Anthill Cake (Russian Cake “Muraveinik”)

This scrumptious Anthill Cake (Russian Cake “Muraveinik”) includes buttery and crumbly homemade cookies, dulce de leche, and walnuts. And no worries – no ants are involved!

Hello, lovely people. I am in a very good mood right now. The reason? I am sharing this tasty Anthill Cake (Muraveinik) with you. This name translates as…”Anthill” (Surprize!) from Russian. But wait. There’s no reason to inform animal protection groups – we aren’t using any ants as free labour to assemble the cake. Importantly, we are not gathering any materials from the forest to make it either. While the name might sound peculiar, it simply comes from the shape roughly resembling an anthill.

This is another recipe from Russian cuisine, but believe it or not, I never tried it until this year. Well, I might have had a slice of a store-bought cake in Russia, but this doesn’t count. Last year I shared quite a few desserts from my childhood from simple Chocolate Salami (Which is indeed a common recipe in many countries), a Medovik cake (And a couple of twists o it), and super complicated Napoleon Cake (Which I am not going to repeat any soon). 

Unlike most previous recipes, this Anthill Cake (Muraveinik) is easy-peasy to make, and it doesn’t require any fancy ingredients. What you need are cookies, butter, and dulce de leche. While other ingredients like nuts and poppy seeds are optional, I always love adding nutty flavours. Thinking of other additions? Chocolate morsels or dried fruit (think prunes) will do. Next, a little bit of salt is a good way to balance all this deliciousness. You can use either salted butter (I would say one part of salted and two parts of unsalted) or a pinch of salt to your liking. Toasted poppy seeds are optional, but most recipes suggest sprinkling the cake with some. They give that extra nutty flavour and crunch, and they resemble ants working hard.

It is not necessary to make cookies yourself. You can always get some which are buttery, crumbly, not too crispy but not too soft at the same time as we don’t want the cookies to simply dissolve. Their texture should be somewhere between shortbread biscuits and a baked tart crust.

If you’re making cookies from scratch, there’s another step that might sound bizarre. To assemble the cake, you’ll need crumbled cookies. The first idea you may think of is that whole biscuits need to be crumbled. However, the original recipe suggests that you’ll make some sort of crumbles (or better say short dough noodles) prior to placing it in the oven. It sounds time-consuming, but indeed the chilled dough can be easily grated with a simple grater. Grate the dough, arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer, and baked until golden. Most likely, you will still need to slightly crumble the “noodles” if they have consolidated into large pieces in the oven. 

The cream is simply butter beaten with dulce de leche. Being super rich and decadent, this’s certainly a calorie bomb. Let’s just pretend we live in the world of rainbow unicorns, and this cake is super light and indeed beneficial for your health.

Imagined? What are you waiting for my friends, then? Make this Anthill Cake (Muraveinik) and let me know what you think.

Anthill Cake (Russian Cake "Muraveinik")

Category: Baking: Sweet, Cakes

Ingredients

    Cookies:
  • 1 cup (250 gr.) unsalted butter, softened and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 150 ml. milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1.5 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 – 4.5 cups (500 – 600 gr) cake&pastry flour, sifted
    Frosting:
  • 1 cup (250 gr) softened butter
  • 2 cups dulce de leche
  • 1,5 cups walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • poppy seeds, toasted (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine the butter and eggs and beat just to well combine. Add the milk.
  2. Combine the flour with the baking powder and salt and add it to the butter mixture. Using hands mix until combined crumbly then (in one minute it will be elastic and soft.
  3. Wrap the dough up in plastic and chill in the fridge about 30-40 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to about 175 degrees C (350 F).
  5. Break the dough into smaller pieces and using a grater, grate (Try making short “noodles”). Place the dough in a single layer on a baking tray. Bake for about 15-17 minutes or until well golden. Remove and let it cool.
  6. If the dough has consolidated into large pieces, crumble it lightly.
  7. To make the frosting, in a bowl combine the softened butter with the dulce de leche and beat (low speed) for about 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  8. In a large bowl combine 5 cups of the crumbled cookies, the frosting, and walnuts. Mix well. You can add the remaining cookies (Should be about 1 cup left), but the cake will turn drier.
  9. Let the mixture stay 20 minutes to soften then using your hands shape the cakes (You can tightly pack a measurement cup then flip it. Sprinkle with the poppy seeds if desired. (See Notes)
  10. Refrigerate for at least a few hours or better overnight.
  11. Enjoy!

Notes

You can make one large cake instead. I had 7 mini cakes. havocinthekitchen.com

http://www.havocinthekitchen.com/anthill-cake-russian-cake-muraveinik/

8 thoughts on “Anthill Cake (Russian Cake “Muraveinik”)

  1. Glad that no ants were involved in the making of this recipe Ben. Have to say I was somewhat hesitant before I read the recipe but you advised early on “no ants are involved” so that’s OK! Ha ha! I love your Russian cakes, inspired from your childhood. And this is another classic that looks absoluletely delicious. Yum!

  2. Well if this isn’t a fun dessert, I don’t know what is! Although I won’t lie, I was thrilled to read no ants are IN the cake nor where they harmed during the process of making it. ;) I bet these are delicious – but considering they are basically cookies with dulce de leche, walnuts and butter how could they NOT be?! Gimme Gimme!
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary recently posted…Asparagus Mimosa Salad RecipeMy Profile

  3. What a fun recipe! You had me a little scared when I saw “anthill” but now I totally know what you mean. I love the mini versions of this one, too. (Although I certainly wouldn’t complain with one large version…haha!) Great flavors, and I see that dulce de leche from last week went to a great use! :-)
    David @ Spiced recently posted…MalfattiMy Profile

  4. Oh my word!!! Aside from being intriguing, you said dulce de Leche and I was hooked. The 3 main ingredients in this cake are everything I need in a dessert.

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