This spongy Honey Cake is filled with layers of cream and jam, each bite is heaven. It is airy, tart, and rich at the same time. The flavor of this honey cake is truly out of this world!
What is Honey Cake
Honey Cakes are very popular in Eastern Europe, specifically former Soviet Union Countries. It is called Medovik in Russia and was invented by a young chef in the 19th century that was trying to impress the Empress. The classic Honey Cake has layers of sponge cake with a cream filling and is covered with nuts or cake crumbs, although there are so many different varieties.
We have a popular Russian Honey Cake recipe that is totally classic. This spongy Honey Cake is different from the classic version with the addition of jam. But this jam layered cake is just as good as the traditional version, if not better.
How to Make Honey Cake with Jam
The first step of making the Jam Layered Honey Cake is making the honey sponge cake layers. While the cake layers are baking, make the cake cream out of cream cheese, powdered sugar, and whipping cream. The cake layers are then sliced in half, stacked, and layered with jam and the cake cream. It is impressive, delicious, yet simple to make.
Making Honey Sponge Cake
Make the cake batter by beating the eggs and sugar first, then beating in the honey. Fold in the lemon juice and baking soda before folding in the flour in thirds. Be gentle with the batter so it keeps its fluffiness. Divide the batter among two cake pans and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Making Honey Cake Cream
Make the cake cream by mixing together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in the chilled whipping cream until the cake cream is firm.
Putting Together the Honey Cake
Slice each of the cake layers into two and spread the top of each layer with jam. Add the cake cream between each layer and stack together. Spread the rest of the cream on the outside of the cake. Let the cake sit overnight so the cream can soak into the cake layers.
What Jam to Use in A Honey Cake
This cake uses jam to give it that fruity flavor. We have used currant jam or peach jam. You can use your favorite jam and each time that you switch it up it will feel like a different cake. If you want to try making your own homemade jam, try this Raspberry Jam, Strawberry Jam, or Prune Plum Jam.
Preparing Honey Cake In Advance
This honey cake recipe is a great make-ahead option! You can either make just the sponge cake in advance or even the fully prepared layered cake. Here is how you do it:
- Sponge Cake – The sponge cake can be made 5 days in advance and refrigerated fully wrapped. You can also make it and freeze it for later. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- Fully Prepared Cake – The prepared cake is best enjoyed the day after making — giving time for the cream to soak into the cake. But it can be made in advance and refrigerated in a fully sealed container. It will stay fresh for 3-5 days.
What are honey cakes?
Honey Cake is an Eastern European layered cake. The sponge cake layers are stacked with a cream filling. There are many variations of honey cake, but honey is always a key ingredient in the sponge cake.
Is baking with honey healthier than sugar?
Baking with honey is a healthier option than regular sugar. Although honey does still contain high fructose levels, it is lower on the glycemic index. Some studies have shown that replacing sugar with honey can lower blood sugar.
What is better for cakes, baking soda or baking powder?
Baking soda is traditionally the choice for baking cakes and breads. While baking soda is traditionally used in cookie recipes, it can be used in cakes. In order to bake cakes with baking soda it needs to be paired with an acidic compound — like lemon juice in this recipe.
More Cakes to Try
- Nutella Crepe Cake – A stack of crepes layered with a Nutella cream makes the most beautiful cake. This dessert is so impressive, yet so easy to make!
- Zebra Cake Recipe – This cake is a moist sponge cake that is swirled with chocolate and topped with a rich, ganache frosting.
- Kiev Cake – A classic Ukrainian cake that has an airy layer of meringue with hazelnuts, fruit jam, and a buttercream-like filling.
- Meringue Napoleon Cake – A decadent European cake with three layers: crispy cake, meringue, and dulce de leche cream.
Honey Sponge Cake
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 1/2 cup flour
- 16 oz jam any tart jam
- 16 oz cream cheese softened
- 2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 cup whipping cream very cold
Honey Sponge Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat the eggs with the sugar until it triples in volume.
- Add the honey and beat again to combine.
- In a small dish, combine the lemon juice with the baking soda. Add the baking soda mixture to the egg mixture and fold to combine.
- Use a spatula and fold in the flour in thirds. Be very gentle with the batter, so you don't over mix it and lose the fluffiness.
- Divide the cake batter between two 9-inch cake pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Use a toothpick to check for doneness. When the inserted toothpick comes out clean with no wet batter, the cake is done.
- Allow to slightly cool, then slice each cake into two layers and spread some jam on one side of each layer.
Jam Layered Honey Cake Cream
- To prepare the cake cream, beat the softened cream cheese with powdered sugar.
- Beat until the mixture is smooth and has no lumps. Add the whipping cream and beat until the cream is firm.
