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Chocolate Doberge Cake Recipe


Doberge Cake

Doberge Cake

© 2009 Ellen Silverman
This recipe for chocolate doberge cake is from "Dam Good Sweet" (The Taunton Press, 2009) by David Guas and Rachel Pelzel. Doberge (pronounced DOH-bash in New Orleans) with a lemon-filled cake on one side and a chocolate-filled cake on the other side is the most popular variety.

In a riff on Hungarian dobosh torte, Beulah Ledner began making doberge cake in New Orleans during the Depression to supplement her income. Ledner replaced the buttercream filling in the original with a custard one, and used fondant on the sides. She sold her recipe and bakery to the Gambino family in the 1940s.

Makes 1 (9-inch) Doberge Cake

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours


  • Chocolate Ganache Icing:
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 12 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Chocolate Pudding Filling:
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Cake:
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) + 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk


Note: The ganache and pudding should be made first because they take time to set up.
  1. For the ganache icing: Bring cream to a boil in a medium saucepan. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a heatproof bowl and let sit for 2 minuts. Whisk mixture until ganache has a nice sheen and is completely smooth. Whisk in butter and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Set aside for at least 6 hours.

  2. For the chocolate pudding filling: Whisk egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. Bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in a little egg mixture. Once bottom of bowl is warm, slowly whisk in remaining hot milk.

  3. Pour mixture back into a clean medium saucepan, add the vanilla, and whisk over medium-low heat until it thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Cook while constantly whisking until pudding is glossy and quite thick, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer pudding to a clean bowl.

  4. Add chopped chocolate and butter and gently whisk until chocolate is completely incorporated. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto surface of pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

  5. For the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the bottom in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet.

  6. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Stir vanilla into 8 ounces plus 2 tablespoons melted butter and set aside.

  7. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Place over (not in) a pot of barely simmering water. Whisking contantly, heat the mixture until it is warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whip on high until cool and tripled in volume, about 3 minutes.

  8. Reduce mixer speed to medium low and drizzle in the melted butter-vanilla mixture. By hand, fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by 1/2 of the milk. Repeat, ending with flour. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake until a toothpick tests clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in the pan 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack. Unclasp the springform pan sides and carefully remove the ring, and allow the cake to cool completely with the pan bottom still in place.

  9. Once cool, remove the pan bottom from the cake and divide it into 4 equal layers. Wash and dry the springform pan and use it to assemble the cake. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of the pan with cooking spray. Place two (20-inch-long) pieces plastic wrap in pan so entire bottom and sides are covered, allowing ends of plastic to hang over sides of pan.

  10. Place 1 cake layer in springform pan and top with 2/3 cup chocolate pudding filling (you will have leftover filling after the cake is assembled), leaving a 1/2-inch border of bare cake around the edge. Repeat with the remaining cake layers and chocolate pudding filling. Cover the top of the cake with the plastic wrap overhang (or another piece if there isn't enough), and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

  11. Place four (6-inch-wide) strips of parchment paper hanging off the end of the platter. (This will keep the tray clean while frosting. Remove after you've iced.) Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the cake and invert cake onto the serving platter. Unhinge the sides of the springform pan and remove. Peel off plastic wrap. Give the ganache a stir and ice top and sides of cake with it. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cake can be served cold or at room temperature (even better).
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