February 25, 2022

Honey Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

Honey Cake with Sour Cream Frosting: nice, fluffy texture, moist with a hint of nutty flavor. The honey gives the cake sweetness; a delicious combination with sour cream frosting. This cake just hits ‘the spot’.

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Honey Cake: nice, fluffy texture, moist with a hint of nutty flavor. The honey gives the cake sweetness; a delicious combination with sour cream frosting. This cake just hits ‘the spot’. | olgainthekitchen.com

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This cake recipe comes a long way. It’s a staple at our home. Before I got married, I used to bake it almost every Sunday for our church youth gathering. We always had youth at our house, whether those were my friends, my brothers’ friends or just simply 60-70 youth members :). This recipe never gets old and it’s never enough. Over the past decade, I made this cake around 200 times if not more; I could probably bake it in my sleep 🙂 . You can also add strawberries and kiwi between the layers – a delicious addition!

You can decorate the cake with any honey cake crumbs you got on hand from previous, recent baking, but I feel like the nutty-almond decoration gives that extra flavor and just blends in nicely with honey.

Choosing the Right Honey for Sponge Cake

When it comes to honey: As much as I love organic foods, organic honey doesn’t always work in baking when it comes to sponge cakes. Some honey brands come a bit on the watery side. A while back, when I ran out of honey that I always use in this cake, I tried substituting with Simple Truth brand and the cake layers turned out heavy and weren’t fluffy. They looked watery, as if you soaked the cake layers in bowl of water. At first I wasn’t sure what was happening to my cake and then it hit me: ‘honey’.

I have a little secret when it comes to finding out if certain honey will work for this cake. If you flip the bottle upside down and the honey comes out quickly out of the bottle, it will not work. Honey that comes out “lazy” from the bottle, like it’s barely coming out and you REALLY have to squeeze the bottle, that’s your winner. That is your friend!

Honey Cake Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs – room temp
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Sour Cream Frosting Ingredients and Decorating:

  • 16 oz sour cream – cold
  • 8 oz extra creamy cool whip – frozen
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blanched almonds – toasted

How to Make Honey Cake:

1. Preheat the oven to a 350°F. Prepare a nonstick 9″ springform pan; oil or spray with a cooking spray and wipe all over with a paper towel (make sure to get the edges nicely). In a small bowl, microwave 4 tablespoons honey for 40-60 seconds until it starts bubbling and rising. As soon as you take out the honey from the microwave, sprinkle it with 1/4 tsp of baking soda and stir with a spoon until fluffy (it will rise). Set aside to cool while you prepare the next step.

2. In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat 8 eggs and 1 cup sugar on high for 8-10 mins until eggs are light in color, thick and fluffy. Beat in honey/baking soda mixture on low for 30 seconds. Sift 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour in thirds into the batter, whisking gently by hand using a whisk or fork until flour is incorporated and no streaks of flour remain, scraping the bottom of the bowl to ensure you don’t have lumps of flour hiding at the bottom. Do not over-mix or you will deflate the batter and the cake will turn out hard in texture. Divide batter equally into 3: 1 straight into springform pan and the remaining 2 portions in separate bowls. Bake 1 layer at a time for 13-15 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

3. Once cake is baked, use a thin spatula to loosen cake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim, flip cake, remove springform base, flip cake layer back and set aside to cool. Pam spray the pan again and pour the second batch. Repeat the same with 3rd. Let the cake cool before frosting. Do not stack the layers while they are still warm or they will lose their fluff. Cool completely before stacking and frosting.

How to Toast Almonds:

4. Single layer 1 cup blanched almonds onto a baking sheet. Bake in an oven at 350° F for 8-10 mins on center rack. Cool. In a food processor, crash almonds for 20-30 seconds until they turn into ground almonds. Use to decorate cake. Save remaining ground almonds in a Ziploc bag for future use.

How to Make Sour Cream Frosting:

5. Using an electric mixer, beat 16 oz sour cream, 8 oz cool whip, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract for 10 mins on high until frosting is thick and firm. Refrigerate until ready to use, but not for prolonged time or the cream might become slightly runny. Cut out a cake diameter carton circle. Wrap foil around carton.