Assembling Jam Layered Honey Cake
- Apply cream to the cake between each layer.
- Apply the remaining cream on the outside of the cake.
- Decorate the cake as you wish. I cut a thin slice from one layer of the cake and turned it into crumbs, which later used to decorate the sides of the cake.
- It's best to serve the cake after it sits overnight soaking with the cream.
This cake is so so good! I have been going back to this recipe for years and make this often. My dads birthday is this week so I came back to this recipe and wanted to say THANK YOU! ❤️ Best cake ever! And we don’t add jam between the cake layers but sliced strawberries. It gives great texture and fresh flavor! Thank you so much for such a tasty and simple recipe! 😊👍
Alina, this is so sweet. I so am happy to hear this. Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback. Also, happy Birthday to you dad!
Can I play let me know preheated at what temperature for the sponge cake. And can I half the ingredients if I am using 6 inch pan.
Hi Juhi- the cake bakes at 350°. And yes, you should be able to halve the recipe and use a 6 inch pan. I haven't tried it personally, but I don't see why it wouldn't work! Use the toothpick test to check if the cake layer is ready, baking time may need to be adjusted since you're using one 6inch pan vs two 9 inch pans. Enjoy!
The Honey Sponge Cake turned out to be very tasty. I wasn't sure about honey in a cake but after making and trying it it was yum. Glad I came across this page. Thanks for sharing an amazing recipe. Must try for all.
Hi there- so glad you decided to gave it a try and loved it!
Is there anything else I can use an alternative to Cream Cheese for the frosting?
You can add more heavy whipped cream instead. It will give you a lighter cream.
Do eggs need to be room temp?
If you have time for planning,y ou can keep them at room temperature.
Hi! Could you mix the batter and bake one at a time? Since I don’t have two spring foam moles or would it not turn out the same for the second time, as it sits out waiting for the first one to bake? Also what kind of jams are tart? Thanks!
Sure you can break down the dough but I found it easier to purchase a second pan. I share jam ideas in this section "What Jam to Use in A Honey Cake". Hope it helps.
I love when I find a recipe that I already have all of the ingredients to make. I'm trying to wait until after dinner before I try and piece but I don't think I have that much will power, haha! Smells amazing!
It is the best dessert, you will fall in love with it!
My whole family absolutely LOVED this cake!! I had never had it before and now it's a new favorite. Thank you!
I'm so glad you enjoyed the cake, thank you for your feedback!
I made this with a spring form pan and it came out perfect. I love recipes like this because i always have so much extra jams around.
It is a great way to use up leftover jams, I'm glad you enjoyed the cake!
My cake sank in the middle as well!!
Not sure what went wrong. 😕
The most common issue could be is under baking or opening oven often during the baking.
Hi Natalya. I would like to suggest that you add to use springform pans as they tend to be a lot taller than the traditional 9 inch cake pans. I'm disappointed that I didn't read the comments until my batter was in the oven because like the other 2 girls, I used regular 9 inch cake pans which are currently stinking up the house because the batter is dropping out and burning. Thankfully I put a big sheet pan on the bottom rack just in case as the pans did seem to be pretty full. Hopefully the cake with still turn out fine :/
Oh, sorry dear! I'lol the recipe. I don't own any other cake pans so I had no idea of a difference. I try to add photos for more details.
How long do u have to beat the egg and sugar for?
It is really hard to say because it all depends on the speed and mixer you are using. But it's about 10 minutes or until the mixture is foamy and light.
My cakes sank in the middle.. What went wrong? I still put them together but alittle differently though 😉 lol
It's hard to say why it sank. Maybe you under beat the cake batter.
Thank you so much for sharing this cake. I have been eating a similar version at various Russian stores/delli in the Seattle area but never made it myself. I prepared it for the Christmas dinner and it was a hit!!! I made it in a sheet pan and cut it into squares thou. Thank you again.
What size sheet pan did you use?
I used 9-inch pan for the cake.
Thanks a great idea to make it in a sheet pan. You are always welcome to attach photos here in comments, it gives others ideas. Glad that it was a hit 🙂
this recipe was AWESOME! The cake is delicious and gorgeous. I only ended up needing half the cream and a little more than half the jam. I used raspberry jam and decorated the top with chopped pecans. People told me I should package it and sell it! It tastes a like a sour cream frosting cake from my childhood. It's a huge cake and serves a LOT of people. We were 7 and all had 2 pieces and still only went through half the cake. It's not too hard to make but since it has a few steps and is a little time consuming, I probably will save this for special occasions. Thank you!
Hey, I don't know how I missed your comment. Thank you for such a detailed feedback. Have a Happy New Year!
