Shem-Pop Delicacies

Recently I’ve discovered a great talent around me. My cousin Lily, who’s mom is an amazing cook and baker has also taken on baking. Lily and her friend Vicka make the most amazing cakes, cupcakes and other delicacies. Check out their album on facebook. If you live in the Sacramento California area contact them at to place an order or find out more information.

My plan now is to get together with them…bake…and give you the recipe!


Mother’s Day!

Sunday was Mother’s Day so Happy Late Mother’s Day! But isn’t it mother’s day everyday for all mothers out there? At least once a year there’s a day dedicated for it. Unfortunately I had to work on mothers day but fortunately I had my mom and sisters over for tea and cake in the late evening. It was so nice to have them over and have a little girl talk. And thanks Andrey (my husband) that hung in there to enjoy the tea and cake with us. I thought about using little dainty tea cups and saucers but with the amount of tea my family drinks I opted for large coffee mugs. I think my sister refilled hers 3 times throughout the evening!

 For my tea party I took inspiration for the recipes from Natasha’s Kitchen food blog. She is amazing and so are her recipes!

The mini tea sandwiches were Aunt Anna’s Canapes

And the cake was a combination of THREE different cakes. Yes it was a little crazy and a little daring. Plus I have never made anything like it before. I used my mother in laws recipe and directions for Russian biskvit cake. From Natasha’s kitchen I used the whipped cream cheese frosting and the syrup. I got the idea for cherries from another one of her cakes. My cake turned out delicious!

My sisters made

The cupcake were so yummy and buttery. What a great recipe. I have to incorporate this into a cake. Any ideas?

Here is the recipe for my mother-in-laws biskvit cake mix:

6 Eggs

1 Cup sugar

1 Cup all purpose flour

1 Tsp vanilla extract

Frozen black cherries, defrosted

In a large bowl mix together the eggs and one cup sugar. Use a hand mixer or stand alone (probably easier) to beat the eggs and sugar untill light and fluffy. Add vanilla and flour. Slowly incorporate into the eggs and sugar. This was the first time I had even made the cake and I just could not get the fluffiness I needed for the eggs. My mother in law said (over the phone) I should add a little more sugar untill it starts working. I ended up adding additional 3/4 cup sugar! My mixture almost tripled in size and I stopped. It still turned out great and very delicious anyway.

 I used two buttered 9inch spring form cake pans to bake the cakes at 350*. You can follow Natasha’s Kitchen directions if it works better for you.

Let the cakes cool completely.

Lay the first layer down on the serving tray. Using a tablespoon, slowly poor half the syrup on the cake. Layer with the cream cheese frosting. Place the defrosted cherries in a layer on top of the frosting. Frost over the cherries. It’s a good idea to make the frosting layers thin so that you’re not getting a huge bite of frosting when eating the cake, unless that’s what you want! Place the second cake layer and repeat with the syrup and frosting. Cover the sides of the cake with frosting. You have cake!


My mom brought me these beautiful roses from her front yard. She has a great recipe for rose petal preserves. Come back soon and see the recipe!

Sooo goood!

“Gorka” or “Domik” Cake

This cake is called “Gorka”, small hill, or “Domik”, house because of it’s shape. It’s shaped like a hill with more rolls at the bottom and  less  rolls all the way to the top and covered in sour cream frosting.This is my husbands favorite cake. And I love it too! I have never tried it before my mother in law introduced me to it. It tastes amazing and it’s pretty easy to make. It takes some time to make  so plan ahead.


-8oz butter, softened

-16oz sour cream

-2 3/4 cup flour

-1 Cup Whipping Cream

-1 1/2 cup sugar

-1 Tsp vanilla extract

-Sour cherries in syrup (I bought this at a Russian store. They come in two sizes. If you get the small one, you will use all of them. If you get the big one you can have lots of cherries in your cake and some to snack on.)

-Cornstarch (you will need just a little for sprinkling)


Mix the butter with 1 cup  sour cream. Add flour a little bit at a time until the dough is no longer sticky.

Take dough and form into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a plate. You will have 12-15 balls. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.

Take dough out. Use a flat, floured surface and roll a ball out into an oval. Add flour when needed so it wont stick. Make it as thin as possible. Almost paper-thin.

Remove cherries from the syrup and line up in a row at the long edge of the oval dough. Sprinkle a little cornstarch. (I missed this step and didn’t use cornstarch and it turned out just fine.)

Start to roll up one edge over the cherries and roll all the way to the other edge. Now you have one long dough and cherry roll, trubachka.

Continue this process with the rest of the dough balls.

Preheat oven to 350*F. Use a non-stick cookie sheet or cover it with parchment paper to reduce the mess. Lay the roll down on top with about 1/2 inch in-between. Bake until no longer raw but golden in color. About 40-45 minutes.

Remove from oven and let them rest until completely cooled.

Sour cream frosting

Whip up whipping cream until light and fluffy.

Blend together the whipping cream, the rest of the sour cream, 1 1/2 cups sugar and vanilla.

On the serving platter you are using, line up 5 rolls. Cover in sour cream frosting. Top that with 4 rolls. Place them on top,  in-between the bottom rolls. Cover in frosting. Repeat with 3 then 2 and finally 1 last roll on top. It’s  up to you how well you want to cover the rolls with the frosting. I think it should look a little messy with some of the rolls and cherries showing through.

Garnish with grated chocolate if you would like.

Let the cake sit for a few hours or overnight in the fridge. This will allow the cream to soak into the dough.

Cut into the cake however you desire and enjoy!!!

oh sooo goood!

Honey Cake (Rizhik)

This is one of my favorite Russian cakes. My mother-in-law makes it and it is so delicious. Once you get the hang of it its a pretty easy cake to make. I also learned that my mother-in-law made several of these cakes at one time and then would sell them at the neighborhood open market. Would you like to buy some?


