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Catholic Recipe: Dobosh Torta (Easy)


  • 1 package (2 layers) sponge cake
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups (approximately) confectioners' (powdered) sugar
  • 2 square unsweetened chocolate melted
  • strong cold coffee
  • 1 package (6 ounces) butterscotch pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening (not butter or margarine)
  • Details

  • Yield: 4 layer sponge cake
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty:
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 11+
  • Origin: Hungary

Also Called: Four layer cake

In Vienna there is a magnificent cathedral that bears this saint's name.

The first and most famous king of Hungary, Stephen was crowned by command of Pope Sylvester II in the year 1001. He dedicated his kingdom to Our Lady and did all in his power to encourage his subjects' conversion to Christianity, founding churches and monasteries as fast as they could be built. He took particular interest in the poor. Indeed, once when he was distributing alms, the crowd of beggars around him grew so clamorous that they swept him right off his feet, and he fell to the ground. His courtiers were horrified, but not King Stephen. The next day he was out again, bestowing gifts on his beloved poor.

In Hungary, where Stephen is a patron saint, September 2 [now celebrated on August 16] was always a day of feasting and celebration. A special cake, called Dobosh Torta, was a required part of every celebration, usually accompanied by the clear white Tokay wine of the region. Dobosh Torta was many-layered, with rich mocha filling between the layers and a caramel glaze on top. The cake itself was a variety of sponge cake, containing no shortening. Here is an easy version that will save you hours of work.

St. Stephen's feast is now celebrated on August 16, instead of August 20 or September 2, and is an optional memorial on the General Roman Calendar.


Split each cake layer in half, crosswise, making 4 thin layers. Cream butter or margarine to consistency of mayonnaise. Add 1 cup sugar slowly while continuing to cream. Blend in melted chocolate. Add remaining sugar alternately with coffee until filling is easy to spread. Put cake layers together with this filling. Do not spread on top layer. Melt butterscotch pieces and shortening together over hot (not boiling) water. Pour over cake.

Recipe Source: Cook's Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965
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