Indisputably the sponge cake is one of the most famous Hungarian desserts. It was first made for the World Exhibition of 1958 in Brussels by József Béla Szőcs. It won the professional price and became an instant favourite. The confectioner gave the name to the cake, which comes from the name of the hill, Somlyó, where he lived and worked. The original recipe is still a secret, but many people tried to recreate it which is why many recipes exist. However, you can tell if you eat a real Hungarian sponge cake.

This dessert is the encounter of several tasty layers which would work in themselves too. Now, don’t let the list of ingredients scare you away. It takes some time to make it but bear with us! It is definitely worth it!


For the simple sponge:

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 0,5 a teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of water

For the cocoa sponge:

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 0,5 a teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

For the walnut sponge:

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 0,5 a teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 2 tablespoons of ground walnut

For the vanilla cream:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5 dl-s of milk (2 cups)
  • 75 grams of flour
  • 120 grams of sugar
  • 0,5 vanilla stick
  • 2 teaspoons of gelatine

For the syrup:

  • 200 grams of sugar
  • 3 dl water
  • 1 dl rum
  • 0,25 of a vanilla stick
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • the zest of 1 orange

For the chocolate cream:

  • 150 grams of dark chocolate
  • 0,5 a dl of rum
  • 50 grams of sugar
  • 50 grams of cocoa powder
  • 1 dl water

For the filling:

  • 120 grams of walnut
  • 50 grams of apricot jam
  • 80 grams of raisin
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder (to sprinkle)

For the whipped cream:

  • 4 dl of whipping cream



Firstly, you need to bake the three sponges. Separate the eggs and whip up the egg whites with a tablespoon of sugar. Combine the egg yolks, sugar, flour, baking powder, water and mix them well. When making the cocoa and walnut sponge, add in the cocoa powder and ground walnut along with the other ingredients. Slowly start adding the egg whites and gently mix them in. Spread the batters into pans lined with baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 180 Celsius degrees. They won’t rise too much and they have to be soft.

To make the vanilla cream, bring the milk to a boil with the seeds of the vanilla stick. In a bowl, mix together the egg yolks, the sugar and the flour until combined well. Then, start adding in the milk (which you have allowed to cool down) while constantly stirring. Cook the combined mixture slowly until it becomes creamy. Mix the gelatine with half a dl of hot water and add it to the cream.

For the syrup, mix everything together in a bowl then put it on the heat in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. When ready, let the syrup cool down.

At this point, you start to assemble all you have made so far. You put the first layer of sponge (it is up to your liking which one you start with) into a wide and flat bowl. With the help of a brush, you soak the sponge with some of the syrup. Don’t soak it completely; you just want it to be moist. Spread half of the vanilla cream on the sponge layer and sprinkle it with some walnuts (chopped up to small pieces) and raisins (preferably soak them in rum for some time beforehand). Then comes the second layer of sponge and you repeat the same steps: syrup, vanilla cream, walnuts and raisins. For the last layer of sponge, you soak it with syrup and spread the apricot jam on the top and sprinkle with cocoa powder. This is the time when you put this into the fridge for a whole day so that the layers and flavours can really come together. Waiting is hard, but be patient, it’s going to be phenomenal!

You need to cook the chocolate cream the next day before you serve the dessert. You break the chocolate and put it into a smaller saucepan with the cocoa powder, sugar, water and rum. Cook this until it becomes thick enough for a cream. Whip up the whipping cream and you have completed all of the steps. You just have to serve your sponge cake.

You take your mixture of sponge layers out of the fridge and make little scoops with a spoon. They need to look like little balls, noodles (galuska). Put them on a plate and top it with your chocolate cream and whipped cream. You’re done! Wow, this was something, right?

Enjoy your meal!

Written by Alexandra Béni

Source: Daily News Hungary

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