1/4 Cup unsalted butter melted

2 Eggs

1 Cup sugar

2 Tbsp honey

2 Cups flour separated, plus more as needed

1 Tbsp baking soda

2 Tbsp vinegar


4 Cups whipping cream + 1 cup sugar


3 Cups Sour cream + 1 cup sugar


Here’s what you need to do:

In a medium mixing bowl mix together butter, eggs, sugar, honey and 1 cup flour. In a separate small bowl combine baking soda and vinegar, once baking soda is dissolved add to the other ingredients.

Place bowl over a pot of hot simmering water on the stove top. Stir the ingredients frequently for about 10 minutes. The mixture will become a burnt orange/ brownish color.

Remove from heat.

Mix in 1 cup of flour.

Let the dough cool down so that it is easy to handle with your hands.

When the dough has cooled down enough to handle with your hands remove a handful of the dough and add just enough flour to it so it doesn’t stick to your hands and is a soft dough consistency.

On a flat floured surface roll out the dough to really thin. Place a clean dinner plate over the dough and cut around it to make a perfect circle.

Place the circle dough on a non stick cookie sheet and bake for 3 minutes in a preheated 350* F oven. Don’t over-bake. The dough will rise and will look like a large cookie. Remove and let cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the dough. You will get about 8-9 of these “large cookies”.

To make the filling using whipping cream just add sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Spread over the cake circles creating layers. To make sour cream filling just add the sugar and mix well.

Once you create the layers of the cake you can eat it right away. Or you can let it sit for about 10-15 minutes and cut the cake around the edges to create a more perfect round cake. Use the rest of the filling to cover the outside of the cake. I love chocolate so I make chocolate ganache and spread that over the cake. I used one of the imperfect dough circles and crumbled it on top and around the cake.

I used the sour cream filling. The cake absorbed it and was super moist. Soooo good!



*I wanted to make sure the cake tasted good so I made a little mini version first. I just used the rim of a cup to cut the dough into small circles. I poured Hershey’s dark chocolate syrup over the cake.


Pumpkin Cheesecake

I love cheesecake and I love the thanksgiving holiday. This recipe will bring both of those together. I absolutely love pumpkin cheesecake! This was my first time ever making cheesecake and it turned out amazing. And it’s pretty easy to make! This is my personal recipe. The crust is nice and buttery and the filling is rich and creamy. I really hope you make it for your thanksgiving or any occasion. My husband and I enjoyed it yesterday for our 7 year wedding anniversary. It was so sweet!



1 1/4 Cup graham cracker crumbs (8-10 cookies)

1/4 Cup sugar

4 Tbsp butter melted



3 Packages 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature

1 1/4 Cup white sugar

3 Tbsp flour

4 Eggs at room temperature

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 Tsp salt

2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 Tsp cinnamon

15 oz Pumpkin puree

1/2 Cup sour cream


Preheat the oven to 350*F.

Coat 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter until moistened. Empty everything into the pan and pat firmly into the bottom of the pan and a little on the sides. Bake for 10-12 minutes. After it finishes baking set aside and let cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 300*F.

Mix all the filling ingredients. Place filling into springform pan.

Bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit for 1 hour without opening the door. This will let the filling bake further and prevent cracking in the center.

Remove cheesecake and let cool on the counter. Refrigerate for 24-48 hours. If you are too eager just refrigerate for at least 4 hour before serving. Also if you don’t want to make your own crust just buy the already prepared one and make your own filling. I’m sure it will taste just as great, minus the time you spend making your own.

Garnish with chopped nuts, fruit or whipped cream. I used heavy whipping cream and added a little vanilla and almond extract. With a sprinkle of cinnamon. It was delicious and super fragrant. Oh sooo good!




Pierog Leniviy

This cake is super easy to make, and is so delicious. It’s called pierog leniviy which translates into Lazy Pie. It’s “lazy” probably because it uses few ingredients and there is not much work involved in preparing it. And “pie”? It’s not really a  pie or pierog even. I would say it’s a cake! This is one of my favorite Russian/ Ukrainian cakes ever. It brings back so many memories for me of my mom making this for us kids and we could barely wait for it to get out of the oven. We would just break it up and dip it into the sour cream frosting. Mmmmm… Oh yeah, the recipe! Here it is:

300g (approx. 10.5 oz) of plum jelly or seedless preserve(I used seedless blackberry preserve. It turned out amazing. I say use whatever flavor you like and see how it turns out.)

2 Tsp baking soda

1 Cup white sugar

1 Cup milk

1 Egg

3 Cups flour

2 Tbsp butter for greasing

Preheat oven to 350* F.

In a large mixing bowl mix together the jelly and baking soda. It will start bubbling and making a sort of hissing sound.

Next add the rest of the ingredients and slowly stir them in by hand.

As you can see in the photo above it looks pretty much the same just more bubbles.

Grease a 9×11 rectangular baking pan or round cake pan.

Empty the contents of the mixing bowl into the bake pan and place in the oven.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Check to make sure it’s baked through.

Here it is! You can slice it up into squares like you would brownies and just eat them up. Or you can create a sour cream frosting to go with it.

2 Cups sour cream

1/2 Cups sugar

Mix together the sour cream and sugar. Taste it! If you want it sweeter just add a little more sugar. (I always add a little more sugar.)

Cut the cake horizontally and take the top half of the cake and set aside. Use half the sour cream frosting and spread it on the top of the bottom half of the cake.

Take the top half and place it on top. Now you have frosting in the center. The other half of the sour cream frosting will go on top.

This is what I’m doing while making the cake.

A slice for you! Enjoy! Mmmmm…sooo good!