Hungarian Esterházy Torte Recipe

Hungarian Esterházy torte on a plate.

Максим Крысанов/Getty Images


Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 8 to 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
762 Calories
50g Fat
77g Carbs
11g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 762
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 50g 64%
Saturated Fat 26g 129%
Cholesterol 221mg 74%
Sodium 104mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 77g 28%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 68g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 79mg 6%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 291mg 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 Esterházy torte is a rich dessert consisting of chocolate buttercream sandwiched between four layers of sponge cake. It is purportedly named after 19th-century Prince Esterházy of Hungary, of a family close to Austrian royalty (and all their fabulous desserts).

This is a traditional Old World recipe, so it will take some time, but the fondant icing is not the type that has to be kneaded, ripened for several hours, and remelted.


For the Sponge Cake:

  • 5 large egg yolks

  • 1 3/4 ounces granulated sugar

  • 1 3/4 ounces almonds, ground

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 3 large egg whites, stiffly beaten

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1/2 lemon

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, optional

For the Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

  • 2 cups (1 pound) unsalted butter, softened

  • 5 large egg whites

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

For the Apricot Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup apricot jam, melted

  • 1 tablespoon hot water

For the Fondant Icing:

For the Garnish:

  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted 

  • 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil

  • 4 ounces sliced almondstoasted or untoasted

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Line 4 (8-inch) round baking pans with parchment circles. Alternatively, you can line one 8-inch round pan with parchment, but you will have to split this cake into 4 layers.

  2. Beat egg yolks with sugar until light and lemon colored. Sprinkle ground almonds and flour over batter and fold in gently. Fold in the egg whites and lemon juice or vanilla carefully so as not to deflate the batter.

  3. Portion batter evenly into prepared pans. For 4 pans, bake about 10 to 15 minutes or until cakes pull away from sides of pan and top is golden brown. For 1 pan, bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden. Cool in the pans.

  4. Melt 10 ounces of chocolate in a heatproof bowl in the microwave. Stir and set aside to cool. With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter with the paddle attachment on low for 2 minutes, medium for 3 minutes and high for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

  5. Place egg whites and sugar in the top of a double boiler over medium heat. Whisk gently to 120 F on a candy thermometer. Transfer to a clean and dry mixer bowl and beat with the balloon whisk on high until stiff peaks form; about 5 minutes. Fold melted chocolate into butter, then fold in egg whites.

  6. On a serving platter, place one sponge cake layer and spread with 1/4 chocolate buttercream. Repeat 2 more times and top with the last sponge cake layer. Reserve the last 1/4 of buttercream for the sides. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour.

  7. Mix the melted apricot jam with the hot water and strain, then brush the entire top of the cake with glaze and let it dry for 15 minutes.

  8. Place all fondant ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until well mixed. Set over low heat and stir until dissolved. Don't let the temperature exceed 100 F on a candy thermometer. If glaze doesn't look opaque enough, add more powdered sugar.

  9. Combine 2 ounces of melted chocolate with 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil and funnel into a squeeze bottle; set aside. Pour warm fondant over the torte, tilting so the entire top is covered. If some drips down the sides, that's OK because it will be covered with the reserved buttercream. If it looks too transparent, you will have to apply another coat, but wait until this one dries.

  10. If the fondant is the way you like it, before it dries, take the squeeze bottle and draw 4 or 5 concentric circles on the top of the torte. Using a skewer or the tip of a knife, drag it lightly through the lines from the center of the torte to the edge 8 times to make a chevron pattern.

  11. Frost the sides of the torte with the reserved frosting, pressing in the sliced almonds. Refrigerate until ready to serve. For easier slicing, cut the torte while it is cold but let it come to room temperature before serving. This is a rich dessert, so small slices work best.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of foodborne illness.