Russian Korolevsky Cake (King’s Cake)

Korolevsky (Russian King's Cake) is delicious and looks royal! Layers are loaded with poppy seeds, chocolate and with walnuts. A must try!

My Aunt Anna made this King’s Cake last Thanksgiving. I took a photo of it and posted it, then got a wave of requests for the recipe. 1 year later (ok, that’s more than a little embarrassing), I am finally posting it!

I just found out this is a Russian cake recipe. Korolevsky means King’s, which makes this a royal cake. Russian and Ukrainian people are known for their fantastic cakes. I’m sure you will enjoy this one!

Each cake layer has 1 cup of sour cream so it turns out very soft and moist. If you make the full recipe with all three different layers, it is very time consuming – not difficult – just time consuming.

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According to the original recipe, each cake layer is mixed and baked separately (my wonderful husband so kindly washed my KitchenAid 4 times!!) This triple-layer-cake turned out huge and even a thin slice of cake was a lot!

Next time I make this, I will make double the cake portion at once, then divide the batter in half, put poppy seeds in one and walnuts in the other and bake them together in 2 separate cake pans.

This would make a double layer cake instead of a triple. You can also just make a full poppyseed cake or a full walnut cake and it will be just as good.

Ingredients For the Full 3-LAYER King’s Cake

6 extra large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
3 cups sour cream
3 cups flour *measured correctly
3 tsp baking soda
3 tsp vinegar
1 Tbsp cocoa powder (I used dutch cocoa powder)
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 cup walnuts, toasted & chopped

Ingredients For Frosting:

1 can sweetened condensed milk, cooked and at room temp (click here to see instructions)
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

Cake Prep Instructions:

1. Grease and generously flour a 9″ non-stick cake pan.
2. On a dry skillet, over medium-high heat, toast 1 cup of walnuts until lightly golden then chop into small pieces.
Russian Korolevsky Cake-2

How to Make Each Cake Layer:

Preheat the Oven to 380 ˚ F. Make 3 separate layers, each layer is made the same way (steps 1 through 3) with a different mix-in at the end (step 5). So you end up with 3 separate cake layers: 1 with poppy seeds, 1 with chocolate and 1 with walnuts:1.
In the bowl of an stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat together 2 eggs and 1 cup sugar until pale yellow (4 minutes on medium/high speed). Reduce the speed to low and add 1 cup flour. Mix until well-blended.
Russian Korolevsky Cake-4
2. Put 1 cup sour cream in a large measuring cup. In a small ramekin, combine 1 tsp baking soda with 1 tsp vinegar. It will fizz up, then stir it right away into the sour cream.
Russian Korolevsky Cake-10
3. The sour cream will start to visibly rise. Once you notice it rising, mix it into the cake batter using a spatula.
Russian Korolevsky Cake-5
4. In the first cake batter, mix in 1 Tbsp cocoa. Repeat steps 1-3 but In the second cake batter, mix in 2 Tbsp poppy seeds and in the third cake batter, mix in 1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts.
(with cocoa)
Russian Korolevsky Cake-6
(with poppy seeds:)
Russian Korolevsky Cake
(with walnuts:)
Russian Korolevsky Cake-8
5. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake at 380˚F for 20-22 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake layers cool to room temperature.6. Frost the top of each layer. (See Frosting Instructions below)
Russian Korolevsky Cake-3
7. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Russian Korolevsky Cake-11

Frosting Instructions:

1. Using a whisk attachment, beat together on high speed the cooked sweetened condensed milk (at room temp) and 2 sticks of butter for 3 to 4 minutes until fluffy.

Russian Korolevsky Cake-9

Frost once the cake is cooled to room temperature. If you refrigerate the frosting before using, it may become too stiff and you will need to let it stand 15 to 30 minutes until it’s spreadable.

Russian Korolevsky Cake (King's Cake)

4.71 from 17 votes
Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
Korolevsky (Russian King's Cake) is delicious and looks royal! Layers are loaded with poppy seeds, chocolate and with walnuts. A must try!
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Medium
Cost to Make: $10-$12
Servings: 10

Ingredients

Ingredients for the Full 3-LAYER Cake

  • 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

Ingredients For Frosting:

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk cooked and at room temperature
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

Instructions

Prep:

  1. Cake Prep Instructions:
  2. Grease and generously flour a 9" non-stick cake pan.
  3. On a dry skillet, over medium-high heat, toast 1 cup of walnuts until lightly golden then chop into small pieces.

How to Make Each Cake Layer: Preheat the Oven to 380 ˚ F (read note before starting)

  1. In the bowl of an stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat together 2 eggs and 1 cup sugar until pale yellow (4 minutes on medium/high speed). Reduce the speed to low and add 1 cup flour. Mix until well-blended.
  2. Put 1 cup sour cream in a large measuring cup. In a small ramekin, combine 1 tsp baking soda with 1 tsp vinegar. It will fizz up, then stir it right away into the sour cream.
  3. The sour cream will start to visibly rise. Once you notice it rising, mix it into the cake batter using a spatula.
  4. In the first cake batter, mix in 1 Tbsp cocoa. Repeat steps 1-3 but In the second cake batter, mix in 2 Tbsp poppy seeds and in the third cake batter, mix in 1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts.
  5. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake at 380˚F for 20-22 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake layers cool to room temperature.
  6. Frost the top of each layer (see frosting instructions below)
  7. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Frosting Instructions:

  1. Using a whisk attachment, beat together on high speed the cooked sweetened condensed milk and 2 sticks of butter for 3 to 4 minutes until fluffy. Frost once the cake is cooled to room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Make 3 separate layers, each layer is made the same way (steps 1 through 3) with a different mix-in at the end (step 5). So you end up with 3 separate cake layers: 1 with poppyseeds, 1 with chocolate and 1 with walnuts.

