Honey Cake, or Medutis, is a traditional celebration cake, often enjoyed as part of the Christmas celebrations in Lithuania.
Christmas Eve is a bigger celebration for the people of Lithuania than Christmas day itself. Traditionally, families will sit down to a supper that includes at least 12 courses, including cake such as Medutis for dessert. Every guest at the table must taste every course!
This recipe was created for us by Snieguole Bertasiute, who works with us here at Dean’s but was born and raised in Lithuania. Snieguole recommends making this cake a couple of days before Christmas to allow the flavours to develop and the layers to soften throughout. ”As you’ll see, it’s a cake that takes time to prepare” she says ”but as it’s for a special occasion, and tastes so good, it’s well worth the effort!”.
- 100g butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp runny honey
- 3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 tsp baking soda
- 400g plain flour (you may need a little more)
- 1.2 litres whipping cream
- 5 tbsp caster sugar (approx)
- 3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (approx)
- Zest of 2 lemons
Follow these steps
- Pre-heat the oven to 250degC (this recipe does require a very hot oven!)
- Place the butter, caster sugar and honey in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Melt together then mix in the lightly beaten egg.
- Remove the bowl from the heat. Mix the baking soda into the flour (important step) before adding to the batter a little at a time - mix well until you have a dough that doesn't stick to your hands - you may need to add a little extra flour at this stage.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal size pieces, then on a floured surface roll out one piece into a large sheet of about 2-3mm thickness.
- Place the dough sheet carefully on a large baking tray lined with baking paper, and bake in the pre-heated oven for around 5 minutes or until golden brown - watch carefully! While still warm cut a 10 inch round from the baked sheet and place on a wire rack to cool. Keep the trimmings to use for decorating the cake later. You can use a 10 inch flan ring as a cutter, or cut around a suitably sized dinner plate. Repeat the rolling, baking and cutting process with the other 7 pieces of dough, remembering to keep all the baked trimmings.
- Once you have 8 baked rounds, leave to cool completely before assembling the cake. At this stage you can store the rounds for a day or two before putting the cake together.
- To make the filling, whisk the cream with the caster sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. You can alter the level of sugar and lemon juice to suit but traditionally the cream filling should have a light, sweet & sour flavour.
- To assemble the cake, sandwich the 8 layers together on a large serving plate with a generous layer of the cream filling between each round, keeping enough cream to cover the sides and top of the cake too.
- Take the baked trimmings from each layer and crush into crumbs - use these to cover the sides and top of the cake.
- Decorate with icing stars or other Christmas cake decorations.
- Store in a large cake box in the fridge for 1-2 days before enjoying as part of your Christmas celebration. Serves at least 10-12
- Linksmų Kalėdų / Merry Christmas!