A recipe for Mladenčići (Serbian Honey Cakes)! Traditionally served on March 22nd, these little rolls are baked until golden and covered in honey.
Mladenčići are little honey rolls/cakes often made in Serbia for Mladenci (Newlyweds), celebrated on March 22nd. Chad and I may not be newlyweds (we actually just celebrated our 5 year anniversary), but these little rolls were too interesting to pass up.
On Mladenci, families visit and bring presents to couples who have gotten married in the past year. The bride serves 40 of these Mladenčići drizzled with honey to the guests. The honey is meant to represent a long and prosperous life. Mladenci also marks the beginning of spring.
The number of rolls served, 40, is linked back to the Orthodox Church in remembrance of the 40 martyred soldiers of Sebaste.
Quality honey makes a huge difference with these Mladenčići. The dough itself is only lightly sweetened and has no additional spices, so most of the flavor is from the drizzled honey. It also helps soften the crisp texture.
Want to add a bit more flavor? Top the honey-coated rolls with ground nuts or even mix a little orange zest into the dough.
Looking for more recipes featuring honey?
Mladenčići (Serbian Honey Cakes) Recipe
Mladenčići (Serbian Honey Cakes)
- 1 cup (250 milliliters) lukewarm water 105-115˚F
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 500 grams (3 1/2-4 cups) all purpose flour
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus more for brushing
- Honey for drizzling
- In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast and sugar over the water and stir to combine. Allow to sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough blade or a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
- Mix in the yeast with water and oil until dough comes together. If too crumbly, slowly drizzle in more lukewarm water to create a soft dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead until dough is smooth. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rest until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or lightly grease.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough 1/3 inch (1 cm) thick. Use a 1 3/4 inch (4.5 cm) wide round cookie cutter to cut out 30-40 circles of dough. Arrange on prepared baking sheets at least 1 inch apart. Prick the top of each circle several times with a toothpick and cover with towels. Allow to rest 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
- Brush the tops of the circles with vegetable oil. Bake in preheated oven until golden, about 20 minutes, turning and rotating the baking sheets halfway if baking both at once.
- Allow to cool slightly before drizzling with honey and serving immediately.