If you refrigerate the frosting before using, it may become too stiff and you will need to let it stand 15 to 30 minutes until it's spreadable.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Sofiya
    February 3, 2018

    Hi I’m making the cake now. Can I cut the layers and make it a 6 layer cake? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 3, 2018

      Hi Sofiya, that should work great to make it a 6-layer cake, but you will need more frosting 🙂 Reply

  • Nata
    December 5, 2017

    Natasha, can I make the cake layers all at once using my stand mixer if I just want to make them plain (or maybe just add nuts to all the layers)? Also, if i make it this way, wouldn’t 3 cups of sugar be too much? Is this a very sweet cake? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 5, 2017

      I’ve tried that before but it does’t rise well. Keep in mind its 1 cup of sugar for each layer. If you make two layers, just use 2 cups of sugar, I haven’t experimented with less. Reply

      • Nata
        December 5, 2017

        Good to know…glad I asked! Thank you:-) Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          December 5, 2017

          You’re welcome Nata! Reply

  • Patty
    October 10, 2017

    Hi Natasha,
    The recipe directs you to add “cooked” sweetened condensed milk. Can you please explain how to “cook” that item? Reply

  • Shayna
    August 20, 2017

    Hey Natasha, do you think there’s a sugar free version of this recipe? I would like to surprise my boyfriend with this cake but he and myself are both diabetics. Any tips on how I can modify the recipe ? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 20, 2017

      Hi Shayna, I haven’t tried any sugar free substitutes so I really can’t recommend anything. I don’t recall any of my readers trying my sponge cake as sugar free. The sugar helps the batter to form while whipping the eggs and sugar so I’m not sure a substitute would work. Sorry I can’t be more helpful! Reply

      • Ania
        September 27, 2017

        Hello,
        Why don’t you guys use Swerve or Erythritrl… you can find them on Amazon or in a fancy grocery stores… Even though my local Safeway is selling it now 😉 They work just like sugar and don’t have calories… they don’t even leave any nasty aftertaste like Stevia or other sweeteners… I have been making cakes with Swerve for a couple years and I have had lots of success… The only downside is that it is much more expensive than sugar. Erythrol is cheaper, though… I hope it helps… Check out the website https://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/ Lots of good recipe for diabetics… I believe she even has a no sugar recipe for carmel which is what dulce the leche is… Good luck! Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          September 28, 2017

          What a great suggestion! Thanks for sharing your helpful tip Ania! 🙂 Reply

  • Anna
    August 11, 2017

    Hello Natasha.
    I will celebrate my birthday on Sunday and I would like to bake this cake. It would be very helpful, if you could tell me with what I can replace the sour cream, because we don’t have in Germany : (
    And how much is one cup sour cream by weight?
    Best wishes from Germany Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 11, 2017

      Hi Anna, I haven’t tried anything besides sour cream but I imagine the next best thing would be Greek yogurt – plain. For the full 3-layer cake, 3 cups is 680 grams of sour cream. Reply

      • Anna
        August 12, 2017

        Thank you for the quick response.
        I thought maybe Russian smetana would be possible, too. But smetana has definitely more fat than Greek yogurt.
        What do you think? Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          August 12, 2017

          Hi Anna, I think that could work with Russian smetana. Let me know if you test it out 🙂 Reply

  • Natalia
    August 15, 2016

    Hello Natasha. Does it matter what brand of sour cream to use? Thank you! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 15, 2016

      Hi Natalia, it should be a thick sour cream. I always have great results with the Daisy brand, but most US brands would work 🙂 Reply

  • Mariam
    July 25, 2016

    Hi Natasha at the end did you put toasted walnuts or fresh ? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 25, 2016

      Hi Mariam, sorry I should have restated it in the instructions, it’s “1 cup walnuts, toasted & chopped” 🙂 Reply

  • Dariya
    July 15, 2016

    Hi Natasha! I have a question. My layers take a very long time to bake like about an hour. At first I thought I did something wrong but my second layer took just as long to bake as the first one. Do you have any idea why that might be? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 15, 2016

      Hi Dariya, are you using the same size baking pan? 9″? And are you baking all 3 layers separately? 1 hour is definitely unusual. Reply

      • Dariya
        July 16, 2016

        Yes I’m using a 9″ pan and I’m baking them separately! And I went over all the steps a couple times to see if I missed something but I’m doing everything right.. Maybe something is wrong with my oven 😳 Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          July 16, 2016

          It must be. This cake would be burnt in my oven for an hour at that temp. And you are baking in fahrenheit, not Celsius, correct? Reply

  • April 14, 2016

    I am always worried that my cake will turn out dry..and this one doesn’t have any syrup to saturate with prior to putting the creme. is there any syrup you’d recommend making? thank you! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 14, 2016

      I totally get where you are coming from. This cake does not require any syrup because it is naturally moist. It isn’t a sponge cake so a syrup is not ideal for this cake. Reply

