Russian Honey Cake

By • January 13, 2014 22 Comments

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Author Notes: Russian Honey Cake is light, sweet, and perfectly moist. It’s traditionally baked in a standard round pan, but I always love the way bundt pans make everything just a little fancier. It’s perfect with tea, with coffee, or with a cocktail. Vicky | Things I Made Today

Food52 Review: WHO: Vicky | Things I Made Today runs a productivity, time management, and process improvement consulting company in Madison, WI.
WHAT: A spongy and fragrant cake for when the 3 PM doldrums set in.
HOW: In one bowl, beat egg whites into stiff peaks. In another, whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Add honey, baking soda, and sour cream, followed by flour and nuts. The last step is to fold in the egg whites and bake the batter in a fancy bundt pan.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Just as morning coffee is better with a bagel or a croissant, afternoon coffee is optimized with a piece of cake. This one looks fancy and sophisticated because of the bundt pan, but it’s made with ingredients you already have in your pantry.
The Editors

Serves 8 to 12

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • Butter for pan
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Beat egg whites with a mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until mixture is almost white. Add in honey, baking soda, and sour cream. Mixing at low speed, gradually add flour and nuts, and mix until batter is uniform.
  4. Gently fold in egg whites.
  5. Generously butter a bundt cake pan (or a 9-inch round pan) and pour in batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.

Topics: Hanukkah

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Comments (22) Questions (1)

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7 months ago Swetha Chellappa

Could I substitute the sour cream with something else?

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7 months ago Vicky | Things I Made Today

You could try Greek Yogurt but it may change the consistency a little as it is thicker, but shouldn't change the flavor drastically.

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7 months ago Swetha Chellappa

Thank you! Should I use the same quantity as the sour cream?

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7 months ago Vicky | Things I Made Today

Yes, I would use the same amount.

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7 months ago kzmccaff

Also--I should say, I sprayed and floured the pan and it came RIGHT out. Quite easily.

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7 months ago kzmccaff

Just made this cake and it's great! The consistency is a little spongey and it's lightly sweet, but not overpowering. Perfect with tea (and a new episode of Downton... :)) I added about 1/3 C of walnuts and liked having more of them!

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7 months ago Nina

It has nothing in common with "Russian Honey Cake"!!!!
And with russian backing traditions also. Because adding honey and sauar cream doesn't automatically make cakes "russian".

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9 months ago majority leader

Just made this and it's my favorite cake of all time. Neither bready like a muffin nor sweet like a birthday cake. Just right. Great consistency. I want to break off pieces and eat it out of my hand. A couple notes - I used Mexican sour cream rather than American because the Mexican is runnier. I am under the impression that most Eastern European/Russian 'sour creams' are much runnier than the thick standard goop. I suspect it really added a lot of moistness and texture to the cake. I also soaked the walnuts in some almond extract for a minute. I bet some brandy or other flavored liqueur would have added a lot too. Next I'm trying it with different fruits and nuts.

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7 months ago Vicky | Things I Made Today

Lovely! I like the idea of adding some dried fruits to the recipe. Thanks for the comments!

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10 months ago nkem anene

I love the recipe, its easy to reach with-out any difficulties am preparing it right away.

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10 months ago Tobiwan

Tasted better today..but probably won't make it again.

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10 months ago Tobiwan

Just made mine...not super loving it...very moist...but a bit too spongy and bland flavor...?

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10 months ago Markella Balasis Vavaka

I couldn't agree with you more Tobiwan. Made it for Sunday afternoon coffee but I was a bit disappointed with the flavor. Like you said, spongy and bland, eventhough I sprinkled some cinnamon on top.

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10 months ago Awads

I baked a second one. Still having issues getting the right color. It came out with raw spots on the top and more amber hued on the bottom. I have a convection thermador oven that has never failed me. Having said that, the cake is super moist and not too sweet. It was a crowd-pleaser. I'd make again.

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10 months ago Tobiwan

Other than Awads..has anyone baked this yet? I know the eggs and sourcream will help..but no other fats? Strange...maybe I'll give it a try anyway

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10 months ago Awads

Ugh...followed direction but it quickly over baked. A dark amber color. Tastes fine, but not pretty. Will try again.

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10 months ago bonheurcuisine

Amazingly simple, awfully good! Saving it!

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10 months ago Markella Balasis Vavaka

There isn't any butter or oil in the recipe. This is definitely low fat.

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10 months ago ellemmdee

Um, there's a cup of sour cream in this recipe so not exactly low fat, but truly delicious!

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10 months ago Markella Balasis Vavaka

You could always substitute the sour cream with low fat Greek yogurt. It'll give the same texture to the cake without a lot of calories.

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10 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations! You had me at honey ...

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10 months ago mj.landry

Looks simple & perfect. Love the ingredients which are all pretty much on hand.