Spread a teaspoon of frosting onto foil before you place a first cake layer – this will keep the cake from sliding off the carton. Place about 4 tablespoonful frosting between each cake layer and spread evenly (make sure to get edges). Frost sides as well so you don’t really see cake layers peeking through sour cream frosting. Decorate with toasted ground almonds or any other way you prefer. Refrigerate cake for several hours before cutting – it needs time to absorb the frosting and become moist to make the cutting easier. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea!!

This cake is good in fridge for 3-4 days.

More Ukrainian Cake Recipes to Explore:

Honey Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

5 from 16 votes
Servings: 10 people
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Honey Cake with Sour Cream Frosting: nice, fluffy texture, moist with a hint of nutty flavor. The honey gives the cake sweetness; a delicious combination with sour cream frosting. This cake just hits ‘the spot’.

Ingredients

CAKE INGREDIENTS:

FROSTING & DECORATION INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 oz sour cream – cold
  • 8 oz extra creamy cool whip – frozen
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blanched almonds – toasted

Instructions

How to Make Honey Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to a 350°F. Prepare a nonstick 9" springform pan; oil or spray with a cooking spray and wipe all over with a paper towel (make sure to get the edges nicely). In a small bowl, microwave 4 tablespoons honey for 40-60 seconds until it starts bubbling and rising. As soon as you take out the honey from the microwave, sprinkle it with 1/4 tsp of baking soda and stir with a spoon until fluffy (it will rise). Set aside to cool while you prepare the next step.

  2. In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat 8 eggs and 1 cup sugar on high for 8-10 mins until eggs are light in color, thick and fluffy. Beat in honey/baking soda mixture on low for 30 seconds. Sift 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour in thirds into the batter, whisking gently by hand using a whisk or fork until flour is incorporated and no streaks of flour remain, scraping the bottom of the bowl to ensure you don’t have lumps of flour hiding at the bottom. Do not over-mix or you will deflate the batter and the cake will turn out hard in texture. Divide batter equally into 3: 1 straight into springform pan and the remaining 2 portions in separate bowls. Bake 1 layer at a time for 13-15 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

  3. Once cake is baked, use a thin spatula to loosen cake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim, flip cake, remove springform base, flip cake layer back and set aside to cool. Pam spray the pan again and pour the second batch. Repeat the same with 3rd. Let the cake cool before frosting. Do not stack the layers while they are still warm or they will lose their fluff. Cool completely before stacking and frosting.
  4. TOAST ALMONDS: Single layer 1 cup blanched almonds onto a baking sheet. Bake in an oven at 350° F for 8-10 mins on center rack. Cool. In a food processor, crash almonds for 20-30 seconds until they turn into ground almonds. Use to decorate cake. Save remaining ground almonds in a Ziploc bag for future use.

  5. MAKE THE FROSTING: Using an electric mixer, beat 16 oz sour cream, 8 oz cool whip, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract for 10 mins on high until frosting is thick and firm. Refrigerate until ready to use, but not for prolonged time or the cream might become slightly runny. Cut out a cake diameter carton circle. Wrap foil around carton. Spread a teaspoon of frosting onto foil before you place a first cake layer – this will keep the cake from sliding off the carton. Place about 4 tablespoonful frosting between each cake layer and spread evenly (make sure to get edges). Frost sides as well so you don’t really see cake layers peeking through sour cream frosting. Decorate with toasted ground almonds or any other way you prefer. Refrigerate cake for several hours before cutting – it needs time to absorb the frosting and become moist to make the cutting easier. This cake is good in fridge for 3-4 days.

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Comments

  • Cody

    Hi
    I made this cake last night and followed the directions perfectly after frosting it, I put it inside a cake storage container and placed it in the fridge. I got it out and tried it out this morning and it is much drier than it was last night. Last night it was perfect, light and fluffy like you said it should be.

    Any ideas on what happened?

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Did you give enough frosting between the layers? Sponge cakes need a bit extra to get moist so they don’t taste dry. When sponge cake is baked at first, it is fluffy and soft, but when you refrigerate it, it cools, so it’s important to be generous with frosting between the layers. The little frosting isn’t enough to moisten the thick sponge layers. Also, all baked desserts become harder after refrigerated and soften again once taken to room temperature when served. However, if you add good amount of frosting between the layers, even refrigerated it will be soft.

      • Cody

        Thanks for your response I was worried about the amount of frosting I added in between layers. Now I’m certain that was the cause.

