Based on the Hungarian Dobos torte (pronounced Do-bash), this cake was developed in New Orleans and is now a staple throughout Louisiana. It's my husband's all-time favorite and has become a birthday tradition.

Recipe Summary

prep:
1 hr
cook:
25 mins
additional:
2 hrs
total:
3 hrs 25 mins
Servings:
16
Yield:
1 9-inch layer cake
Advertisement

Ingredients

16
Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Cake:
Custard:
Buttercream Frosting:
Ganache:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 3 9-inch cake pans.

    Advertisement
  • Beat whites of 4 eggs in a glass or metal bowl until foamy. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Lift your beater or whisk straight up: the tip of the peak formed by the egg whites should curl over slightly. Set aside. Reserve egg yolks in a small bowl. Sift together cake flour and baking powder in a separate bowl.

  • Beat 3/4 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add reserved egg yolks one at a time, allowing each yolk to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Pour in cake flour mixture alternately with 1 cup milk, mixing until just incorporated. Stir lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract into batter.

  • Whisk beaten egg whites a few times; use a whisk or rubber spatula to fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the batter to lighten it. Fold in remaining egg whites, mixing just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pans and spread evenly over bottom.

  • Bake in preheated oven until cake is light golden brown and just pulling from the sides of the pan, 15 to 20 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then invert onto cooling racks to cool completely.

  • To make custard: combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup flour, cornstarch, and 1/4 cup cocoa powder in a saucepan and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk remaining 1/2 cup sugar into 4 beaten eggs. Pour 4 cups whole milk into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and gradually pour hot milk mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Add chopped chocolate and stir until chocolate melts.

  • Return custard to saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Transfer custard to a bowl and allow to cool.

  • To make buttercream: place 1 cup softened butter in a mixing bowl. Gradually beat in 3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar. Beat in 1 cup sifted cocoa powder. Mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to make a smooth frosting. If the frosting is too stiff, add a tablespoon of hot water or as needed, drizzling it very slowly, and mix well until desired consistency is reached.

  • To make ganache: place chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl. Heat heavy cream in a saucepan until very hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Let stand for 3 minutes, then whisk, scraping sides and bottom of the bowl, until smooth. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Allow to cool to room temperature, cover, and set aside. Ganache should be spreadable and not firm.

  • To assemble cake: using a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, slice each cake layer in half horizontally. Cover cake plate with strips of parchment paper or foil for easier clean up. Put a dab of buttercream in the center of the plate to keep cake from shifting. Set a cake half on the plate.

  • Spread custard filling onto cake layer, taking care not to spread it too close to the edge (weight of the cake layers will cause it to spread out). Gently lay another cake round on top of the first and repeat with another custard layer. Repeat with remaining layers and custard, topping custard with the last cake layer. Chill cake for 30 minutes to allow it to firm up.

  • Frost top and sides of cake with chocolate buttercream. Chill for 30 minutes, to firm and set.

  • Spread frosted cake with ganache. Remove parchment strips or aluminum foil from cake plate. Store cake in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts

917 calories; protein 11.3g; carbohydrates 125g; fat 45g; cholesterol 185.4mg; sodium 434.3mg. Full Nutrition
Advertisement

