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Monastyrska Izba

Monastyrska Izba (Monastic Hut Cake)

If you are a fan of cherries, you will go crazy about the traditional Ukrainian Monastic Hut cake. This shortbread triangular dessert indeed tastes just as fantastic as it looks. Its win-win 
4.90 from 49 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Ukrainean


For the dough:

  • 8 oz butter 
  • 1 lb flour 
  • ½  pint sour cream 
  • 1 tbs vanilla sugar 

For the cream:

  • 1 ¼ pint sour cream 
  • ½  lb powdered sugar 
  • ½  lb butter 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

For cherries in their own juice:

  • 2 lb ripe cherries pitted 
  • ½  lb sugar 
  • 2 oz water 
  • 2 tbs starch 


How to Make the Shortbread Dough:

  • Mix the flour with the softened butter. Add the cream and knead thoroughly. 
  • Add the vanilla sugar and knead further. The dough should get sticky, but not runny. 
  • Spread the dough on a plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 

How to Make the Cream:

  • Put the cream on a piece of cheesecloth. Squeeze out the excess liquid. Leave in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes. 
  • Whisk the cream with the powdered sugar.
  • Add the butter, warmed to room temperature. Mix in the lemon juice. Whisk thoroughly to achieve a thick texture. 
  • Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes

How to Prepare the Cherrries in their own juice:

  • Wash and pit the cherries.
  • Cover them with sugar, add 2 oz water, and bring to a boil.
  • Add the starch and keep cooking over a medium heat for 5 minutes. 
  • Strain the cooked cherries and leave to cool.
  • Tip: Mix the cherries with a wooden spatula to avoid oxidation and loss of vitamins.

How to Make the Tubes:

  • Roll out the cooled dough, making it 0.2-inch thick. Cut it into long stripes of 2.2x8 inch. 
  • Place the cherries onto the strips and roll them up and seal them. Prepare 15 such tubes.
  • Place the tubes on the parchment paper, leaving  with 1 inch between them. 
  • Pierce the tubes with a toothpick or fork before baking. 
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 360 ℉. Cool the tubes.

How to Assemble the Cake:

  • Spread the bottom of the dish with the sour cream. 
  • Place 5 tubes as the first layer, 4 tubes as the second layer, 3 tubes as the third layer, 2 tubes as the fourth layer, and 1 tube as the top layer.
  • Spread the previously prepared cream over each layer. 
  • Let the cake sit for 10-12 hours before serving.
  • Serve with mint leaves and a few cherries on top.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!