  • Molly

    I made this to honor Ukraine for a dinner party, and it is delicious. But my layers didn’t rise like the photo and the cake was dense requiring a knife to cut. I think I followed the recipe perfectly. What went wrong? Did letting the remaining two batches sit out while waiting to bake them cause them to fail? I baked until golden brown and checked with a tooth pick. They didn’t rise in the pan. Could I separate the eggs and whip the whites and then fold in. Was the cream mixture too dense to soak in? Won’t try it again without solutions.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Hi Molly! My cake layers on the photo might look higher due to different size pan, many times different brands of eggs would turn out more fluffy once beaten even though they are all large. There are many reasons why the cake layers could be dense: under-mixing, baking soda needs to be fresh and active, even the type of honey could affect the outcome slightly. I have used different brands of honey, and some would make the layers less fluffy, but more moist looking. But, I would say under-mixing the eggs would be my first thought. Mixing is very important in incorporating lots of air so that the layers turn out light and fluffy. Depends what kind of mixer you are using, you are looking for light, fluffy and light in color beaten eggs. Letting remaining 2 layers sit while first one bakes would not make the cake dense. The sour cream frosting (whether more runny or thicker) would not be an issue either. I have made this cake like hundred times for past about 15 years and I would say having the right texture in beaten eggs is the key in here. Hope this helps! 🙂

  • Bea

    I love honey cake & this is a delicious recipe. I just made mine in 3 regular cake tins so I could bake them all at once. It works out great with the 8 or 9 inch tins..I use my own sour cream frosting recipe. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you for sharing that with us, Bea! So happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe!

  • Hallie

    Hi Olga,

    I’d love to make this cake but don’t have a 9-inch springform. Can I bake the layers in 7-inch pans that have a removable bottom? And since I have multiple Can I cook them at the same time?

    Thanks so much!!
    Hallie

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      HI Hallie! You can definitely use a smaller pan size, just make sure to check the center of cake with a toothpick before pulling out, to make sure it’s fully cooked (depends on the amount of batter you’ll be adding into smaller pan). From personal experience, I would recommend baking each layer separately for best results. If you have more than 1 form, you can divide the batter among them and just bake each layer right after another.

  • Janine S.

    Made this cake couple days ago again. It’s brilliant. I added fresh raspberries this time between the layers and it gave a nice tang to it. Will definitely make this cake again. It’s so easy and so good. Thank you.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you for sharing that with us, Janine! Sounds like you found a new favorite 🙂

  • Marianne Borg-Hansen

    Lovely recipe for Medovik. I was posted to Moscow in the ‘80s and Kyiv from 2009 to 2013 and have tried many versions. This is with a softer batter than the one I use. This seems easier to make. I’m from Denmark and we don’t have Cool Whip here. Can I just increase the amount of sour cream (we have sour cream with 38% butterfat- like whipping cream) and sugar?
    Дякую. Marianne

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      You can substitute the cool whip for same amount of heavy cream (preferably with at least 30% fat). The frosting will be slightly thinner, but it will be the closest substitution to cool whip. More sour cream will make the frosting more tangy. Hope this helps!

  • Hana

    Hi Olga! I love the simplicity of the cake ingredients here. I’ve been looking for a cake layer recipe that doesn’t make me think I’ll need to take a nap after eating it.

    Question – could I bake this in three 8-inch pans as opposed to the 9-inch springform pan?

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      You made me laugh about the nap lol You can definitely make it in 8″ pan. Just make sure to poke the cake in the center with wooden toothpick to make sure it’s cooked, before you take it out.

  • Lucy

    Hi! this looks amazing! I like honey cake!
    Thanks and love your site 🙂

  • serena m.

    We love your honey cake recipe so much, we decided to make it for Easter as well. The texture of this cake is amazing, so fluffy and I was surprised how easy it is, the complete process.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you for the wonderful review, Serena! Happy Easter to you and your family!

  • Lena

    Hi Olga! This cake looks amazing and I want to make it. I purchased another brand of honey believe it’s called Kirkland Raw unfiltered honey. It seems pretty thick and I used it the thin type layer of medovik cake and it turns out good.
    Do you know if it would be ok to use that type of honey or should I purchase the one you have pictured? Thanks in advance

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Hi Lena! Yes, it will work. I used it myself as well in the past before I switched to these teddy bears.

