Hungarian Dobosh Torte (Dobos Torta)

Hungarian dobosh torte recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
617 Calories
44g Fat
53g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 617
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 44g 57%
Saturated Fat 26g 130%
Cholesterol 138mg 46%
Sodium 54mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 41g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 33mg 3%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 165mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Dobosh torte, also known as drum torte or dobos torta, is a Hungarian sponge cake with seven layers of thin cake filled with rich chocolate buttercream, topped with caramel, and sometimes coated with ground hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts, or almonds. It's an elegant cake fit for a special occasion.

Invented by and named after Hungarian (some say he was Austrian) pastry chef Jozsef C. Dobos in 1884, the elegant Dobos torte is on par with another layered Hungarian dessertsutemeny Rigo Jancsi.

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling:

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

  • 2 cups (1 pound) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 5 large egg whites, room temperature

  • 1 cup sugar

For the Caramel Glaze:

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 1/3 cup water

  • Nuts of your choice, ground, to sprinkle on top and sides of cake

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this seven-layer sponge cake is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 F.

    Ingredients for dobosh torte cake
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. In a large bowl, cream the 8 ounces of butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy.

    Butter and sugar creamed in a bowl
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  3. Beat in the 4 eggs, one at a time. Beat in the flour and vanilla until smooth.

    Eggs and flour beaten into the butter mixture
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  4. Weigh the batter, remembering to subtract for the weight of the bowl. Divide that number by 7—this is the number of ounces you will need for each pan in order to create even layers.

    Batter being weighed
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Lightly coat the bottom of 7 (9-inch) round pans with cooking spray. Alternatively, you can bake as many layers at a time as you have 9-inch cake pans and reuse them to bake the rest of the batter.

    Cake pans with batter
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  6. Bake each layer for 7 minutes, or until edges are very lightly brown. Don't overbake.

    Baked cake layer in a pan
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  7. After removing from the oven, loosen the cake layer and immediately invert onto a cooling rack.

    Cake cooling on a rack
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  8. Continue until all the batter is used and all of the layers are cooling.

    Cakes cooling
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Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for dobosh torte filling
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  2. Melt the semisweet and unsweetened chocolates in a microwaveable bowl, stirring often. Set aside to cool.

    Melted chocolate in a bowl
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  3. In a large bowl, beat the 1 pound of butter on low for 2 minutes, then on medium for 3 minutes, and finally on high for 5 minutes.

    Whipped butter in a bowl
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  4. Place the 5 egg whites and 1 cup sugar in a double boiler over medium heat. Whisk gently and heat to 120 F.

    Egg whites and sugar in a double boiler
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  5. Transfer to a mixing bowl and whip on high until stiff peaks form.

    Whipped eggs and sugar
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  6. Fold the melted and cooled chocolate into the whipped butter.

    Chocolate being folded into whipped butter
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  7. Fold the egg whites into the mixture until all traces of white are gone.

    Egg whites folded into the mixture to make buttercream
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  8. Refrigerate until ready to use.

    Chocolate buttercream in a bowl
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Make the Caramel Glaze

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for caramel glaze
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Place 1 cake layer on a cooling rack set over a pan to catch the drips.

    Cake layer on a cooling rack over a baking sheet
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  3. Add the 2/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water to a small heavy saucepan.

    Sugar and water in a small saucepan
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  4. Without stirring, cook until the sugar dissolves and it comes to a boil and begins to darken in color.

    Caramel in a saucepan
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  5. Swirling the pan, continue to boil until the caramel becomes a golden brown. 

    Caramel darkening in the pan
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  6. Immediately pour the caramel over the cake layer, creating an even coating. 

    Caramel glaze on cake
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  7. With a buttered knife, mark the glaze before it completely hardens into 16 equal wedges without cutting all the way through.

    Caramel glaze marked for cutting
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Assemble the Torte

  1. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate or in a 9-inch springform pan to use as a guide, and spread on 1/8-inch of filling.

    Cake layer spread with frosting
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  2. Repeat with remaining layers and portions of filling, and finish with the glazed layer on top.

    Assembled cake on a platter
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  3. Use the rest of the filling to cover the sides of the cake. Sprinkle with ground nuts of choice, if desired. Refrigerate until serving.

    Sides of the torte decorated with nuts
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  4. To serve, slice along the lines marked in the caramel glaze.

    Slice of torte
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How to Store

  • A dobos torta will keep for a few days, covered, in the fridge. The caramel may become chewy stored in the moist refrigerator over time.
  • A dobosh torte freezes best if cut into individual pieces and tightly wrapped. Freeze for up to a month and defrost in the fridge before serving.


What Is the Difference Between a Cake and a Torte?

While the exact difference between cakes and tortes is a matter of heated discussion, torte is a word typically used for fancy European cakes. Tortes are frequently multi-layer with cake layers containing less flour and leavening than an American cake. They can be filled with mousse, ganache, jam, buttercream, and more.