Biskvit; Russian Cake Recipe
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This is a moist Russian sponge cake, commonly referred to as Biskvit. It’s my mother’s recipe and also my favorite cake!
After several requests for this recipe, I’m finally posting it. I had every intention to post it following Vadim’s B-day party but forgot to take a picture of the inside of the cake. I made this cake again for David’s B-day party and it was perfect!
Some Russian cakes are impossibly hard to make; This is NOT one of those! Hope you make it again and again.
Biskvit; Russian Cake Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour *measured correctly
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup red wine (I used St. Chapelle Soft Red)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Click Here for the Frosting Recipe.
How to Make the Russian Sponge Cake Biskvit:
1. Line 2 non-stick cake pans with wax paper. You can use either 2 (13×9) non-stick pans or 2 round cake pans.
2. Preheat the Oven to 350˚ F.
3. Separate egg whites from yolks.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together yolks, sugar and vanilla. Add flour until well blended.
5. In a large bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until they foam and are about 3-4 times in volume (about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes). Don’t beat too long or it will be too stiff and won’t blend well.
6. Use a spatula to gently fold the yolk mixture into the egg whites until well combined. Don’t mix too much or you will lose volume. The batter should have a fluffy texture.
7. Divide the batter evenly among the two, lined cake pans.
8. Bake 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden.
9. As soon as the cake is done, turn the cake out onto a clean surface and peel off the wax paper. This is much easier to do while the cake is still very warm
10. Use a knife to remove rough edges. Break them into small pieces. Place the pieces in the oven for a few more minutes until they are golden. When they cool, they will crumble easily. Reserve these crumbs for sprinkling the cake after it’s frosted.
11. Let cakes cool to room temperature.
12. Mix all of the syrup ingredients together until sugar dissolves.
13. Place the first cake (Up-side-down) on the dish you will be serving it on. Once you put the syrup on, it will be very difficult to move it.
14. Use a tablespoon to pour half the syrup evenly over the first cake.
15. Wait a few minutes for the cake to pull in the syrup.
16. Frost the top of the first cake layer. Click here for Russian Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe that I used.
17. Repeat steps 13 through 16 with the second layer.
18. Frost the top and sides of the cake.
19. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs all over the cake. It helps to hold a large knife next to the side of the cake as you sprinkle crumbs to keep more of them on the cake. TA DA!!
Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. It stays yummy in the fridge for days.
Notes: I made a rectangular cake for Vadim’s B-day and a round one for David’s, that’s why the step-by-step pictures have a rectangular cake.
Biskvit; Russian Cake Recipe with Russian Cream
This simple Russian cake is a biskvit sponge cake soaked with a wine syrup with layers of Russian buttercream frosting.
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 10 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup red wine, I used St. Chapelle Soft Red
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
How to Make the Russian Sponge Cake Beskvit:
Line 2 non-stick cake pans with wax paper and preheat the Oven to 350°F.
Separate egg whites from yolks than in a medium bowl, whisk together yolks, sugar and vanilla. Add flour until well blended.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until they foam and are about 3-4 times in volume (about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes). Don't beat too long or it will be too stiff and won't blend well.
Use a spatula to gently fold the yolk mixture into the egg whites until well combined. Don't mix too much or you will lose volume. The batter should have a fluffy texture.
Divide the batter evenly among the two, lined cake pans and bake 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden.
As soon as the cake is done, turn the cake out onto a clean surface and peel off the wax paper. This is much easier to do while the cake is still very warm. Let cakes cool to room temperature.
Use a knife to remove rough edges. Break them into small pieces. Place the pieces in the oven for a few more minutes until they are golden. When they cool, they will crumble easily. Reserve these crumbs for sprinkling the cake after it's frosted.
Mix all of the syrup ingredients together until sugar dissolves.
Place the first cake (Up-side-down) on the dish you will be serving it on. Once you put the syrup on, it will be very difficult to move it.
Use a tablespoon to pour half the syrup evenly over the first cake.
Wait a few minutes for the cake to pull in the syrup.
Frost the top of the first cake layer. Repeat the step with the second layer. Frost the top and sides of the cake.