  • Tanya kirilyuk

    It’s fantastic! Really delicious. I bake lots of cakes for family / church occasions and this has been my go-to recently! I especially love that the frosting is a bit more stable than some other recipes of honey cake with sour cream frosting.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you, Tanya! I’m so glad to hear this cake became your go-to recipe. It’s definitely the easiest cake to put together and just like you, it’s my go-to honey cake as well 🙂

  • Suyisha

    Loved this honey cake so much. I made it for our in laws and they ended up eating slightly more than half of this cake. It was incredibly good and fluffy. It’s probably one of the easiest cakes I’ve made as well.

  • nellya

    Hi Olga,
    Do you soak the layers with anything? Or with the frosting it will be enough?
    thank you.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Hi Nellya, no I don’t soak any cakes with anything, especially this one. I’m not a fan of really wet cakes. But I did have one reader soak very little and mentioned it turned out good. This cake is very fluffy and sour cream frosting makes it even more soft.

  • Angela

    Hi Olga , I would like to try making this cake , are the cakes thick enough to be cut in the middle to make 6 layers ? Or you don’t recommend that

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Hi Angela! I never tried making this more than 3 layer. When I use 9.75″ form, the cake layers turn out about 1″ thick. They are very fluffy, so it might be a bit hard to cut them. It might work, but I cannot guarantee 100% as I never done it. (probably something I should try for myself 🙂 )

      • Angela

        Thank you Olga . I baked my cakes and they turned out very fluffy , I used” homemade” honey and they turned out great . I read your comments about honey but I decided to give it a try anyway since that’s the only honey I had on hand . So it worked great with my honey . The recipe of the cream – will there be planty to decorate the cake or it’s just enough to use for layers ?

      • Olga in the Kitchen

        I’m happy to hear it turned out 🙂 My aunt has their homemade honey too and she said it never worked for her, so it might be the type of honey they have or how they do it. I only used store-bought and some brands just didn’t work, so I just decided to stick to Costco honey. If they are fluffy, it definitely turned out! 🙂 The recipe of the cream will be enough for between the layers and to decorate. I usually do about 3 tablespoonfuls of cream between layers and it’s plenty. Hope this helps and don’t forget to tag me on social media! 🙂

  • Ri

    Hi, Olga. What can be used instead of Cool Whip? We don’t eat hydrogenated staff?

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      I’ve never done with any other cream. One of my friends used heavy cream instead and mentioned it turned out good as well. The cream cheese+heavy cream+powdered sugar frosting should work great with this cake as well. Probably something I should consider to test myself 🙂 hope this helps!

  • Lacey

    This cake, oh my! This is the first Ukrainian cake recipe I ever tried. I thought Ukrainian cakes are complicated so I never tried, but it’s so easy and so good. I never knew about the sour cream frosting and I think it works so great with the sweet honey layers. I can’t wait to try your other cake recipes. Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes, you’re my fave!!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Lacey, most Ukrainian cakes are easy to make. I don’t like complicated cakes myself where it feels like hundred steps. I’m happy to hear you liked it so much, it’s our staple and our favorite as well! 🙂

  • Olga

    Hi. Could I use regular cool whip cause I have that at home and don’t feel like running to the store

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Do you mean original instead of extra creamy? Yes you can, just make sure it’s frozen. Straight out of the freezer and into the bowl, don’t give it time to thaw! 🙂

      • Olga

        I was just gonna ask you about adding strawberries between the layers, Until I reread your post. I have a 2lb container of strawberries in fridge and wanted to use some for cake. So it still taste good that way?

      • Olga in the Kitchen

        Yes, a lot of times we add kiwi and strawberries between the layers, and it tastes delicious. I tried with raspberries as well, but I didn’t like it; it tasted wrong lol 🙂

      • Olga

        oh yeh! Thank you for the heads up, I forgot it has to be frozen cool whip.

      • Olga in the Kitchen

        Yes, definitely frozen or your filling will be runny!

  • Ellie

    OMG! This cake is probably the best thing I’ve ever tasted. I kept waiting for this recipe since I once saw you share in your stories on Instagram and finally tried it. It’s so fluffy, literally melts in your mouth. Thank you so much for your hard work and delicious recipes. I look forward to taste more of your tasty foods! 🙂

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