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Layered Honey Cake: Croatian Medena Pita

Stacked high with layers of soft cocoa cookie, cool creamy filling and moist sponge cake; this beautiful layered honey cake is a traditional Croatian specialty referred to as medena pita.

Layered honey cake cut into pieces and placed on a plate.

Delicious Layered Cake Recipe

This delicious, moist and creamy cake has always been my favorite Croatian dessert recipe. Growing up, I would look forward to the special occasions when my mother would prepare a platter full of homemade medena pita. The cookie and sponge cake layers are prepared separately and then assembled with a irresistible cream filling holding all the layers together.

close up picture of a layered cake

Once the cake has set by storing it in a cool place, cut the cake into singe sized portions about 2″ long by 1.5″ wide and transfer to a serving platter. Or alternatively, keep the cake in the retangular shape and then cut into squares when ready for serving. Since the cake tastes best when cool, keep it covered and keep the medena pita stored in a cool, dry pantry or in the fridge before serving.

medena pita on a table about to be cut into singe sized portions

Croatian Medena Pita

Jane and Sonja
Delicious dessert recipe consisting of layers of sponge cake, cocoa cookie and cool creamy filling.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 26 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Croatian

Ingredients
  

Cocoa Cookie Layers

  • 3.5 cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 vanilla sugar
  • ¾ cups vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp warm milk

Honey Sponge Cake

  • 5 eggs divided
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • ½ tsp vanilla sugar

Cream Filling

  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar
  • 1 tsp rum optional

Instructions
 

Cocoa Cookie Layers

  • Mix all dry ingredients.
  • Add shortening, egg, honey and milk.
  • Mix well. Remove from bowl and knead by hand for 1 minute. Divide dough into two.
  • Turn two 9×13 baking pans upside down and cover with parchment paper.
  • Place one dough on top of each pan and roll out to cover the full pan.
  • Bake on 360F for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and put aside to cool. Slide the cocoa cookie layers off of the pan and on to another flat surface.

Honey Sponge Cake

  • Beat white eggs until fluffy. Put aside in a separate bowl.
  • Combine egg yolks and sugar. Mix together until smooth and well blended.
  • Slowly sift in flour and vanilla sugar and continue mixing until combined.
  • Fold in egg whites.
  • Turn the baking pan right side up and line with parchment paper, lightly grease with oil.
  • Pour the batter into the baking pan.
  • Bake for 14 min at 350F.
  • Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and peel off the parchment paper.

Cream Filling

  • Combine milk and cornstarch in a saucepan, mix together and add to heat. Continue steadily  mixing until it thickens.
  • Remove from heat and occasionally mix as it cools.
  • Combine butter, powdered sugar, vanilla sugar and rum (optional).
  • Mix well.
  • Add the cold thick mixture and continue mixing until well combined.

Assembling

  • Put aside 3 tbsp of cream filling for the top layer.
  • Place one cocoa cookie layer on the bottom.
  • Spread ½ of the remaining cream filling over top.
  • Place the layer of sponge cake on top.
  • Spread the remaining ½ of the cream filling over top.
  • Place the second layer of cocoa cookie on top.
  • Spread the 3 tbsp of filling over top.
  • Shave 2 tbsp chocolate and sprinkle over top of cake.
Keyword cake, dessert
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platter of layered honey cake, sprinkled with chocolate savings

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Close up of a piece of layered honey cake with text overlay.
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