  • March 28, 2016

    I want to frost the whole cake, what would you suggest adding to the frosting, to have enough? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 28, 2016

      Yes, you would want to increase the amount of frosting since this makes only enough to cover the layers. Reply

      • Natasha S.
        April 13, 2016

        Thanks. Also, about how long do you wait for the sour cream to rise before mixing it into the batter? Idk what I did wrong, my layers were heavy and not fluffy at all, I feel like they didn’t bake through completely although the crust was pretty dark. Temp was per recipe and I baked them to the max time you suggested. It’s either something I did wrong with the sour cream, or that my eggs were large not extra large. Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          April 13, 2016

          Hi Natasha, I would say it’s very likely that it’s due to the eggs being the wrong size. Since baking is so much a science, I tread carefully when substituting ingredients. Also, with the sour cream mixture, just as soon as you see it visibly rise, which happens quickly (like seconds), you stir the sour cream in. You don’t want to wait too long. I sure hope that helps for next time. Also, did you mix the batter for the layers separately? You don’t want to let this cake batter sit at room temperature for long or it won’t rise properly. Reply

          • Natasha S.
            April 13, 2016

            Maybe it’s a California thing, but I haven’t seen XL eggs here, or maybe I haven’t really looked for them. I tried splitting an egg between the 3 layers to compensate a little more for the large eggs, haha but I doubt it was enough.
            With sour cream, as soon as i mixed the baking soda fizz into it, I saw the sour cream fill in the lines from where the spoon was and the mixture became smooth, I took that as the sign that it rose. And I made 3 separate layers, mixed them separately and as soon as I finished mixing each I poured each into the pan and baked. They did not sit on the counter at all.

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            April 13, 2016

            I looked over my other cake recipes and I have made a similar cake with large eggs and the conversion was about 7 1/2 large eggs for 6 extra large eggs, so it really could have been the eggs that caused the problem.

  • Noella
    February 15, 2016

    This cake is sure from Russia))) We baked a cake 30 years ago. It was in the heart of Russia. Only the eggs in the recipe was 10, and the name of another ,funny Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 15, 2016

      Wow that’s awesome! I love it when recipes have strong history behind them 🙂 Reply

      • Noella
        February 15, 2016

        I`m from Ukraine .10 years I lived in Russia. I love to cook and good with dishes from different countries. So I collect recipes and prepare dishes of different peoples. I find it very interesting to cook new dishes. My first cake I had successfully prepared when I was 9 years old))) It was perfect ) Reply

  • Ira Tretnikova
    December 29, 2015

    Hi Natasha! Do I need to have three pans for this cake, or is it okay to use one pan and bake one at a time? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 30, 2015

      You can bake them one at a time 🙂 Reply

  • Daniel
    September 15, 2015

    One more thing… Do you think this cake was really from Russia or was it like the German chocolate cake that was actually made in the U.S??? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 15, 2015

      I haven’t heard anything about any other origin with this so I don’t think so. Reply

    • Roza
      March 30, 2016

      It is Russian cake, called “Hatasha”. Have this recipe for more then 35 years. Some people do raisins instead of chocolate layer. Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        March 30, 2016

        Mmm raisins sound nice! Thanks for sharing that with us! Reply

  • Natasha
    natashaskitchen
    September 15, 2015

    Make sure you omit the nuts from the cake layer also. You could top it with fruit such as raspberries or blackberries, or shave a bar of chocolate with a potato peeler and just put chocolate shavings over the top. Here’s a cake where I used 2 poppyseed layers if you wanted to make it with just 2 layers instead of 3: https://natashaskitchen.com/2015/05/22/poppy-seed-sour-cream-cake-with-custard-cream/ Reply

  • Samaneh shiravi
    August 5, 2015

    Hi natasha
    Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes. I had a problem with the texture of my cake it was kind of elastic.
    Could u help me to solve this problem?
    I really need this recipe to work for my husband’s birthday Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 5, 2015

      I’m happy to help you troubleshoot. Did you do anything differently than what was stated in the recipe? Did you add the sour cream mixture once you saw it visibly start to rise (without waiting too long)? Also, did you bake the layers right away or did they sit at room temp too long? Reply

      • Samaneh shiravi
        August 15, 2015

        Well i did substitute sour cream with yougert.unfortunatly there is no sour cream around here!!!
        How can i make it work without sourcream ? Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          August 15, 2015

          How did it work out when you substituted sour cream for yogurt? I haven’t tried that substitution so I’m not sure how it would affect the recipe. Reply

          • samaneh
            August 17, 2015

            it turned out quite good actually . my main concern is about the texture … should it be kind of elastic rather than spongy?

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            August 17, 2015

            It should be more spongy, not elastic. Did you mix in the sour cream/baking soda mixture in as soon as you saw it rise? Sometimes waiting too long and then waiting too long before putting it into the oven will cause it not to rise as well. Is there anything that you did differently?

