Marlenka – honey and caramel cake

Some recipes take more time and effort to prepare but guarantee a fabulous result and I assure you that this honey cake with caramel and vanilla cream is just like that. It is called Marlenka and is of Armenian origin but over the years it has had several names including my favorite “a man’s kiss” :D. It is a cake made up of several layers rich in honey and variegated with a sweet caramel, butter and vanilla cream. This dessert can be stored for a long time, and the honey layers soften with each passing day and then finally melt in your mouth after a few days. The taste is completed by a topping made with chopped nuts (or chocolate glaze).

This cake is perfect to be prepared a few days in advance so it has time to get soft. You can serve it during special occasions such as birthdays or family celebrations. It is easy to cut and it is perfect to be prepared in both rectangular and round version. A must try.

Marlenka – honey and caramel cake

Layered cake with caramel, vanilla and butter cream. Traditional honey cake that melts in your mouth.
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Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Cakes
Cuisine vegetarian
Servings 1 rectangular pan 20 x 30 cm
Calories 333 kcal


Honey cake

  • 120 g soft salted butter
  • 80 g powdered sugar
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 150 g liquid honey
  • 450 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Vanilla pudding

  • 500 ml milk
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch
  • 45 g white sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon of butter

Caramel cream

  • 250 g soft butter
  • 400 g dulce de leche caramel


  • 50 g walnuts


Instructions honey and caramel cake

  • Beat salted butter for a couple of minutes together with the powdered sugar.
  • Add the egg and beat until incorporated.
  • At this point add liquid honey and whisk again to make it incorporate. Don’t worry if lumps appear, this is normal.
  • Now add the baking soda and sifted flour. Mix briefly then knead the dough by hand until it becomes smooth and hemogeneous. It should feel soft but not sticky. If the dough is too sticky, add some flour.
  • Divide the dough into 5 equal parts which will be your 5 layers of cake. Now you can use a pan about 20 x 30 cm wide (better slightly larger) to bake each layer separately or use the large pan that to bake 2 pieces of dough together and then cut them in half. I used the second method so I baked 2 doughs + 2 doughs + 1 smaller dough.
  • Place your two pieces of dough in the middle of two sheets of baking paper and roll them out using a rolling pin to a width of about 40 x 60. The dough will be very thin, just a couple of millimeters but that’s right. Remove the parchment paper on the surface and place on the baking tray.
  • Bake for 10 minutes in a static oven preheated to 170 ° C. The freshly baked cake will be soft but will harden as soon as it becomes cold.
  • Continue in this way with the other two layers. Set aside.

Preparation of vanilla pudding

  • For this recipe, use either vanilla bean seeds or vanilla extract. I absolutely do not recommend using vanillin.
  • Pour 500 ml of milk into a saucepan, then take about 100 ml and set aside.
  • Add sugar and vanilla and mix.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of potato starch and 2 egg yolks to the milk that you have set aside. Mix very well or blend with the immersion blender.
  • Turn on the flame under the milk and bring to a boiling point. As soon as the milk begins to rise, lower the heat and add the mixture of starch milk and egg yolks. Stir constantly to avoid the formation of lumps. Your cream should thicken quickly. Turn off the flame and remove from the heat. Add the butter, mix and set aside. To avoid the formation of a thick layer on top of the cream, cover it with plastic wrap. Set aside to cool completely.

Preparation of caramel and butter cream

  • Whip the soft butter for a couple of minutes. Gradually add the dulce de leche (caramel) and whip each time until it is combined.
  • Now gradually, spoon by spoon, add the vanilla pudding. Whip slowly until fully incorporated.

How to assemble the caramel cake

  • Line a 20 x 30 cm baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut out your cake layers to make them fit the pan. Set aside any leftover parts of the cake and any remaining crumbs. Place the first layer of honey cake in the pan.
  • Divide the cream into 5 parts (it should be about 200 g of cream for each part). Spread the first layer evenly with the prepared cream. Now cover the cream with another layer of cake and press gently. Continue in this way with all the layers alternating them with the cream.
  • Crumble the pieces of the cake set aside and finely chop 50 g of walnuts. Use this mix of crumbs to completely cover the entire final layer of the cream. This mix will be our final decoration.
  • Cover the cake with a sheet of parchment paper and place on a plate or other baking tray. Add some weight on top of the pan and then place it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
  • This cake will become softer and softer over time until it melts in your mouth after three days. It is a perfect cake to be made in advance.


Minimum 12 hours waiting time.
The nutritional values are generated automatically for indicative purposes only and are therefore not completely accurate.


Serving: 1panCalories: 333kcal
Keyword birthday cake, caramel, Christmas, honey, nuts, soft cake, traditional recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Take it from the fridge and cut using a sharp knife. You can decorate it with melted chocolate or other pieces of walnuts or hazelnuts.

lot of love. B.

p.s. If you like layered cakes, you must also try my Whipped cream chocolate cake with mascarpone frosting (photo below).

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