Miód is the Polish word for honey and Miodownik is a Honey Cake which usually contains spices.
These cakes have been known in Poland since the 12th century and the spices would have come from Turkey (originally brought back by the crusaders) or India.
The main spices used are cinnamon and cloves with the addition according to different recipes of cardamon, black pepper, caraway, nutmeg, and sometimes as in this recipe – ginger and then in later recipes allspice, which is from the New World.
Honey was the original sweetener, long before sugar and there are many traditional recipes that use honey not only in cakes, but also in meat dishes.
I learnt recently that my paternal grandfather kept bees and that my dad’s sister, my godmother, helped to look after them.
I was given this recipe recently and it is similar to one I have posted before, which was my mother’s recipe. Her recipe used sunflower oil which is a more recent addition to recipes in Polish cookery whilst this one uses soured cream.
I had a large jar of Polish honey and used some for this recipe.
It is a dense squidgy cake which is lovely and moist.
Honey cakes are served over the Christmas Period in Poland.
- 300ml clear honey
- 225g granulated sugar
- 3 eggs separated
- 250ml soured cream
- 290g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- Use a 23cm loose bottomed or springform tin
- Grease and line the base or use a cake liner.
- Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 – 180º C.
- In a small saucepan bring the honey to the boil and then leave to cool.
- In a separate bowl mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and the spices.
- Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar.
- Whisk in the soured cream.
- Whisk in the cooled honey.
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixture and mix well together.
- Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and fold these cake mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for around 60- 65 minutes.
- Take care as this has a tendency to burn at the top, you might need to cover it after about 45mins hour with a piece of greaseproof paper of aluminium foil.
- Test to make sure it is cooked through with a fine cake tester.
- Leave to cool in the tin.
- Dust with icing sugar to serve.
- This cake has a tendency to sink a little in the middle – nothing to worry about!
Tea plates – Bramble Rose by Duchess – from the 1960s
Tea cups – Harvest Pink by Queen Anne – 1959 – 1966
- The instructions were for a round cake – the second time I made this I used a 32 x 22cm greased and lined tin.
- The timings are roughly the same.
- The cake is easier to cut into portions.
- It is not quite as moist or squidgy as the deeper round version.
- Wrapping it in aluminium foil and put in an airtight box will make it softer over time.
- A loose bottomed deep square tin may be better and easier to get the cake out – but I do not have one of these.