  • Betty Patts
    July 14, 2015

    My grandparents were from Yugoslavia. As a young child, my grandmother spoke to me in Slovak. My mother watched and learned many of the ethnic recipes. My mother passed these recipes on to me and I in turn made sure my children had them. For Christmas we make the nut, apricot, and poppyseed rolls. I came across your aunt Anna’s walnut poppyseed cake today. I like the pleasant taste of poppyseed when baking. Would your recipe be altered if I added more poppyseed to it? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 14, 2015

      It would still be fine, but don’t add too much since the cake layer is pretty heavy as it is. I think you could safely double the poppyseeds. Reply

  • Katia
    June 6, 2015

    Natasha, what size cake pan should be used for korzhi? Cпасибо! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 6, 2015

      9″ cake pans 🙂 Sorry, I didn’t realize I missed that. Reply

  • Anya
    April 3, 2015

    I’ve made this cake before but I can never get the butter and condensed milk right… I’m always having it drip down the cake and the layers slide off can I add something to it to make it thick ? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 3, 2015

      Hi Anya, the longer you beat the two together, the thicker they become. You may not be beating them long enough. Also, are you using a COOKED condensed milk? Reply

  • Kalista
    March 14, 2015

    Hi Natasha
    I stumbled on your site last week & have been excited to try out your recipes. So I’ve decided to try out this cake as my son’s biryhday is coming up on Easter. I do have a question i.e. I’m coming from Asia and I’m not sure what size eggs you are using. You mentioned extra large but I wondered if you know the grams or weight. A Google search revealed that large eggs in the US is same as extra large in the UK… or is it vice versa? Hmmm. The large eggs here weigh 58-60g. I think extra large would be 65g. I’m rather confused and would appreciate any help or advise you have for me. Thank you so much! God bless. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 15, 2015

      I don’t really have a way to weight them right now since I only have large eggs in the fridge. I found a great guide that would be helpful, but to be honest, I don’t know if the standards in other countries are the same. http://www.thekitchn.com/medium-large-jumbo-how-egg-sizes-actually-measure-up-ingredient-intelligence-200891 Reply

      • Kalista
        March 16, 2015

        Thank you. Seems large and extra large are interchangeable unless if its in large quantities. Since its 2 eggs per layer, I could be on the safe side if I used 1 large egg weighing 58g & 1 extra large egg weighing 65g? I’ll do a trial & error at my end. Thanx for your help though. You have a great & blessed site. 🙂 Reply

  • Natasha
    January 17, 2015

    Natasha, thank you so much for sharing all great recipes… I made this cake for my son’s 6th B-day and it turned out very delicious. May God bless you and your family! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 17, 2015

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it! Birthday blessings to your son! 🙂 Reply

  • Irina
    January 6, 2015

    Natasha – have you tried making it with any other nuts? Or know of anyone using other nuts? My kids are allergic to walnuts. I remember my family making this cake when I was little and so I’m thinking of trying but wondering if macadamia or almond would work. Although maybe just making it poppy seed is good enough! Thanks Irina Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 7, 2015

      I haven’t tried with other nuts but I don’t see why not! :). You can even leave out the nut layer and double up on one of the other layers and it will still taste amazing. My son doesn’t eat walnuts either. 🙁 I know exactly where you’re coming from. Reply

  • Yelena
    June 7, 2014

    HI Natasha

    For the frosting..do u have an alternative cream that is not so rich in calories that will taste good with the cake? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 8, 2014

      You might try the cupcake frosting recipe. You do need a thicker frosting since the layers are a little heavy. Reply

  • Nell
    April 9, 2014

    If I make this cake Friday evening and assemble with frosting, will it be good to serve Saturday evening? Or do you recommend frosting it the day of?
    Thanks! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 9, 2014

      I always like to frost the day of, but this frosting is sturdy enough to stay good overnight. Let it sit at room temp at least 30 minutes to let the frosting soften before serving if you end up refrigerating it. 🙂 Reply

      • Nell
        April 16, 2014

        I made the cake and it turned out delicious. I frosted on fri night and served it Saturday evening. I needed about 1.5hrs for the frosting to come to room temperature. Thanks for the great recipe. I really like your Ukrainian homemade recipes! Keep them coming. Blessings to your family. Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          April 17, 2014

          Thank you Nell, many blessings to you and your family and Have a blessed Easter :). Reply

  • Olga
    February 28, 2014

    Hi
    thx a lot for such a great recipe. I have few hints to make it perfect .First of all I put pan with water under while baking so all sides were even no bumps on middle and when I was making frosting first I beat butter till it was nice and smooth and added spoon by spoon cooked condensed milk .Frosting turned out so perfect with any problems. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 28, 2014

      Thanks so much for sharing your tips! I’ll have to employ them next time I make this cake 🙂 Reply

  • Olga
    February 11, 2014

    Also, is it a 9″ pan right? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 11, 2014

      Yes 🙂 Reply

      • Oksana
        February 28, 2014

        Natasha, you mentioned in the write up that next time you would just make a double portion of this recipe. So you would be doubling up on all ingredients right? Then wouldn’t it make 2 big cakes instead of one huge one as you said it turned out?! Please advise. Thanks! Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          February 28, 2014

          I meant to make only 2 layers instead of three. So, 4 eggs, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups sour cream… etc. I would bake two cake layers at once so I end up with 1 cake that has 2 layers. 🙂 Hope that makes sense! Reply

          • Oksana
            March 1, 2014

            makes perfect sense now. thanks!

