Russian Korolevsky Cake (King's Cake)

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
Skill Level: Medium
Cost to Make: $10-$12
Servings: 10


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



  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.