Reviews (28)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/10/2013
Wow! This was a labor of love. I had a piece of this traditional cake years ago at Commanders Palace in Las Vegas. I had forgotten it until this recipe popped up here and I had to try it. I have to admit that I have gotten into the habit of using cake mixes to whip up a birthday cake or a batch of cupcakes but making this made me remember how superior a good "from scratch" cake can be.I decided to combine my birthday and the upcoming Mardis Gras and this was perfect. Every step and ingredient was spot on and the person who submitted this did a great job on their instructions. The only off thing was the 25 minute cook time. There are many steps to this beauty and it took far longer than 25 minutes listed in the recipe. I did make one small change to the method. Instead of baking three layers and splitting the layers, I baked 6 layers (for about 11 minutes) I poured about 1 cup+ into 9 inch pans that had been lined with parchment and baked the six layers separately. That is so much easier than splitting cakes for me. That being said, this cake is fabulous and I am sure that my friends and neighbors will request this for their birthdays. Thank you Metread for posting this beautiful & perfect recipe. This will go into my "very special" file :) Read More
(45)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
12/04/2014
As someone else said it is a labor of love. I thought there was too much cream in the ganache. Also I ended up with extra custard so that part should be cut down. The finished cake was delicious. Read More
(8)
31 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 17
  • 4 star values: 11
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
02/09/2013
Wow! This was a labor of love. I had a piece of this traditional cake years ago at Commanders Palace in Las Vegas. I had forgotten it until this recipe popped up here and I had to try it. I have to admit that I have gotten into the habit of using cake mixes to whip up a birthday cake or a batch of cupcakes but making this made me remember how superior a good "from scratch" cake can be.I decided to combine my birthday and the upcoming Mardis Gras and this was perfect. Every step and ingredient was spot on and the person who submitted this did a great job on their instructions. The only off thing was the 25 minute cook time. There are many steps to this beauty and it took far longer than 25 minutes listed in the recipe. I did make one small change to the method. Instead of baking three layers and splitting the layers, I baked 6 layers (for about 11 minutes) I poured about 1 cup+ into 9 inch pans that had been lined with parchment and baked the six layers separately. That is so much easier than splitting cakes for me. That being said, this cake is fabulous and I am sure that my friends and neighbors will request this for their birthdays. Thank you Metread for posting this beautiful & perfect recipe. This will go into my "very special" file :) Read More
(45)
Rating: 5 stars
02/10/2013
I have to say end result was great! Best butter cake I've ever eaten! The frosting and ganache simple and easy...if you notice my photo...and see bits in them I totally and accidently tossed in Toffee Bits into the wrong bowl LOL...that's what I get for making 2 different sweet treats at the same time...Note to self not to do that. My only delimma was the custard. I had to make it a few times because I couldn't get it set up right. And when I did the tbsp of vanilla was overpowering to me. SO a 3rd time I made the custard and it set up I only used a tsp of vanilla and followed through with completing the cake really feel the custard issue was me and not the recipe but I was tickled when I got it to work. It was totally awesome. You only need to slice very thin slices for your kids and family. This cake goes a long way. It's rich creamy and very delightful. I will soo make it again! TY metread!! Read More
(29)
Rating: 4 stars
12/21/2013
I grew up eating bakery made doberge cakes and never ever thought to attempt to make one myself but wanted a chocolate raspberry variation for my daughter's birthday last September which local bakeries didn't have. I couldn't believe it when I found doberge on allrecipes!! So made it myself using this recipe and added a homemade raspberry sauce between the layers with the custard filling. Phenomenal! Well I plan on making it a third time and remembered to review it and give a warning...don't use this ganache recipe. It did not work for me either time I made it...equal amounts chocolate and cream is way too runny...that's why I only gave it 4 stars. I found a recipe that uses 1 part cream to 2 parts chocolate. Also give all your attention to the custard when making it...careful not to burn it or you will have to throw it out and start again(been there done that). All and all well worth all the effort! Read More
(16)
Advertisement
Rating: 4 stars
03/08/2013