Sprinkle the reserved crumbs all over the cake. It helps to hold a large knife next to the side of the cake as you sprinkle crumbs to keep more of them on the cake. TA DA!!
Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. It stays yummy in the fridge for days.
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
Hi, what is a Russians Frosting consist of ? It doesn’t have this in the ingredients!!
Hi Julie, I have the link in the recipe above but here is the frosting recipe.
Hello Natasha, thank you for the recipe! Do you think it would work with Nutella?
Hi Nelli! I haven’t tested that but I think it could work. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe
Do I use the same amount of cream for a 6 egg biskvit for this recipe? The cream sounds similar to spartak cream. And that cream is tastey.
Hi Olga, I would probably scale it down a little for a 6 egg biskvit, unless you love generous amounts of frosting 🙂
So if I use 6 eggs to make a round cake. I dont cut the layers in half to make it 4 layers? Do you use the same amount of wine for the 6 eggs?
Hi Olga, if it is baked in a single pan, it would be difficult to slice into 4. You might be able to get 3 layers but typically when I bake in a single pan, I just cut it in half. You can use the same amount of wine for the syrup or use less if you prefer it less moist. I probably wouldn’t do more though. 🙂
So if I use 2 round 9″ pans. I still follow the recipe with the 10 eggs? It won’t be a extremely tall cake? Or should I use bigger round pans?
Hi Olga, 10 eggs will overwhelm 2 9″ pans. For that size of pan, I always use 6 eggs and follow this recipe.
I’m confused – the link in this recipe goes to 9 inch pan
Hi June, you can use either two 9″ pans or 13×9 pans. The round pans will give you a taller cake. We have updated this sponge cake recipe in recent years. Check out our best sponge cake recipe here.
could I use Merlot red wine on this cake?
Hi Olga, it could work but you may have to dilute it a little more with water and sugar and maybe omit the lemon juice since merlot is more dy.
Hi Natasha! Love your blog, and the recipes are totally awesome! I made the strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting, and my mum loved it! I would like to make a coffee-flavoured version of the biskvit for my dad… is that possible? 😊 Thank you!
Have you Tried the Tiramisu cake recipe? It sounds like what you’re describing 🙂
Thank you your reply, Natasha! I was kind of hoping for something to be incorporated into the cake itself, like adding some instant coffee dissolved in water… do you think that will work? 🙂
Hi Alex, for this specific cake it would not work because adding liquid would deflate the cake. With this sponge cake, it is best to add the moisture and flavor after it is baked.
I see! That does make sense! Perhaps I’ll try your Tiramisu Cake, and see if my dad likes it 🙂 Thanks so much for your good advice 🙂
Natasha…Did you use cake flour?…Trying to make a Russian dinner…Making stuffed cabbage…Your favorite appetizer and what veggie with dinner?
Olynka, this recipe uses all-purpose flour. I always specify if the recipe calls for cake flour. For the apetizer you can’t go wrong with Kielbasa and Cucumber Crostini and for the veggies I have many good salads so its hard to choose. Check out our salad section here. I hope this helps ?.
WHAT CAN I SUBSTITUTE RED WINE WITH PLEASE AND THANKS
Any kind of juice or sugar water with a little lemon flavor or even soda like Sprite or 7-Up would work. A light colored juice would work best.
THIS BISKVIT IS THE BEST!!! I am a terrible baker but you make it so easy! I only made the biskvit because ill be using it for another purpose but they came out absolutely PERFECT! Thank you for sharing!!
I’m so glad you loved it! Thanks so much Sveta 🙂
Hey Natasha doea it matter the size of a cake pan?
Yes, a bigger pan will produce a skinnier cake. A smaller one will make the cake taller. What kind did you have in mind?
Do you think the cake would be yummy if I do less of the syrup and some cherry filings inside?
That does sound delicious! If you make it, I hope you snap a pic. I’d love to see this one with cherries 🙂 Mmmm…
Hi Natasha! This recipe looks exactly what I have been looking for! Question: I am helping out with making dessert for a party. Could this cake be made a few days in advance without losing its freshness? Does it become overly-moist if not eaten right away?
This sponge cake doesn’t become overly moist and will taste great even after a couple days of refrigeration. Enjoy! 🙂
Natashe, your blog is wonderful! Thank you so much for doing this.
