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Easy Viennese Torte Recipe

Did you ever wish there was a great shortcut to make a fabulous dessert? There is, with this delicious Viennese torte. This seven-layer dessert features a to-die-for chocolate ganache frosting that will have your guests begging for more. We even have two ways to make it: The authentic way, or the super-easy way.

 

Viennese torteThis recipe is one of many, many versions of a classic Viennese torte known as the Dobos torte, which was first created by a Hungarian chef in the late 19th century. The unifying theme among all variations on the Dobos torte is layers…lots and lots of layers. We always call this the Seven-Layer Torte but usually we make it with just six. Regardless, it’s always been a crowd (and kid) favorite in our family. The best part is that it looks like it takes a lot of work, but it honestly doesn’t, with this one easy super-secret shortcut.


Seven-Layer Viennese Torte – Two Versions

Seven Layer VIennese Torte - Easy Version

This super-easy seven-layer Viennese Torte is a delicious crowd pleaser.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate, ganache, pound cake, Viennese torte
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chilling time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

For the Frosting

  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 4 egg yolks (preferably pasteurized because they will be raw)
  • 1 tbsp cognac or brandy optional
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature (one stick)

For the Cake

  • 1 16-ounce frozen pound cake

Instructions

For the frosting:

  1. Put the chocolate chips and the boiling water in a blender; blend until smooth. Add egg yolks, cognac (you can skip this if you are making cake for kids), and butter and continue blending until smooth. The frosting will be creamy but may appear a little runny. Pour it into a bowl and cover it loosely; refrigerate for 2 hours until it is thick and creamy.

For the cake:

  1. Carefully slice the poundcake into seven horizontal layers (or six, if that's all you can get out of it). Spread frosting carefully over the first layer, top with the second layer of cake, frost again, and repeat until the layers are neatly stacked and frosted. Spread remaining frosting on the top and outside of the loaf.

  2. Chill until ready to serve, for at least an hour. Slice in rectangular pieces about 1/2 inch thick.

So let’s first look at how to do this the easy way. First you’re going to slice up the poundcake into (ideally) seven layers, or six if that’s all you can get out of it.

Then spread the frosting carefully over the first layer, top with the second layer of cake, frost again, and repeat until the layers are neatly stacked and frosted. Spread the remaining frosting on the top and outside of the loaf.

Chill until ready to serve, for at least an hour. Slice in rectangular pieces about 1/2 inch thick. Serves 12.

Viennese Torte – Classic Version

Now for the (more labor intensive) classic version.

Seven-Layer Viennese Torte - Classic Version

A classic version of a seven-layer Viennese torte - rich with a creamy chocolate ganache frosting. The cake is adapted from The Daring Kitchen.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate, dessert, ganache, pound cake, Viennese torte
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chilling time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 55 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

For the frosting:

  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 4 egg yolks (preferably pasteurized, because they will be raw)
  • 1 tbsp cognac or brandy (optional)
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature (one stick)

For the cake:

  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (plus 2 tbsp) cake flour, sifted (or substitute 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 2 tbsp cornstarch, sifted)
  • pinch salt

Instructions

For the frosting:

  1. Put the chocolate chips and the boiling water in a blender; blend until smooth. Add egg yolks, cognac (you can skip this if you are making cake for kids), and butter and continue blending until smooth. The frosting will be creamy but may appear a little runny. Pour it into a bowl and cover it loosely; refrigerate for 2 hours until it is thick and creamy.

For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare two large flat jelly roll pans (cookie pans with a 1-inch lip) by cutting a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of each.

  2. Place the egg yolks together in a medium bowl. Add 2/3 cup of the powdered sugar and the vanilla to the egg yolks, and then blend with a hand mixer until the mixture is thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes.

  3. In a separate bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 2/3 cup powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Using a soft rubber spatula, gradually and gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture (some white streaks should remain). Sift together the flour, cornstarch, and salt and fold it in to the egg mixture slowly and carefully.

  4. Divide the mixture in half and spread each half thinly on top of the parchment paper on the jelly roll/cookie sheet. Bake in the top rack of the oven for five minutes, or until just barely golden brown around the edges. Invert the cakes on a cutting board and peel the paper off the back.

  5. Cut each sheet into three equal rectangles. Set the first rectangle on a platter and cover it with a layer of frosting. Place a second layer on top of the first, frost, and then repeat for the remaining layers.

  6. Use the remaining frosting to cover the sides and top. Chill until ready to serve, for at least an hour. Slice in 1/2-inch thick rectangles.

Let’s take a look at how this cake comes together. First, you’re going to spread the batter out onto jelly roll pans lined with parchment paper.

Then, after a quick five-minute baking process, you can invert them onto a board and peel off the parchment paper.

At that point all you need to do is cut each cake into three identical rectangles, and then frost them up like the first cake.

Viennese torte

How do you like these avant-garde offset layers?

***

Postscript: Is it delicious? Well, you’ll have to ask these two rascally raccoons. We spent about an hour taking pictures of the cake in the backyard, and then we suddenly remembered we had to pick something up at the school, so we dashed out…and when we returned these mischievous varmints were sitting out on the table enjoying a fancy dessert, complete with red rose.

They gave it two paws up, and we think you will too.

 

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Easy Seven-Layer Viennese Torte

Easy Seven-Layer Viennese Torte

P.S. Want another amazing chocolate cake recipe? Try this Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Cake – it’s made in a pressure cooker!

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9 Responses to Easy Viennese Torte Recipe

  1. amee November 16, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    First of all – I apologize that I am commenting after so long. I am reading all of your posts via subscription and always have a comment to make and somehow get distracted!! I really love the asymmetic layering…but i do like the “easy pound cake” way too! My sister and i LOVED sarah lee pound cake growing up…still do! …And who says Racoons can’t have a romantic evening. Excuse me…i have to go and talk to my husband. Racoons are showing him up.

    • jollytomato November 16, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

      LOLOL – Thanks, Amee. I hope your husband will at least take you out, and not rely on cakes that he finds in someone else’s backyard. : )

  2. Laura @ Family Spice November 17, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    Oh no! Just like in Lady & The Tramp! LOL! Yummy looking torte. I never did get my eggs – I better crackin’ at it! Sorry – bad pun!

    • jollytomato November 17, 2011 at 10:34 am #

      LOL – I hadn’t thought about Lady and the Tramp, but you’re right. Maybe next time I’ll put some spaghetti out there!

  3. Valentina November 28, 2011 at 12:25 am #

    wow — this is beautiful. and looks so yummy!

  4. Beth December 6, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    HAA HAA! Those raccoons must have thought they were in heaven!

  5. JC September 10, 2015 at 8:31 pm #

    I know you posted your chocolate torte recipe several years ago but I just came across your website and had to comment.
    First, this dessert is one of my very favorites and would ask my mother to make it for me on my birthday, so I am happy to see that you helped bring it out of the ashes and onto the web for someone like me to make again with out the egg fear and remember good times.
    Secondly, as for the racoons enjoying your cake… I had a good laugh along with the others that posted comments. I had several pet racoons as a child so I know how naughty they can be. They are probably still talking about the lucky day they came across this delicious cake.

    • Jeanne September 10, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

      How funny! So many similarities! Thanks for stopping by!

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    […] the eggs even enter your kitchen. (In my family’s case, that also means making our favorite Viennese torte with a rich buttercream recipe that calls for raw egg […]

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