The Королевский Торт (korolevsky cake), translating to ‘royal cake’ or ‘king’s cake’, is a Russian classic! It’s typically made around Christmas time but is enjoyed at 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.
Korolevsky cake was traditionally made in the imperial cities of Russia, and eaten by the aristocracy. Its impressive stature featuring three layers of walnut, chocolate and poppy seed cake aren't overwhelmingly rich, and have just a subtle sweetness, balancing the creamy caramel icing.
6 extra large eggs at room temperature
3 cups sugar
3 cups sour cream
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking soda
3 tsp vinegar
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 cup walnuts toasted & chopped
For the icing:
1 can sweetened condensed milk cooked and at room temperature (or 1 can caramel treat)
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
Grease and generously flour three 9 inch cake pans (if you have, otherwise, bake layers one at a time).
On a dry skillet, over medium-high heat, toast 1 cup of walnuts until lightly golden then chop into small pieces.
In the bowl of an stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat together eggs and sugar until pale yellow (4 minutes on medium/high speed).
Reduce the speed to low and add flour one cup at a time.
Mix until well-blended.
Put sour cream in a large measuring cup. In a small ramekin, combine baking soda with vinegar. It will fizz up, then stir into the sour cream immediately.
The sour cream will start to visibly rise.
Once you notice it rising, mix it into the cake batter using a spatula.
Divide the cake batter into three bowls.
In the first cake batter, mix in 1 Tbsp cocoa.
In the second cake batter, mix in 2 Tbsp poppy seeds.
In the third cake batter, mix in 1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts.
Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake at 200˚C for 25 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cake layers cool to room temperature.
Ice the top of each layer (see icing instructions below)
Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
For the icing:
Beat together on high speed the cooked sweetened condensed milk (or caramel treat) and butter (with whisk attachment) for 3 to 4 minutes until fluffy.
Ice once the cake is cooled to room temperature.
Recipes I found used a variety of other fillings like cranberry and cherry. I decided to keep it simple and nutty, and didn't regret it!