Korolevsky Torte Recipe – Королевский Торт (Video)

korolevski torte slice

The Королевский Торт, translating to ‘royal cake’ or ‘king’s cake’, is a Russian classic! It’s typically made around Christmas time but you can enjoy it any time of the year. This delicious and moist sour cream cake can be made with a variety of fillings, which makes it so unique. In my recipe, I’m including hazelnuts, poppy seeds, dried cranberries, dark chocolate and frosting the cake with a caramel cream cheese butter cream!

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Sour Cream Cake Layers

What makes the cake layers incredible tender and moist is the sour cream, all 1 1/2 cups of it! Sour cream is used in cakes and desserts very often in Russia and Eastern Europe. It’s a plentiful and readily accessible ingredient. The different fillings are what make this cake unique! I love to do a combination of fillings and for this recipe I created two different layers: a chocolate hazelnut layers, and a poppy seed cranberry layer. The chocolate and hazelnut layer is rich and nutty, and the cranberry layer adds a bit of tart fruitiness to the cake. The Королевский Торт can also be made with other dried fruit, berries and a variety of nuts such as dried apricots, raisins, blueberries, almonds, pecans, or walnuts.

Caramel Frosting Recipe!

Traditionally this cake is frosted with a sour cream frosting. I changed my version a bit and used cream cheese instead, which holds its shape better. I added dulce de leche to the frosting to add some incredible caramel flavor to the cake. This frosting really complements the delicate layers inside! And for the finishing touches, I added more of the same filling ingredients on top and garnished with some chocolate. I recommend letting this cake set in the refrigerator overnight to allow the layers and frosting to come together. Just take the cake out about an hour or two before serving to allow the cake to thaw.

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More Recipes!

Enjoyed this Eastern European cake recipe? Make sure to check out my cookbook, The European Cake Cookbook, for more recipes! And, here are some more recipes on my website to enjoy!

  • Pancho Torte – this unique, dome-shaped cake is made with chocolate cake cubes, whipped cream frosting and fruit!
  • Torte Napoleon – a timeless classic that never gets old, my Torte Napoleon recipe is definitely worth making for special occasions!
  • Chocolate Spartak – this impressive, 8-layer chocolate cake is as good as it looks! With fluffy whipped cream frosting!
  • Honey Cake (Medovik) – if you love honey, you’re going to love this Russian honey cake with creamy frosting!
  • Golden Key Caramel Cake – the best-ever caramel cake with dulce de leche, sweetened condensed milk, pecans and whipped cream frosting!

Korolevsky Torte Recipe - Королевский Торт (Video)

1 hour 30 minutes prep + 45 minutes cook
16 servings
Decadent, two-flavor Russian cake made with sour cream cake layers, chocolate, poppy seeds and caramel frosting!


For Cake Layers:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts

For Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 14 ounce dulce de leche, or thick caramel sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened at room temperature

Optional garnish:

  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • chopped nuts and cranberries

Optional Apricot glaze:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves


  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two, 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.
  • Place the eggs into mixer bowl and whisk on high speed for several minutes until eggs have doubled in volume. Add vanilla, sugar and sour cream and whisk until well combined. Mix together flour and baking powder and add into cake batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly between 2 bowls. Into one bowl, add the melted chocolate and diced hazelnuts. Into the second bowl, add dried cranberries and poppy seeds. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven until tops are completely set, about 40 minutes.
  • Remove the cakes from oven and turn upside down onto a cooling rack and let cool completely. Split each layer into 2 layers.
  • To prepare the frosting: place the butter and cream cheese into a mixer bowl and whisk until smooth and well combined. Add caramel and whisk until well incorporated. If you want to add chocolate frosting on top, add a few tablespoons of cocoa powder to 1 cup of prepared frosting and transfer into pastry bag.
  • If desired, prepare apricot glaze to soak cake layers with. Simply place preserves and water into a dispenser bottle or small bowl and mix together.
  • To assemble cake, lightly soak each cake layer if desired with apricot glaze, then top with prepared frosting, alternating the two different cake layers. Frosting the outside of the cake and garnish with chopped nuts, chocolate frosting and if desired, chocolate ganache. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
  • For chocolate ganache, combine 1/4 cup chocolate chips with hot heavy cream. Whisk until smooth and pour of the top of cake. Use a spoon or spatula to gently spread to edges.


Calories: 552kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 365mg | Potassium: 211mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 960IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 1mg