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 honey and gingerbread 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.
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.
Step III – Make The Custard
Using egg yolks, milk, potato starch, and sugar, make a creamy 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.
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!
What Are The Other Dishes Served At Wigilia?
The Wigilia meal usually consists of 12 different dishes. They could be any of these:
- Barszcz Red Beetroot Soup
- Mushroom soup
- Herrings or Carp in Aspic
- Little uszka stuffed with mushrooms
- Pierogi leniwe
- Sauerkraut and mushrooms
- Gołąbki rolls
- Ogorki Salad
- Beetroot Buraczki Salad
- Makowiec poppy seed cake
- Miodownik honey cake
- Stewed fruit!
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.
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?
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
- 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
- 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)
- 7 oz (200g) of walnuts
- ½ cup of sugar
- 2 tbsps of honey
- ⅔ cup of butter (160g)
- 20 oz (580g) of plum jam (2 small jars)
How To Make Walnut Topping?
- Chop walnuts finely.
- Melt honey with sugar and butter.
- Add chopped walnuts and fry for a few minutes.
How To Bake Polish Honey Cake?
- Preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C).
- In a pot, mix honey with milk and warm up until honey is dissolved. Let the mixture cool down.
- Using a food processor, mix butter, flour, and baking soda. You can also do it by hand on a clean flat surface.
- Add eggs and icing sugar. Mix.
- Add honey and milk and mix again.
- Divide the dough into 3 pieces.
- 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.
- Roll out each piece of the dough and transfer them to the baking pans.
- Bake the first cake for 13-15 minutes.
- Bake the second cake for 13-15 minutes.
- In the meantime, pour the walnut topping onto the raw third cake.
- Bake the third cake for 13-15 minutes.
- Let all the 3 cakes cool down.
How To Make The Custard For Miodownik?
- Pour 2 cups of milk into the pot.
- Add egg yolks and sugar to the pot. Whip it together until you will get a smooth yellow color.
- Pour 1 cup of milk into the small bowl.
- Add flour and potato starch to the small bowl of milk. Mix until dissolved.
- Place the pot on the stove, cook slowly, on medium-low, stirring all the time.
- When it nearly boils, add the milk-flour mixture. This should give the consistency of pudding. Allow to cool. Check out this post for more tips on how to make the pudding right.
- Using a mixer or food processor, mix the cold pudding with butter until you get the consistency of the creamy custard.
How To Assemble Polish Honey Cake?
- Spread half of the plum jam (1 jar) on the first cake.
- Cover with half of the custard.
- Cover with the second cake.
- Spread plum jam, then custard.
- Cover with the third cake (the one with walnut topping).
- The cake is ready to eat after 2 days. It tastes best after a week.
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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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