  • olga
    February 11, 2014

    Do the poppy seeds need to be grinded or the original as bought from store in bulk? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 11, 2014

      No need to grind or prepare them. It’s just 2 dry Tbsp. 🙂 Easy. 😉 Reply

  • olga
    February 11, 2014

    Would it be fine if I just used large eggs instead if extra large? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 11, 2014

      I think it would change the recipe proportions. You might use 7 large eggs instead of 6 extra large eggs. 🙂 Reply

  • olga
    February 5, 2014

    When assembling the cake, which layers do you perfer from bottom to top.. or does it not matter? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 5, 2014

      It doesn’t matter but its a nice contrast if you put chocolate in the middle :). Reply

  • Ally C.
    January 1, 2014

    I made this cake for New Year and it was so delicious! Loved the recipe! Thank you:] Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 1, 2014

      This is a great one for New Years! It has that New Years feel to it. I’m so glad you like it. 🙂 Yes!!! Reply

  • Inessa
    October 3, 2013

    The chocolate should go slightly over the edges! Sorry for my mistakes. Im typing from a phone;) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 3, 2013

      Story of my life. Lol Reply

  • Inessa
    October 3, 2013

    Hi natasha! Love your whole web site!recipes are awesome!:)) I make a cake just like this but never knew what its called lol I make mine a little different though… I add 2 tbsp of cacao and for cream I use 2 cans of cooked condensed milk, 1 butter at room temp. 1 8 oz cream cheese and 1 8oz whipped cream. I frost the whole cake on the outside too and then I cake a chocolate ganache glaze I heat up some heavy cream then pour on top of some dark chopped chocolate and 1 tbsp of butter then whisk till its thick and almost at room temp then right awat pour right in the center of the cake. Slowly. The edges should slightly go over the edges. Then decorate with red berries. I put just a pile in the center. It really goes well right the dark chocolate. It make for a WAW presentation!:))))) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 3, 2013

      Wow that sounds amazing! Do you have a photo of it posted somewhere that I could stare at? Sounds like a WAW presentation! 😉 Reply

  • robyn
    August 14, 2013

    I made this cake to bring to our friends who were doing a russian themed dinner yesterday. It was absolutely amazing and even my husband who normally only likes chocolate cakes said “please make this cake for me next time.” Everyone loved it and all had seconds which astounded me since it is a really large cake.

    Thank you so much for sharing. I will be trying many more of your cakes now as I just found your site and only subscribed the other day. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 15, 2013

      That’s quite a review! Thank you and Im so happy it was a success for you!! Reply

  • Mila
    July 5, 2013

    I have made this cake last week for my sisters birthday(twins) party.. everything turned out fine and the cake was super delicious! Everyone loved it..Except for one thing…My layers were not as perfect and even as yours.hehe.Thank u Natasha for all of your amazing recipes.

    I have one question tho…
    Can U plz post a tutorial on how to make even cake layers? Mine always turn out uneven…
    Thank you! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 5, 2013

      I think that would make a good video post 🙂 It helps if you keep the oven door closed until they are done baking and not open it mid-way. Reply

  • Irina
    May 23, 2013

    I just made this cake last night and there was definately something wrong with my cream. Like others posted, it was very watery and looked almost like it had tiny chunks/ grains in it. It is not a solid paste like yours is in the pictures. Could it be overmixing the cream that is causing it to turn into such a weird form? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 23, 2013

      Yes, if you overbeat, it can turn grainy. How long did you beat it? Also, was your butter soft and at room temperature? Reply

  • Marcella
    April 18, 2013

    I am going to make this cake for my foodie groups Russian night.
    I am going to mix all three layers at once then separate into 3 portions and add the mix ins. Baking at the same time due to time constraints. Made the caramel for frosting and it looks amazing in the mason jars. Doing 8 inch pans because i have 3 and only 2 of the 9 inch. Looking forward to it! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 18, 2013

      Let me know how it turns out! Oh and if you can post a picture of it somewhere (facebook, or instagram), please tag me in it @natashaskitchen ; I’d love to see your spin on this cake! 🙂 Reply

  • Sveta
    January 26, 2013

    Hey Natasha for the cream can I use the condensed milk with cream cheese? Or is butter better? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 26, 2013

      If you can make the cream thick enough, you can go ahead and do it. Let me know what you think of the results. The butter is very good however 🙂 Reply

  • Victoria
    December 17, 2012

    Natasha, do you think I can put dried cranberries in one of the layers? and also, what size of pan did you use? I have the 8″ and the cakes always turn out a little too tall I think…… Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 17, 2012

      I have a 9″ cake pan and it works well. An 8″ would still be ok but would turn out taller. Maybe you could do a 2-layer. I think cranberries would be nice 😉 Reply

  • Olga
    November 21, 2012

    This cake is the best cake ever.. Thank you so much Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 21, 2012

      You are very welcome Olga 🙂 Reply

  • Olga
    November 20, 2012

    Thank you very much. The cake looks good. We will try it Reply

  • Olga
    November 19, 2012

    Hey natasha I wanna try to make this cake for the thanksgiving . And I wanted to know if I do all my 3 layers separate I have to put 2 egg, 1 cup of sugar …………….. Is that right? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 19, 2012

      Yes, that’s correct, 2 eggs and 1 cup of sugar in each layer. Reply

  • vikulya
    October 21, 2012

    Natasha, you think PAM won’t do its job ad well as butter and flour to avoid stickyness?
    Thanks:) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 21, 2012

      I’ve never had to use that especially with parchment. I think butter and flour would work, but I think you’d love parchment paper 🙂 Reply

