Cake “Ptichka” – recipe for Armenian Bird’s milk cake

Cake "Ptichka" – recipe for Armenian Bird's milk cake

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A heavenly fluffy honey dough, the creamy vanilla pudding butter filling and a delicate chocolate glaze make the Armenian Bird’s milk cake a special taste experience. With its many thin layers, it is also a visual highlight on the dining table. Here I show you how to make the cake yourself, which is so popular in Armenia. A detailed recipe for the cake “Ptichka” with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions can be found here at the bottom.

Favorite cake in Armenia

In Armenia this Bird’s milk cake is very famous. It is one of the favorite cakes of many Armenian families. It is lovingly called “ptichka”, which means “little bird”.

The cake cannot be missed at festivities in Armenia. Usually a very large portion of it is baked. Since Armenians are hospitable people, at a celebration everyone gathers together, namely family, friends and neighbors. Each of them gets a piece of cake.

Why the cake is called so is rather unknown. It has nothing to do with the Soviet Bird’s milk cake. Actually, it reminds one more of the Medovik cake. Because the cake “Ptichka” is a honey cake.

Armenian cake "Ptichka"

Fluffy honey dough, delicate vanilla pudding butter cream, chocolaty glaze

The Armenian Bird’s milk cake consists of many thin honey cake layers. They are incredibly fluffy, soft and aromatic. The delicate pudding butter cream perfectly complements the honey dough. The taste of the cake is rounded off with the shiny chocolate glaze.

Roll out the cake layers

If you’ve never rolled out thin cake layers before, you may have to put some effort into this one. This is because the honey cake layers for the cake “Ptichka” need to be very thin before baking.

The dough must be rolled out into rectangles each the size of a regular baking sheet. To get all the sides straight, I had to cut off uneven corners and sides that had too much dough and glue the dough to the places that had too little dough.

All of this could take some time. However, you only have to roll out and bake three large cake bases.

Armenian Bird's milk cake

What can I prepare the day before for cake “Ptichka”?

You can make the honey cake layers the day before. Let them cool down first, because they are very soft and crumbly while they are still hot. Then stack them on top of each other with baking paper so they don’t take up so much space. This way they can be stored at room temperature overnight.

You can cook the pudding mass for the cream the same way the day before. Then let it cool and store in the refrigerator overnight. However, take it out of the refrigerator a few hours before preparing the cream so that it can become room warm. This is because the pudding mass and butter need to be at room temperature when you mix them together to make the cream.

The next day, you just finish the cream and assemble the cake. After the cake has cooled, you can frost it with the chocolate glaze.

Tastes more delicious the next day

Like so many Russian cakes, the Armenian Bird’s milk cake only tastes really delicious the next day. It can be left in the refrigerator overnight to infuse well. All the components then combine perfectly in terms of taste.

Even several days later, the Armenian Bird’s milk cake tastes delicious. It remains fresh and tender. So you can make the cake in advance for a special occasion.

Popular Armenian cake

The cake “Ptichka” is

  • tender,
  • fluffy,
  • soft,
  • creamy,
  • incredibly delicious,
  • ideal for all honey cake lovers,
  • perfect for a party or for dessert during the week,
  • easy to make with ordinary ingredients,
  • popular cake of Armenian cuisine.

Recipe for Armenian Bird’s milk cake

The recipe for the Armenian cake “Ptichka”, which you can find here below, is not difficult at all. Besides, you can divide its preparation into three days, so you will have to make a minimal effort every day.

You can make the honey cake layers one day and then store them at room temperature. The next day you prepare the cream, assemble the cake and refrigerate it overnight. And on the third day, frost the cake with chocolate glaze. The Armenian Bird’s milk cake is ready to be served.

Armenian layer cake

How to make cake “Ptichka”: tips and tricks

  • The amount of flour for the dough given in the recipe may vary. Add flour in portions until you get a soft, slightly sticky dough. Under no circumstances should the dough be too firm or dry. After cooling, it will become firmer and less sticky.
  • Vanilla for the dough and the cream goes, among other things, vanilla bean scraped, vanilla sugar or vanilla extract.
  • Do not bake the cake layers longer than necessary. They are done baking when they have turned a light golden brown color, but do not let them get too dark.
  • Do not leave each cake layer unattended in the oven for too long, or it can burn quickly.
  • You can substitute cornstarch for flour in the pudding.
  • Butter and the pudding mass for the cream must be room warm and both about the same temperature so they can combine well when whipped.

