tastes best after a week!

What Are The Other Dishes Served At Wigilia?

The Wigilia meal usually consists of 12 different dishes. They could be any of these:

Tips For Making The Polish Honey Cake Recipe

  • If you don’t like walnuts, use almond flakes or any other nuts of your choice. Alternatively, use a chocolate topping. 
  • Some say the honey and spices in the cake are the perfect healthy excuse to eat this cake. 
  • You can use kajmak cream or condensed milk instead of custard. 
  • The honey used in the dough helps it to stay fresh for longer. So the cake will last for a few weeks!
  • You can also add walnuts or other chopped nuts to the custard mixture. 
  • If serving only to adults, you can add a spoonful of rum to the cake before the plum jam layer. 
  • You can make more layers of the cake if you prefer. 
  • If you want to make the cake as a regular tea-time snack, you can prepare it without the jam or custard layers. 
Miodownik cakes.
You can see the layers in a miodownik cake!

FAQs About The Miodownik Recipe

Can I Make The Cake With Only Two Layers?

Traditionally the miodownik cake is made with three layers, but you can always make it with two layers if you wish.

Why Do You Add Honey To The Dough? Can I Use Sugar Instead?

The honey gives the dough an elasticity that makes the cake spongier. It also adds moisture to the cake. So honey is essential to making the perfect miodownik cake. You can use sugar, but the taste will not be the same.

Which Honey Should I Use?

Local raw unprocessed honey from your region is always the best choice. But if you can’t find local honey, use any good quality honey for the cake.  

Can I Serve The Miodownik Cake Immediately After Baking?

Yes, you can serve the Polish honey cake immediately after baking. But, the cake tastes better after a few days once the jam and custard layers have been absorbed into the sponge layers. 

How To Store The Miodownik Cake?

In colder weather, the miodownik cake can be stored outside under a cloche. In warmer weather, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator. 

Miodownik – Polish Honey Cake Recipe

Yield: 30

Miodownik - Polish Honey Cake Recipe

Miodownik - Polish Honey Cake Recipe

The Polish honey cake recipe is often made for Wigilia dinner and tastes really rich and delicious. Easy to make in 90 minutes, the miodownik cake is the perfect treat!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

Cake (dough)

  • 3½ cups (525g) of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of butter (230g)
  • 1 tbsp of baking soda
  • 5 tbsps of honey
  • 5 tbsps of milk
  • 1 cup (130g) of icing sugar

Custard

  • 3 cups of milk
  • 4-6 tbsps of sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsps of potato starch
  • 1 tbsp of flour
  • 1 cup of butter (230g)

Walnut topping

  • 7 oz (200g) of walnuts
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 tbsps of honey
  • ⅔ cup of butter (160g)

Others

  • 20 oz (580g) of plum jam (2 small jars)

Instructions

How To Make Walnut Topping?

  1. Chop walnuts finely.
  2. Melt honey with sugar and butter.
  3. Add chopped walnuts and fry for a few minutes.

How To Bake Polish Honey Cake?

  1. Preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C).
  2. In a pot, mix honey with milk and warm up until honey is dissolved. Cool off.
  3. Using a food processor, mix butter, flour, and baking soda. You can also do it by hand on a clean flat surface.
  4. Add eggs and icing sugar. Mix.
  5. Add honey and milk and mix again.
  6. Divide the dough into 3 pieces.
  7. Line 3 rectangular 9x13" baking pans with parchment paper. You can also use one pan to bake all the 3 cakes, changing parchment paper each time.
  8. Roll out each piece of the dough and transfer them to the baking pans.
  9. Bake the first cake for 13-15 minutes.
  10. Bake the second cake for 13-15 minutes.
  11. In the meantime, pour the walnut topping onto the raw third cake.
  12. Bake the third cake for 13-15 minutes.
  13. Cool off all the 3 cakes.


How To Make The Custard For Miodownik?

  1. Pour one cup of milk into the pot.
  2. Add egg yolks, sugar, and whip it together until you will get a smooth, yellow color.
  3. Pour 1 cup of milk into the small bowl.
  4. Add flour and potato starch. Mix until dissolved.
  5. Place a pot on the stove, cook slowly, stirring all the time.
  6. When it nearly boils, add milk with flour and you will get the consistency of pudding. Cool down. Check out this post for more tips on how to make the pudding right.
  7. Mix the cold pudding with butter until you get the consistency of the creamy custard.


How To Assemble Polish Honey Cake?

  1. Spread half of the plum jam (1 jar) on the first cake.
  2. Cover with half of the custard.
  3. Cover with the second cake.
  4. Spread plum jam, then custard.
  5. Cover with the third cake (the one with walnut topping).
  6. The cake is ready to eat after 2 days. It tastes best after a week.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

30

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 360Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 281mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 29gProtein: 4g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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