Monday, October 12, 2009

Vegan Dobos Torte (for my birthday)

I came across this dobos torte recipe many months ago, and I could not wait to veganize it. I have no Hungarian roots, and my version is probably nothing like the original, but I don’t care, dammit! I waited to for a special excuse to make it (could I justify making a 10-layer cake and have to eat it all myself? Nope), and that excuse turned out to be my birthday. This cake requires a lot of patience to make, but is it ever worth it!

Vegan Dobos Torte

The cake (adapted from
Bryanna Clark Grogan's vegan sponge cake recipe):
7 tablespoons powdered egg replacer

1 ½ cups cold water
3 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups cane sugar

1 1/4 cup soy milk
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract

The icing:

1 cup earth balance

1 cup cocoa powder

5 cups powdered sugar
1/3-1/2 cup soymilk
3 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract

The caramel:

1 scant cup cane sugar

2 tablespoons earth balance
2 tablespoons lemon juice

First make the cake. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a deep bowl, combine the egg replacer powder and the water and whip it (I used a hand blender) for almost 10 minutes, until it’s very frothy and begins to form peaks. Now mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, milk, oil, and extracts really well (I used a hand blender for this, too). Pour the wet ingredients (but not the egg replacer) into the dry and mix just until combined. Fold in the egg replacer froth and mix as little as possible (just enough to make it homogenous). Now it’s baking time. I must confess that I had a bunch of aluminum cake pans with me, so I sprayed 10 of them and divided the batter amongst the 10 pans right off, baking three at a time. You could do less, or use three pans and wash them after each bake, but I guess I had it easy. Each pan went in for about 10 minutes, until the edges were ever-so-slightly golden. Then I set the cakes between layers of damp paper towel to keep them from drying out.

While the cakes are baking, prepare the icing. Cream the earth balance for a bit, then add the cocoa and mix well. Add the powdered sugar in 1-cup increments, mixing well and adding some soy milk between each cup. Now add the extracts and blend well.

Slice the last cake layer in 16 portions, and be sure to create some space between each slice. Now prepare the caramel. Melt the cane sugar in a small saucepan over high heat (this is quite amazing to see if you’ve never melted sugar by itself). Remove from heat, add the earth balance and lemon juice, and put back on heat until everything dissolves and becomes uniform. Pour over the portioned-out cake layer, and allow to set.

Now it’s assembly time! Stack up the plain cake layers with icing in between (be economical with that icing) and on the sides. Spread icing on top, then pipe sixteen little flowers around the circumference. Split up the sixteen caramelized portions and arrange them on top, with one portion over each flower and angled slightly. Now pipe a big flower in the middle, and you’re done!


  1. Angela, this is a really beautiful cake. I can imagine that ths#is must have taken a lot of patience and I also believe it was worth it. You are the cake queen!

  2. That looks crazy complicated - nice work! I was just in Budapest a few days ago I wish I'd found a vegan version of this.

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  4. please, what is egg replacer and earth balancer. In Italy what shall I ask for in the vegan grocery shop ?

  5. Thanks for the recipe. I tried this for my dad's 80th b-day and had mixed results. It ultimately turned out well, but a couple things I'd mention: Let the cake layers cool before you try to ice them and stack them. Mine tried running away from each other. You probably want to use a cake pan and somehow make very thin layers. I had two pans and after the first batch, the dough already became stiff and wouldn't pour well, which created issues in inconsistent layers. Also, don't heat the sugar/caramel by itself on high, it will have a burned taste. Other recipes mention using water over low heat gradually. Thanks though for the inspiration and basic recipe. My dad still loved it, and my family all enjoyed it.