Did you make the cake “Ptichka” yourself using this recipe? I’m looking forward to your result, your star rating and your comment here below on how you succeeded and tasted the Armenian Bird’s milk cake.

Not tired of delicious honey cakes? Try some more:

Cake "Ptichka" – recipe for Armenian Bird's milk cake

Cake "Ptichka" (Armenian Bird's milk cake)

A heavenly fluffy honey dough, the creamy vanilla pudding butter filling and a delicate chocolate glaze make the Armenian Bird's milk cake a special taste experience. With its many thin layers, it is also a visual highlight on the dining table. With this recipe, you can make the cake "Ptichka" yourself, which is so popular in Armenia.
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Cooling Time 5 hrs 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Armenian
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

for the dough

  • 50 g honey
  • 80 g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g sugar
  • approx. 430 g flour
  • 7 g baking soda (sodium carbonate)
  • vanilla
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • flour for the work surface

for the cream

  • 500 ml milk
  • 200 g butter room warm
  • 180 g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 45 g cornstarch
  • vanilla

for the chocolate glaze

  • 35 g butter
  • 30 ml milk
  • 50 g sugar
  • 20 g cocoa powder

Instructions
 

Preparation of the dough

  • Thoroughly mix eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt.
  • Add honey and butter cut into pieces and heat (do not boil) the mixture in a water bath, stirring until the butter is melted.
  • Add baking soda and continue to heat (not boil) the mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until it turns a light caramel color.
  • Remove the honey mixture from the heat and immediately stir in flour in batches to form a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  • Divide the dough into three equal pieces and chill, covered, for 40 minutes.
  • Roll each piece of dough in flour and roll each out very thinly on a sheet of baking paper into a rectangle about 30 cm x 38 cm each (about the size of a baking sheet).
  • Bake the three thin cake layers one after the other in the preheated oven at 180 °C top and bottom heat for approx. 4 - 5 minutes each.
  • While each cake layer is still hot, carefully cut it into two equal parts so that you end up with 6 rectangular cake layers. Let the cake layers cool down.

Preparation of the cream

  • Mix egg, sugar and cornstarch until homogeneous in a thick-bottomed saucepan.
  • Add milk and mix again until homogeneous.
  • Place the mixture on the stove, bring it to a boil while stirring, and then cook the pudding mass for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Then let it cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  • Beat softened butter for about 5 minutes to a fluffy creamy light mass.
  • Add vanilla as well as the pudding mass in batches and beat each time until homogeneous cream.

Preparation of the cake

  • Spread five of the six cake layers evenly with the cream, leaving a small amount of the cream for the sides of the cake, and stack them on top of each other.
  • Place the sixth cake layer without cream last on the cake and spread the sides of the cake with the remaining cream.
  • Chill the cake for at least 4 hours.

Preparation of the chocolate glaze

  • Put milk, sugar and cocoa powder in a small saucepan and stir.
  • Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is close to boiling, but do not bring it to a boil.
  • Take the chocolate mixture off the heat, immediately add butter and mix it until the butter is melted.
  • Take the cake out of the refrigerator and quickly spread the hot chocolate glaze evenly and thinly on the surface of the cake.
  • Chill the cake for at least 1 hour.

Notes

  • The amount of flour listed for the dough may vary. Add flour in portions until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough. Under no circumstances should the dough be too firm or dry. After cooling, it will become firmer and less sticky.
  • Vanilla for the dough and the cream goes, among other things, vanilla bean scraped, vanilla sugar or vanilla extract.
  • Do not bake the cake layers longer than necessary. They are done baking when they have turned a light golden brown color, but they should not get too dark.
  • Do not leave each cake layer unattended in the oven for too long, or it can burn quickly.
  • Butter and the pudding mass for the cream must be room warm and both about the same temperature so they can combine well when whipped.
  • Note the detailed tips and tricks for making the Armenian cake "Ptichka" at the top of the post.

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