Of the more complex layer cakes I've tried this was the most simple both in terms of ingredients and prep. The most challenging elements were: a) not burning the custard (it takes a looong time to thicken so be patient) and b) not making a huge mess with the ganache when pouring it over the frosted cake. Taste-wise it's great (and intensely sweet!) though a bit chocolate-heavy. Next time I will try vanilla buttercream frosting instead of chocolate. It might be a nice contrast with the ganache. Read More
(14)
Rating: 5 stars
03/10/2015
It was wonderful. I made changes to order of creation. I made my ganache first followed by the custard. Both of these needed to cool down to room temperature before going on the cake. Then I prepped my cake and popped it in the oven. While the recipe says after 5 minutes cooling in pans to invert onto a cooling sheet I found that tore up the bottom of my first cake. So with my next two cake pans I waited closer to 20 minutes before pulling out of the cake pan. They came out beautifully. While the cakes were cooking I prepped the butter cream frosting. Once that was finished I assembled the cake. I not only cut the cakes in half. I carefully cut off the rounded tops of two cakes in order to make my end result more aesthetically pleasing. DO NOT be afraid to use plenty of custard. I didn't use enough and way too much left over. When I applied the butter cream frosting I had a hard time getting it smooth. I sprinkled a SMALL amount of hot water on the top and very carefully started to smooth out my frosting. It was excellent and amazing. Small slices go a long long way. Read More
(9)
Rating: 4 stars
02/23/2014
Definitely took several hrs prep but the result was worth it! There's a lot of sifting that took a while with my squeeze sifter. White cake layers were super light but yet held together well and didn't crumble when slicing in half and frosting. Would use just the cake layer for other dessert ideas. Expected the chocolate pudding to taste more chocolately based on other reviews. However it seemed a bit bland and not very intense - I may have made an error there. I typically use all Green/Black's dark cocoa powder but this time used a mix of 1/2 Dutch process and 1/2 Green/Black's. The in-depth directions were helpful but do note for the cake batter step to beat butter sugar together you should beat the butter to creamy first and then gradually beat in the sugar. I forgot to do that standard method and had to throw out the first attempt at beating the butter/sugar because it wouldn't break down into creamy. Would make again for a special occasion and try the rasberry add on from other reviewer. Read More
(9)
Advertisement
Rating: 4 stars
02/27/2013
I made this for my mom's birthday which fell during the week after Mardi Gras this year. The only warning I would give is DO NOT follow the recipe's means of checking the cake's doneness. Bake it until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. I lost one of my pans because of this so the cake ended up with only 4 layers instead of 6. Also I put strips of waxed paper under the cake as recommended but they ended up being buried by the ganache which was much too runny to spread even after chilling for a few hours. I actually had to put the cake plate onto a pizza pan to catch the overflow. Other than that it was delicious. I had (still have!) a ton of custard left over (partly because I had fewer layers but even so it seems like way too much) but it's being put to good use making parfaits with the salvageable bits of the unsuccessful cake pan. Read More
(9)
Rating: 3 stars
12/04/2014
As someone else said it is a labor of love. I thought there was too much cream in the ganache. Also I ended up with extra custard so that part should be cut down. The finished cake was delicious. Read More
(8)
Rating: 4 stars
01/26/2016
Aside from working and going to school (both full-time) for two years and taking the LSAT this may very well be the hardest thing I've ever done! It took FIVE HOURS to make this cake! I had to make three things from scratch I've never made before (custard filling buttercream icing and ganache) in addition to making and assembling the actual cake. Intense. That said...the cake is amazing. As with all other recipes of New Orleanian cuisine that originate elsewhere...it doesn't taste quite like doberge cake...but the flavor is amazing none-the-less. The custard was the hardest part to make. Also...the amount of butter this recipe called for would make Paula Deen blush. Lessons for next time: 1. Use a fondant instead of a ganache for both aesthetics (doberge is usually smooth in appearance and as you can see ganache just isn't viscous enough as you're pouring and spreading it in liquid form to accomplish that) and for more authentic flavor. 2. Make more batter so the layers come out better. As you can see the layers are uneven... some much thinner than others...because there wasn't enough batter to fill all the pans to adequate levels. 3. Find a way to make the cake retain moisture. You have to keep it refrigerated...and chill it several times in the assembly process. It makes the cake less moist. Not terribly so...but enough to notice and annoy me. Read More
(7)
Advertisement