  • Inessa
    September 4, 2012

    Would you happen to have the recipe to the zebra cake? If so PLEASE post! Its a beautiful/very yummy cake! Thanks in advance 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 4, 2012

      I don’t currently have one, but I will add the cake to my list for desserts to make 🙂 Reply

  • Evelina
    August 29, 2012

    Hello I’m making this cake and want to do a chocolate глазурь. Do you have a good recipie? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 30, 2012

      I have one that I still need to test but it’s not posted yet; sorry 🙁 Reply

  • Alena
    August 23, 2012

    How long does it take for this cake to be moist? If I bake it on Friday and surve it Sunday do you think it will be ok? Thanks. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 23, 2012

      It should be good, I’d frost it Sunday for best results. Wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to use. Reply

      • Alena
        August 24, 2012

        Ok great I’ll grost it Sunday morning. Sorry one more question what if i made the batter for all 3 layers all together and than devide it in to 3 pans will that work or will it be to full to mix in the mixer. Thank you Natasha. Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          August 24, 2012

          If your mixing bowl is big enough, I think that’s a good idea to make it all together and then divide it up and bake all at the same time. The baking time might be a little longer if baking the 3 together, just do a toothpick check and make sure the toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake before removing from the oven. Washing the kitchenaid 4 times was a pain!! Let me know how you like it. Reply

  • Alla
    July 16, 2012

    I have to say that this cake is very good 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 16, 2012

      Thank you Alla 🙂 Reply

  • Viktoriya Prokopchuk
    May 3, 2012

    Hello Natasha, i tried making your karolevskiy cake yesterday. it was a win, WIN!!! So soft and yummy. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Fast & Easy. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 3, 2012

      Awesome! Which reminds me, I haven’t made this cake in awhile; I better get to it! Reply

  • Tamara
    April 25, 2012

    It tasted amazing. I have a picture! I accidentally put 2 pounds if butter in the icing instead of two sticks. How much is two sticks equal too hahah? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 25, 2012

      2 lbs!!! Whoa!! 🙂 2 sticks is 1/2 lb. What did you end up doing with the frosting? Reply

      • Tamara
        May 19, 2012

        We put it on the cake without realizing! Then one of my friend who obviously bakes more than I do kindly pointed out my mistake when I showed her the recipe. Oh well….. we don’t mind a little congestive heart failure….. just joking! I felt so stupid though! But I guess we all make mistakes while learning. Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          May 19, 2012

          You just made me laugh. Yes 2 pounds of butter may indeed give you CHF Reply

  • Tamara
    April 13, 2012

    I baked this cake this morning but with enriched white flour. No all purpose :(! But each layer turned out great. I’m cooking the condensed milk right now via crock pot. From what I have tasted so far the cocoa cake tastes great but I’m curious as to whether I should refrigerate them? or just leave them out on the counter because we are eating the cake tomorrow night. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 13, 2012

      I would probably refrigerate the layers for this cake. It’s good to know that a different flour works just as well! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Reply

  • Tamara
    April 12, 2012

    Does it matter what type of flour you use? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 12, 2012

      I used all purpose flour which worked great! Reply

  • Natalia K
    April 6, 2012

    I love this cake and wanted to make something new for Easter, so I’m going to give it a whirl this weekend. Thanks so much for the recipe–looks really easy and delicious. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 7, 2012

      I hope you love it! 🙂 Which layers are you making? Or are you braving all of them? Reply

  • Kristina
    March 22, 2012

    we make this cake too! but we actually cut the layers in half and get two cakes out of one. Also, if you take out the condesnsed milk, add some water to the left overs stuck on the sides and mix it all, then take that liquid and actually promachit each layer with it and it makes it so much more moist! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 22, 2012

      Oh thank you so much for the tip! That sounds wonderful! Reply

  • Nessa
    February 29, 2012

    Where did you get your cake pans? The cake looks amazing! I love that it has no dome once baked, any special tricks for that? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 29, 2012

      Bed bath and beyond for the springform and macys for the other cake pan by martha stewart. I really like the springform best 🙂 It’s useful for different kinds of cakes. Reply

      • Inessa
        September 4, 2012

        Thank you:) Reply

  • Marina
    February 19, 2012

    Hey!

    The cake looks good! my question is what size of pan do you use?

    Thanks! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 19, 2012

      It was a 9″ round cake pan or 9″ round springform pan Reply

  • Oksana
    February 11, 2012

    This cake is amazing! I made it for my mom’s birthday dinner and everyone loved it! I am making it this weekend for my dad’s and husband’s birthday dinner too. Thank you for all the great recipes! I am definitely a fan! I visit your website several times a week for ideas 🙂 Thanks so much for all the great recipes! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 11, 2012

      Thanks Oksana! Your words are motivation for me 🙂 Reply

  • Nastya
    February 2, 2012

    this probably doesn’t matter, since it was written like two years ago. but in the directions, instead of just saying add flour, say add one cup flour. i figured it out but there are people who might not. anyway, looks like a great recipe and i can’t wait to try it Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 2, 2012

      Done! Thank you Nastya; you are absolutely right! I hope no one added all 3 cups at once! :-O Reply