I made this for some dinner guests the other day with apricot jam inside. My husband and I both agreed it was a little too sweet; if I was to make it again I would try it with fresh fruit to add a little tartness. Also, it definately had a strong honey flavor so you have to like that to enjoy this cake.
Oksana, thanks you, I love the idea of fresh fruits. I didnt mind the sweetness in this cake but I can see how during the summer it would be a good idea to to use fresh fruits.
Do you store the cake in the fridge when you let it sit overnight or out on the counter?
Keep it refrigerated, it will perfect the cream texture while being refrigerated.
hi. Got a silly question. I want to make this cake along with a butter cream cake on the outside. I wanted to make roses on outside and only butter cream hold well, so I heard. Do you think it would still taste good if I use your cream as the inside and a butter cream on outside? or would the creams clash. if yes, should I just decrease the cream amount in half for just the inside filling? I hope it will turn out fine. :/
If you use just one cream on the outside it would work. You may need to cut on the other, maybe cut 1/3 of the cream. I love butter creams, I bet your cake would taste really good.
HI Natalya! Just wondering if this cake is SUPER sweet? It has Sugar and honey and jam and powdered sugar.....
Hi Oksana, it is a bit sweet. Personally I don't have a huge sweet tooth but this cake is one of my favorites. You can use fresh fruits instead of jam, it would add some sour flavor to it.
about the heavy cream, do you pour it in liquid form into the cream cheese mixture or do you whip up the heavy whip cream and then fold it into the cream cheese?
Just pour in as liquid and than whip together with cream cheese and it would turn stiff.
Do you whip the whipping cream before mixing it with the cream cheese mixture or just pour it in?
Just pour in and beat the cream until it is firm.
Is 2 1/2 cups of flour correct
Yes that is correct.
I just made this cake today for my husband's work and it was nice and fluffy but it ended up going out of the sides of my baking pan. I saved it (just ended up cutting off the falling sides). I used a 9in pan. I then figured that I needed to use a deep pan. I used a regular one not a deep one. I should have known better because when I poured the batter into the pans they were almost full:). I'm not sure if anyone else had the same problem.
Did you split the dough into two parts like the recipe says? I would think any pan should be high enough, unless its a cookie sheet.
same thing happened with my cake. i split the batter into 2 9in pans, and the batter went over the sides in the oven...what did i do wrong?
In previous comment it says that she didn't use a deep one. Did you do the same thing?
mine was 1 1/2in deep. i cut the edges off too, and i think overall it will turn out fine, just that i guess the pans weren't deep enough...
It would have to be a springform pan, just like the one in the photo.
oh, okay, thanks!
WOW, This cake is Amazing!
Every year we have a "Gardening Party", where we have friends and family over to help us plant our Fruits and Veggies (deal is that if you help us plant, we share our crops throughout the year.). I always like to bake some goods and have drinks out during the party. well, it was hard getting everyone to work with this cake around. It went so fast, I had people asking if I baked 2! I did mashed bananas instead of a jam, and it was very delicious! The Party was two weeks ago, and I am still getting compliments and people asking for the recipe. THANK YOU FOR SHARING! 🙂
Wow Melanie, what a fantastic idea to have a planting party. I love crops from the garden, but it seems like everything I take care of dies under my hands., lol. So I gave up. My mom does have a beautiful garden and we get some fruits and veggie from her.
About the cake, banana is a pretty awesome idea, I can totally see that working in this cake.
Try this cake at your next party, I dream about it at night sometimes, lol. http://momsdish.com/r340 Can't decide which one I like more. 🙂
Thanks for the next cake suggestion...Looks like I know what I am baking for Easter! 🙂
I will be waiting to hear from you 😉
what if I don't use any jam at all, do u think it will still be good?
Yes, it will be good but more on the sweet side. If you wish, you can use prunes or other dry fruits also.
what kind of jam did you use? can i use strawberry?
I used peach jam but strawberry would work also.
Looks delish! Agree about sitting overnight!
Olena, thank you! This is the cake I was working on last weekend when we were chatting on IG. 🙂
is it cool whip or heavy whipping cream? that you use
Heavy whipping cream.
Yum!!! Looks delicious!!!
Thank you Lea! I think now I wi dream about this cake and a golden key!
I will give it a try, will make it this week
Lyuba, let me know how it goes, I hope you will love it. 🙂
so we skipped the waiting over night part and we love the cake!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Wow, you are so quick! Glad you guys like the cake. I wouldn't mind a slice with latte right about now 🙂
Well I added a picture but it doesn't want to post :/
Oh darn! I'll have to check
why picture isn't posting.