The Pancho Torte is a unique and delicious, dome-shaped cake popular in Eastern Europe and Russia! This chocolate cherry cake with pineapple, pecans and a sour cream whipped cream frosting is seriously delicious! I make this cake with my ‘Chocolate Sponge Cake’ recipe and soak the cake pieces with cherry liqueur for even more cherry flavor! The cake is assembled into a bowl, the inverted to create the unique dome shape! This show-stopping Russian cake recipe is great for any occasion!
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Chocolate Cake Recipe
The Pancho torte is a chocolate cherry cake made with light and fluffy sponge cake. I used a simplified version of my favorite ‘Chocolate Sponge Cake’ recipe but you can also use my ‘Perfect Chocolate Cake’ recipe for a richer and more chocolatey cake. I omitted the butter and coffee from the original recipe for this cake. Prepare the cake batter and bake it in a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper. Once the cake is cooled, cut it into bite-sized pieces. You can prepare the chocolate cake even a few days ahead of time; just keep it well covered so it doesn’t dry out.
European Whipped Cream
This unique Russian cake is made with a traditional, European-style whipped cream frosting. This frosting starts just like a regular whipped cream: heavy cream, vanilla and sugar. To the whipped frosting, sour cream is added and gently folded in. The sour cream gives this frosting a slightly tangy flavor and it goes so well with the sweetness of the cake and fillings!
Putting it Together a Pancho Torte
Once you have the chocolate cake and frosting ready, prepare the rest of the fillings for this Pancho torte.
- I personally prefer to use fresh fruit but canned pineapple and canned cherries will also work great! Cut the fruit into small, bite sized pieces and chop the pecans.
- To assemble the cake, first line a large mixing bowl with plastic wrap. Add a thick, generous layer of the prepared whipped cream on the inside, making sure the layer is even all around the bottom and sides.
- Cut the chocolate cake into bite sized pieces and start layering the cake. Add a layer of chocolate cake and soak it lightly with cherry liqueur, then add a few handfuls of the pineapple, cherries and pecan. Follow with a layer of frosting and repeat the process until the mixing bowl is full.
- Allow the cake to stand in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- When ready to serve, invert a cake stand onto the bowl and then turn the cake right side up. Don’t forget to smooth down the frosting before adding the chocolate garnish! Watch my video recipe to see how it’s done!
Enjoyed this delicious chocolate cherry cake? Check out some of my other European-style cakes! And if you want the ultimate European cake collection, get my cookbook – The European Cake Cookbook!
- Strawberry Kiwi Trifle Cake – another dome-shaped cake recipe with fruit and custard filling!
- Chocolate Spartak – stunning 8-layer chocolate cake with fluffy frosting.
- Golden Key Caramel Cake – the best-ever caramel cake with dulce de leche, sweetened condensed milk, pecans and whipped cream frosting!
- Strawberry Zefir Torte – this fruity cake is made with fruit marshmallow layers!
- Chocolate Cherry Mousse Cake – the most decadent and fluffy chocolate cake with cherries!
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Pancho Torte Recipe (video)
For Chocolate Sponge Cake:
- 6 large eggs
- 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
For European Whipped Cream:
- 3 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 2 to 3 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pineapple, fresh or canned
- 1 cup halved cherries, fresh or canned
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup cherry liqueur, optional
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, for garnish
- Prepare the chocolate cake first. Preheat the oven to 350F/177C and line a 13x19-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper, leaving the sides ungreased. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract into a stand mixer bowl, then whisk on high speed for 7 to 9 minutes. The eggs need to be thick, pale in color and super fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture in small increments (I recommend thirds), folding gently but thoroughly after each addition.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 22-25 minutes, until the top is set; the cake should spring back when tapped gently when done. Remove the cake from the oven and place it onto a cooling rack. Immediately, run a knife along the edge of the pan and cake to release the cake from the pan. Once the cake has cooled completely, cut it into 1-inch squares.
- Next, prepare the European whipped cream. Pour the chilled heavy cream into a mixer bowl and add the vanilla and confectioner's sugar. For a less sweet frosting, use just 2 cups. Whisk the cream first on low speed for about 30 seconds, then on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Add the sour cream to the whipped cream and gently fold it in using a spatula.
- To assemble the cake, first line the inside of a large mixing bowl with plastic wrap and leave some extra hanging off the sides. Begin by adding a thick, generous layer of the prepared whipped cream on the inside, about 1-cm thick, making sure the layer is even all around the bottom and sides. Add a single layer of chocolate cake into the bowl and soak the cake pieces lightly with cherry liqueur (if desired), then add a few handfuls of the pineapple, cherries and pecan. Follow with a layer of frosting sealing in the fillings and repeat the process until the mixing bowl is full. Once the bowl is full, spread any remaining whipped cream frosting on top. Watch my video recipe to see how to put the take together!
- Use the extra plastic wrap to wrap the cake. Allow the Pancho torte to stand in the refrigerator for at least 4 to 6 hours, or best overnight. When ready to enjoy, invert a cake stand onto the bowl and then turn the cake right side up. Carefully remove the bowl and plastic, then use an off-set spatula to smooth down the frosting.
- To garnish the cake, first place thin strips of parchment paper around the perimeter of the cake for easier cleanup. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth, then transfer into a disposable ziplock bag. Cut off a tiny tip and drizzle the chocolate in swoops over the cake. Once you've garnished the cake, immediately remove the parchment paper before the chocolate hardens and discard.
- Keep the cake refrigerated when not enjoying. Use a serrated knife for cutting for best results.