  • alina S
    November 18, 2011

    so i made tthis cake twixw already but my cream seems to runny not that fluffy.. i wonder why.. any ideas? by the next day you can barley see it. it soaks in very good but there is barley any left.. i have a picture of if cut on my facebook in my mobile folder you can see it if you want.. (Alina svityashchuk) Reply

    • Natasha
      November 18, 2011

      Hi Alina! Thanks for writing. I haven’t had the problem of it soaking into the cake. Are you waiting till the cake cools to frost it? Did you cook the condensed milk and beat the cream long enough? Does your frosting look the same as the pictures I have posted? (I wasn’t able to access your mobile uploads folder on your facebook page, but I enjoyed flipping through your lovely pictures 🙂 – if you could email the picture to me I’d be happy to check it out: natashaskitchen@yahoo.comReply

  • alina S
    November 1, 2011

    i was wondering you dont cream the whole cake all around? what if i was to do that would i just make double portion of the cream? Reply

    • Natasha
      November 2, 2011

      The cream is really rich and having too much of it might not taste as good. Reply

  • October 27, 2011

    Hi Natasha!

    I just came across your blog while searching for Karalevsky cake recipes. My mom used to make them for New Year’s Eve when I was a child growing up in Armenia. I haven’t had it since we moved to the States 25 years ago (I now live in Rome, Italy)! But I am so glad to have found it on your blog, thank you! I will try it out soon. My mom is going to be so happy that I found the recipe once again!

    Good luck and happy cooking! 🙂

    P.S. I am a Wedding Photographer and Wedding Planner here in Italy, so if any of your friends or readers, or yourself, are planning to visit Italy and would like to have Family portraits, Honeymoon or Engagement Photography, or are planning to get married here, and need help with the planning, let me know! Also, If you need any Italian recipes feel free to write me.

    Greetings from Italy,

    Anna Reply

  • Natasha
    October 19, 2011

    I made this for my daughters birthday/my husband and mine 10th wedding anniversery… and it was a hit! Made the hole cake and seperated it into four parts (for one of the layers I added raisins). We are not fans of butter cream so I used sour cream in place of butter. It turned out very tasty….awsome recipe! Thank you for posting it Natasha! Reply

  • Natasha
    July 27, 2011

    Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Check out the shop tab on the top Reply

  • Lena
    July 27, 2011

    Made this for my daughters first birthday, very easy to make, lots of people liked it, and kids were running around this cake wanting to try it, better then the decorated from the store, cause it was huge. Thank you Reply

  • jessica
    July 9, 2011

    The frosting didn’t turn out. It wasn’t fluffy but i followed everything: 2 sticks of butter and 1 can of cooked condensed milk. Do you know any advise to give me for the next time i try? Reply

    • Natasha
      July 9, 2011

      Hi Jessica, the only thing I can think of is if the condensed milk wasn’t cooled to room temp completely. It should not be warm or it starts to melt the butter. Also, try beating it just a little longer. If you are using a hand mixer, it might take longer than a kitchenaid mixer. Hope that helps. Reply

  • jessica
    May 6, 2011

    would it taste weird if i don’t put walnuts, poppy seed, or cocoa powder in the layers? those are just optional right? Reply

    • Natasha
      May 6, 2011

      I don’t think it would taste weird – those are all just add-ins. They make the cake alot tastier, but you can also do the whole cake poppy seed or all walnut or all chocolate. Whatever you like! 🙂 Reply

  • Warthog0
    March 9, 2011

    Natashia
    So… is it a Ukrainian or Russian cake/recepie? Reply

  • Warthog0
    March 6, 2011

    I’m not a linguist but I think that Korolevsky is the Ukrainian as opposed to Karalevsky the Russian. Ditto on an earlier recipe for Goloobtsy, Russian as opposed to Holubtsy, Ukrainian. The ending for either is I think possessive thereby making the name “the kings cake” or kingly or royal. Nevertheless I believe that the actual name for the Russian equivalent of king is Tsar, which is from the same root as shah. Reply

    • Natasha
      March 6, 2011

      I appreciate yoru input. We name the recipes based on how people search for them. The equivalent is Tsar but korolevsky means the same thing and it’s just called korolevsky cake Reply

  • Natalie
    January 26, 2011

    For the frosting, do you use salted butter or unsalted butter or does it matter? Thanks! Reply

    • Natasha
      January 27, 2011

      Unsalted butter. I always use unsalted unless I write otherwise. I’ll change the recipe to specify. Thanks! Reply

  • Brigitte
    January 16, 2011

    This may seem like a dumb question, but is this King’s Cake thought of and baked with the same intent as the King’s Cake used to celebrate Mardi Gras? I am looking to serve this cake as part of a cultural presentation in graduate school and would like to get as much background on the cake as possible. Any information would be wonderful, Thank you. Reply

    • Natasha
      January 16, 2011

      All I know is that it’s a Russian cake, so I don’t think it has anything to do with Mardi Gras. There were a couple of explanations for the cake from two of the comments above but I think they were just very good guesses. I’m not sure of the full story behind this cake. It was one of my readers that told me it’s called King’s cake. When my aunt told me the recipe, she didn’t have a name for it. Sorry, that wasn’t much help. Reply

    • Brigitte
      January 16, 2011

      Thank you for the help. The cake I was referring to isn’t just a Mardi Gras cake, but is served during Mardi Gras and has its roots in old world Europe. Early history has it as a cake that a small coin, bean or trinket was placed in, and then served to the people the one who received the trinket was then treated like a king for a year, but the next year would become a human sacrifice. Over the year this tradition is no longer a human sacrifice of course, but receiving what is usually now a small baby figure as the trinket is considered good luck. Reply

  • Natasha Cali
    December 30, 2010

    Wow, so glad I found your blog. I can tell you put your heart into your cooking and into making this blog, it looks amazing.
    I started cooking a year ago and since all my family including my mom (the best cook ever) live in Kiev while I’m in Cali, the recipes and hints I found in your blog are priceless to me 🙂

    I am planning to make this cake tonight for tomorrow’s New Year party. I’m sure it will come out great.
    By the way I am famous for my Napoleon cake, so if you would like a recipe, let me know.

