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Dobos Torte (original 7-layer cake) (Dairy or Pareve)

This is the original version of the 7- layer cake. Thin layers of sponge cake, thin layer of chocolate buttercream, repeated 6 times and topped with a caramel layer. This photo shows a dripping layer of chocolate ganache flowing over the sides. Might be over the top...usually I just use a decorator's comb through the buttercream on the sides creating a horizontal pin stripe effect. I thought I'd try something different today.

I've read many versions of how to make the thin sponge cake layers. My recipe and techniques are the culmination of experimenting with various suggestions. This may be one recipe where I insist parchment paper is a necessity. I don't use a cake pan for the thin layers. Rather, I take a round disk shape (spring form pan bottom or a regular cake pan) and use it as a template to draw the size of disk I want for the cake. 8" or 9" is sufficient. I draw the disk, spray the parchment paper and then spread a layer of batter within the circle. The layers bake quickly and when removed from the parchment, the marking from the circle will stick to the layer in a faint outline. Then, I use scissors to cut along the line to form perfectly sized circles. It is also a great way to trim the edge which is usually a little bit thinner and crispy. That's the big secret.

Sure, there are easier cakes to make....but, are there other 'wow!' cakes to make? I list 25 separate steps in the instructions but it is faster to make than to read. I just want to walk you through all the points so you are successful in your attempt. This is baking meeting craft meeting art. Have fun with the process!

Kosher Status: Parve
Number of servings: 9" cake, 16 - 20 servings
Main Ingredient(s): Eggs , Chocolate Chips
Preparation Time: 01:00
Cooking Time: 00:20
Skill Level: 4 (1 Easy - 5 Hard)
Estimated POINT value:
Average Rating: 5/5


  • 12 large egg whites
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 12 egg  yolks
  • 1/3 cup milk (dairy) or soy milk (pareve)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour

1 recipe Chocolate Buttercream

1 recipe Chocolate Ganache (optional glaze)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Draw 7 circles on parchment paper, 8" or 9" in size. Only make as many on a sheet as will fit on a large cookie sheet. You may need to bake in shifts but they only take a few minutes so it isn't a big deal. Spray the parchment with non-stick spray.

Put egg whites into a mixing bowl and beat until foamy.

Gradually add the sugar. Beat until soft peaks form, soft ~ not stiff. Transfer to another bowl so you can use the mixing bowl for the next step.

Beat the egg yolks with the milk, salt and vanilla until well blended. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Add egg whites to the egg yolk mixture.

With large rubber spatula, fold egg whites into yolks until blended. Don't stir or beat...FOLD gently!

Sift flour over egg mixture.

Gently fold in the flour until just blended.

Scoop batter evenly onto the circle outlines of parchment.

Use an off-set spatula (the one that has a bend in it) to GENTLY smooth the batter to the edge of the circle.

Bake for 6 - 8 minutes until the cake is slightly browned. Remove from the oven and lightly powdered sugar the top of the cake layer.

Powdered sugar the cooling rack.

Flip the cake layer onto the cooling rack. Allow to cool before frosting. Often, cake layers are easier to work with if wrapped well and chilled.

Cut along the lines of the circles that had been drawn on the parchment and are now on the baked layers. All layers will be the same and ready for filling and frosting.

Place a layer on the cake board. A dab of buttercream will hold the layer in place. Scoop enough buttercream onto the layer and frost. It should be a thin layer of frosting as in the end the cake will be sweet and rich.

Continue to fill the first 6 layers. Frost the entire cake and pipe a border along the bottom. If you want to use ganache, pour as per directions for ganache so that it runs over the sides. I pipe 12 dollops of buttercream spaced evenly around the top of the cake.

Take another piece of parchment paper and well grease with butter or margarine. Place the remaining layer on top. Using the back of knife, press indentations into the top of the cake layer forming 12 wedges.

Make caramel by placing 1 1/4 cups of sugar into a saute pan. Heat over high heat until the sugar starts to turn. With a heat resistant spatula, stir to dissolve the sugar. Don't let it get too brown as it burns quickly.

Pour the caramel over the cake. Try to control the flow so it stays on the cake.

Gently smooth the caramel over the cake. You have to work lightly but quickly before the caramel sets.

Run the sharp edge of the knife through the butter or margarine.

With the buttered knife, cut through the caramel wedges.

Trim the edges as well. Allow the wedges to cool completely before putting them on the cake.

Arrange the caramel wedges on the top of the cake. I like to put them on at an angle using the buttercream dollops as support.

To serve, cut down between the caramel wedges.

Rate this Recipe:


Souzan: I love it! So nice! I might add a tsp of chocolate or cherry liquer to the caramel to enhance the caramel flavour.
Adrienne: Just wanted to write to thank you for taking the time to provide these detailed instructions. I made this cake for my father in law's 65th birthday...the dobos torte is his favorite of all but he never gets to have it. He was absolutely thrilled and everyone around our Thanksgivakkah table was surprised at how beautiful it looked. I made the ganache using coconut cream to keep it parve and it was fabulous. One question... I made the caramel layer and it looked perfect. Then I stored it at room temperature in a ziplock bag for 2 days... I have never used caramel like this before and by the time I served the cake the slices were saturated and not crisp anymore. Do you think it should have been stored in a different way? Would love to know as I plan to make this for him again one day. :-) Again, many thanks for taking the time to provide this recipe along with all of the detailed instructions. You made a whole lot of people happy today. Impossible without you. :-)
Leah: You're so sweet to write - chag sameach to you! Caramel doesn't like moisture so it sweat in the plastic. Keep the cake at room temperature or make the caramel layer the day you serve it. You can keep the buttercream in your pastry bag and finish the last touches quickly. All the best, leah
Adrienne: Makes sense. Thank you for the quick response! Chag sameach! :-)
Steve: Leah, If I wanted to make this cake for Passover, what flour should I use. Thanx.
Susan: Leah my people were Hungarian Jews and I am first generation here. The traditional Dobos Torte was baked on the bottom of a turned over 8 or 9 inch round. They simply simply greased and floured bottom of pan and put a few tablespoons of batter and baked. layer slipped off easily and usually needed no trimming. rather than caramel we used caramelized sugar on top layer and used chocolate cream outside and coffee cream for decorating and filling. Susan
Leah: Hi Susan - my people were Eskimos! - what do I know :-). Thanks for the tip! I usually make about a dozen or more cakes at a time; the number of layers start to add up quickly so I guess that is why I use parchment. The coffee cream sounds like a nice filling; thanks for sharing the authentic version!
Jenny: Your instructions were so easy to follow, it made making this delicious cake a breeze.. Loved it as will my family tonight for dessert :D
Leah: Yay! Thanks for letting me know! Leah

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Hi! Thank you for stopping by to watch me, Leah, cook kosher. I've been the owner operator of my boutique catering firm in Seattle, Leah's Catering, for the past 14 years.

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