Hungarian Sour Cherry Cake (Meggyes Lepeny)

Desserts on a table

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  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
518 Calories
31g Fat
53g Carbs
8g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 518
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 17g 87%
Cholesterol 217mg 72%
Sodium 389mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Protein 8g
Calcium 84mg 6%
*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.)

This Hungarian sour cherry cake recipe or meggyes lepény is a simple dessert made with the sour cherries Eastern Europeans love. Dark Morellos or fire-engine-red Montmorency varieties can be used.

This cake is sometimes eaten for breakfast and is similar to Czech cherry bublanina or bubble cake. Lepeny refers to its rectangular or square, sheet-like shape but, these days, this cake can be baked in a round pan or even a Bundt pan. As with bublaninas, lepeny can be made with any seasonal fruit, curd cheese, nuts, poppy seeds, jams, and candied fruits.


  • 1 pound sour cherries (fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (unsalted)
  • 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • 6 ounces butter (unsalted at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup sugar (white)
  • 3 large eggs (separated)
  • 1 cup flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • Garnish: 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat oven to 375 F.

  2. Wash, stem, and pit the cherries, leaving them whole. Set aside.

  3. Using 1 tablespoon butter, grease a 10x6-inch rectangular tart pan, or a 9-inch square, or a 9-inch round cake pan and dust with breadcrumbs. Set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, cream 6 ounces butter and half the white sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and continue creaming until well incorporated. Add the flour and salt, mixing well.

  5. With clean, grease-free beaters, whip egg whites with remaining white sugar until stiff. Gently fold whites into the cake batter.

  6. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Top with cherries stem side down. Bake 30 minutes. The batter will partially bubble up and cover the fruit.

  7. Remove from oven and cool in pan. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar.

  8. Cut into squares or wedges and serve.