I have a question about the syrop for the biskvit. How sweet is the wine that you are using? Is it safe to give this cake to children ( I’m concerned about the wine in the syrop)? I know 1/3 cup of wine diluted with water is not much, but I’m curious do you taste alcohol when you eat the cake? Is the syrop boiled?
It’s not much but you can absolutely use juice instead if you are concerned. The syrup isn’t normally boiled but you can boil it to get rid of some of the alcohol if you wish.
Hi Natasha 🙂 Want to try making this cake but I just have one round springform pan. Can I just bake it all in that one pan and then cut it horizontally to get two layers? And if yes, for how long should I bake it for then?
Yes that will work if your springform mold has tall walls. It will take about 30 min to bake.
Absolutely loved this cake! So easy to make and so moist and delicious!!!
Definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing 😀
You’re very welcome! I’m so happy you loved it.
btw, the print option is missing on this one ..
Just got it fixed, thank you for noticing.
Can I use red cooking wine? Thank you! love ur recipes!! 🙂
I wouldn’t use cooking wine. It has a higher acidity and just doesn’t taste good unless it’s cooked into foods.
By far my favorite cake I have made from your website!!! Just wondering…camera do you use? All your photos look so brilliant!
I now use a Canon 6D 🙂 Thank you!
I’ve put off writing this comment for quite some time hoping that I could fix the issue on my own, but alas, here I am. I cannot get this biskvit recipe to work! I know that the issues are on my end, since it has seemed to work for all of the commenters, but I just can’t figure it out. My biskvit always comes out extremely sticky and dense, not at all like the cakes that I’ve tried. I’ve tried keeping it on longer in the oven, but it doesn’t seem to help. I’m assuming that it is an issue with the eggs, perhaps I’m beating them too long or to little?
Any help you could give me would be great!
What kind of flower are you using – Canadian or American (Gold Medal)? I have another biskvit recipe in the works, hoping to post it soon. I also experimented with adding 1 tsp baking powder with better results.
Wow this was so so good!! For syrup I mixed apple and lemon juice, and for the cream I just added half a packet of apricot jello, and that gave it an awesome taste!!!
Ohh yum! That sounds great! Thanks for the ideas. There’s so much you could do with this cake!
Red wine syrup?! How interesting! Can’t wait to try this. Thanks!
Love this recipe and I highly recommend it to anyone reading this post, especially with the Russian cream cheese icing. So good!
Hi Natasha – thanks for posting. I made this cake (well, just the biskvit part) in the summer and it was delicious. Def brought back memories. I split it into two round pans and then frosted with sour cream/sugar mixture and strawberries. I’m planning to do this again today 🙂
Just wanted to say thanks for the great recipe. My Am husband and little kids gobbled it up. Irina
Irina – you’re welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it. The sourcream/sugar/strawberries sounds like a nice topping for this cake. Shanks for sharing!
why is the cake in the picture a marble looking cake?but doesnt sound like it uses cocoa or anything to give it that effect?
It’s the wine syrup that gives it the marble look. 🙂
This recipie is really nice and I would like to try the same but before that I would like to ask you that if I replace the red wine with rum is it ok? or do I need to increase the quantity of sugar if I use rum?
Thanks for entertaining my query! Do reply!
You can make it with rum just dilute with water and sugar also and you don’t need nearly as much rum because it’s way more potent. I can’t remember how much I used when I made it with rum but probably 1/4 cup or less.
Thanks for your kind reply! I should take the same quantity of rum and water or quantity of water needs to be a bit more. For instance if it take 1/2 cup rum I should couple it with 1cup water and same quantity (as mentioned in your recipe) of sugar?
I have more thing to ask is that you have not mentioned baking powder in the recipe. So if we don’t add baking power wont the cake become hard or would it be soft as expected?
There is no baking powder. It will be spongy and will rise well without it. I found my rum mix recipe 🙂 It’s 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 cup rum. That makes a pretty strong rum taste, so cut back the rum a bit if you want it lighter in flavor. I haven’t made it that way for awhile – I find rum too strong for my taste and like the lighter flavor of red wine. Enjoy!