    Happy New Year to you and your family. Keep up the good work Reply

  • Lydia Cottrell
    December 30, 2010

    thanks for the King’s cake recipe. I will be making this in honor of the King for January 6th! Reply

    • Natasha
      December 30, 2010

      I hope you enjoy it! I love giving meaning to food. Someone else wrote in that it could be the 3 kings cake for Christmas. Making it in honor of the King of Kings is awesome too! Reply

  • IRINA
    December 24, 2010

    I made the cake for a party and it turned out to be a great success! 🙂 Everybody loved it! Thanks for an awesome recipe! Reply

    • Natasha
      December 24, 2010

      You are very welcome 🙂 Thank you for letting me know. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Reply

  • IRINA
    December 17, 2010

    Hi, this cake looks sooo delicious! I just had a question, do you put anything on each layer of the cake before the frosting, like some juice or syrup so its nice and moist? Or does the frosting makes it moist enough?? Reply

    • Natasha
      December 17, 2010

      I don’t put any kind of syrup on the cakes. There is so much sour cream in the cakes that it isn’t dry at all. Reply

  • Gulima
    December 15, 2010

    Natasha, I enjoy reading your posts. Question for you: what model KitchenAid do you use? My husband wants to buy me one for Christmas, but he said there are so many models to choose from. What would you recommend? Thanks in advance! Reply

    • Natasha
      December 15, 2010

      I have the 6 quart kitchenAid Professional 600. I like it very much. There is a 5 quart one at Costco right now, which sould be sufficient if you aren’t baking all the time, or if you have a smaller family. Reply

  • December 13, 2010

    This cake looks amazing! I love cake! I want to see the inside of this when you cut it. Reply

    • Natasha
      December 13, 2010

      I forgot to take a picture, but It looks just as good in the inside with the different layers. Reply

  • Ilona
    December 11, 2010

    WOW.. this really does look good… Thanks much for the recipe?
    I notice that you dont line the pan with paper, instead its greased, what is it greased with? butter? did you have trouble trying to get the cake our of the pan? i am worried that it will be stuck or something.. Reply

    • Natasha
      December 11, 2010

      I used oil. Butter is probably just as good. Just make sure to use ample flour to dust it. I used a spatula to get under it and make sure it didn’t stick. Reply

  • Lina
    December 9, 2010

    This cake is called “karalevskiy” which means kings in Russian, so it a royal cake;) My aunt makes it all the time and I love it!!!! Reply

  • Tina
    December 9, 2010

    Thanks Natasha!!!!!! Reply

  • Joe in N Calif
    December 9, 2010

    Nice knife! And the cake sounds great. Has my mind spinning with variations.

    Do you really mean 380 for the baking temperature? Reply

    • Natasha
      December 9, 2010

      Yes, 380 is correct. Reply

      • Joe in N Calif
        December 10, 2010

        REally?! I don;t think I have ever seen that as a baking temperature before. 350, 375, 400. But not 380. Live and learn.

        Lena wrote: his cake is called “karalevskiy” which means kings in Russian, so it a royal cake;)

        Ah! So hence the three layers! My guess would be the chocolate layer is the myrrh, the walnut layer the frankincese, and the poppyseed the gold. Reply

        • Natasha
          December 10, 2010

          I changed the title to include the Korolevsky name. I was so excited to learn that. The layers explanation you just posted makes this the ideal Christmas cake!! Thanks Joe! I was also surprised by the odd baking temp when my aunt gave me the recipe, but it works! 🙂 Reply

          • Joe in N Calif
            December 10, 2010

            That is just my wild a** guess, Natasha. If nothing else, it makes a good story. (note – Scripture doesn’t mention how many magi there were, we just infer 3 from the gifts mentioned and assume that each was given by one person. ) But the chopped walnuts look like raw frankincense tears, the chocolate looks like oil of myrrh, and you can imagine the poppyseeds as gold dust, especially if you were to use white ones.

  • December 8, 2010

    A masterpiece! Is it usually made with three different mix-ins in each layer? Man, that frosting is what gets me the most! So simple, and I can imagine how good it tastes. You might want to note that the can needs to be covered by water at all times during the boiling or it will explode. Reply

    • Natasha
      December 8, 2010

      Oooh, good point, I will write that in about the water. Yes, each layer has a different mix in. It’s a wonderful cake and the frosting is GOOD 🙂 Reply

  • Lesia
    December 8, 2010

    Thank you Natasha! I’ve been checking your website daily, hourly…lol for new recipes. I’m going to make this for Christmas this year…thank you, thank you….waiting with baited breath for more! Reply

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