I made the cake yesterday and it turned out gr8!! 😀 all at home loved it especially my dad!! The rum syrup turned out really tasty and nice.
Thanks for your wonderful recipe!
Love ur blog….
love, LOVE your blog!!
Thank you so much 🙂
oh im from washington! Well thanks girl!
Hey Natasha where did you buy the wine? I cant find it!?
I bought it at Winco in the wine section. It’s an Idaho wine, so I’m not sure which stores carry it out-of-state. You can use any wine that’s on the softer (sweeter) side, but not as sweet as communion wine or you’d have to use less sugar if that’s the only one you have. I don’t know if that helps. You know what I discovered makes a totally awesome syrup and is non-alcoholic, it’s the apricot syrup I used for my Kiev cake – Its also a biskvit cake with a layer of beze (crunchy meringue) in between.
Hi Natasha, I can’t seem to find the st. chapelle wine so if I use the cranberry grape juice do I need to add the other syrup ingredients to it or just use pure juice? by the way I love this site I refer to it quite often, thank you so much for starting it!!
I’d say pure juice with maybe a dash of lemon juice. BUT, before you do that, I would strongly recommend you try the apricot syrup on the kiev cake. Its a can of apricots. You use the juice to pour over the cakes and then puree the apricots and spread them on top of each cake before you put the frosting down. It is the best!! Syrup/ Puree Ingredients:
15 oz Can Apricot Halves in light syrup (I used DelMonte Brand)
1/4 cup water
1 tspn lemon juice
1 tbsp Sugar
Mix all of the syrup ingredients together until sugar dissolves. Puree Remaining Apricots in a Blender.
Do you think you can use this “cake mix” (before adding the syrup) and put it into cupcakes? Or would that not work. Or do you have any good homemade cupcake recipies? Thanks 🙂
I haven’t tried using it for cupcakes, but I imagine it could work. The only problem you may encounter is they might get really stuck to the cupcake liners. The best cupcakes I’ve ever tried are these apple banana muffins that I’ve posted. They are moist, delicious and pretty healthy too.
Natasha I have just made this cake because my boyfriends parents are russian and I wanted to take it to dinner. Anyway, the cake looks alot shorter then the one in your recipe. Did you forget the baking powder or soda or was the recipe you posted correct?
Hi Brenda. If you made the cake in 13×9 inch pans then it won’t be as tall. It rises higher if its in the round cake pans. There is no baking powder or soda in this recipe. If you did use round cake pans and it still didn’t rise as high, it may be because you beat the egg whites too long. If you beat them too long, they start to lose volume. I did that the first time I made this cake, but it still tasted good. Hope they like the cake. I’m about to post an easier frosting too. I will email it to you in case you are interested.
Is there something i could substitute for the red wine…i don’t know if i’ll be allowed to use that:D lol
Any juice should work. Maybe cranberry grape, or just cranberry. I haven’t tried it, but my cousin said she just uses juice. Let me know how it works out.
I’ve been getting several questions about frostings for this cake. If you have a favorite frosting that you like to make, by all means, use it! Any homemade frosting should work on this cake. I have a couple easier frostings up my sleeve that I will try to post soon.
Natasha, i just realized that the cake recipe calls for a cup of sugar but it doesnt say anything in the recipe about sugar.. do we mix together with flour, vanilla and egg yolks?
Hi Ilona, Yes, sorry I missed that!! Mix sugar with egg yolks and vanilla, then add flower. Thanks for letting me know, I’ve updated the recipe.
oh i totally missed the syrup recipe.. thanks for replying back. i will definitely try this cake
I moved some things around in the recipe so it reads better. I did have it a bit confusing earlier. Hope you enjoy the cake. Its my favorite!
Natasha, i am a little confused.. Step 14 says to pour half of the syrup of the first cake and then spread the frosting… There is the recipe for the frosting, but what kind of syrup is used for this cake? is there a recipe for that?
Hi Ilona, The syrup recipe is at the bottom, sorry I probably should have put it up higher with the other ingredients:
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup red wine (I used St. Chapelle Soft Red)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
The frosting recipe was an earlier post. Click here for the Russian Cream Cheese frosting recipe