This original recipe for Cake Prague is as decadent as it is beautiful to look at. Your new favorite chocolate cake recipe!
As a self-proclaimed chocolate lover, Cake Prague is near and dear to my heart. When I say it’s chocolate overload, I mean it. The chocolate sponge cake, chocolate cream, and chocolate ganache will quench your sweet tooth for the entire next year. It’s that good!
Cake Prague represents everything that’s great about Soviet baking. It’s ultra-sweet, soaked in sweetened condensed milk, and worthy of bring in the window of the fanciest bakery.
Although the recipe card looks quite long, Cake Prague doesn’t require super technical baking skills to make. There’s a lot of layers and steps, but the prep time is totally worth the luscious result!
What is Cake Prague?
Cake Prague has deep-seated roots in Russian culture. It was dreamt up by legendary pastry chef Vladimir Guralnik, who created over 30 unique Soviet cake recipes including the popular Bird’s Milk Cake. Below, find a rundown of the flavor, texture, and cooking time.
- Flavor: This cake is packed with chocolatey goodness from top to bottom. If you’re a chocolate addict, you’re in the right place.
- Texture: The texture of this cake can only be described as moist and creamy. Your fork will practically “fall” through it.
- Time: From start to finish, this cake takes only a little over an hour to make and is best served after setting in the refrigerator overnight.
How to Make Cake Prague
- Prepare the Chocolate Spongecake: Prepare the chocolate spongecake according to the recipe card. Preheat the oven to 300°F oven. Pour the batter into an oiled cake pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.
- Slice & Soak the Cake Layers: Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the spongecake into four layers. Soak each layer with a generous drizzle of the soaking cream.
- Prepare the Chocolate Cream: Beat the egg yolks, water, and condensed milk until smooth. Place into saucepan, stirring constantly and gradually increasing the heat until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Mix until combined and allow to cool at room temperature. In a stand mixer, add the butter. Slowly beat in the chocolate cream until fluffy.
- Assemble the Cake: Place one of the four cake layers on a plate or cake stand. Frost the top and add on another layer, alternating these steps until you run out of cake layers. Frost the top of the cake with a cake spatula until smooth. Serve as-is or decorate with ganache and shaved chocolate.
- Allow Cake to Set Overnight: Place cake in an airtight cake container and allow it to set in the refrigerator overnight. Serve cold and enjoy!
Tips for Making the Best Cake Prague
- Avoid opening the oven. While the spongecake is cooking, avoid opening the oven to check its doneness for at least the first 30 minutes. This could cause the cake to collapse in the middle!
- Beat the egg whites until stiff and foamy. The spongecake batter depends on ultra-foamy egg whites to make it fluffy. The foam should be so stiff that you could turn the bowl over without it falling out.
- Don’t over mix the spongecake batter. When you’re folding the foamy egg whites into the batter, be careful not to over mix. This will make your spongecake dense instead of light and fluffy.
- Allow the cake to set overnight. Allowing the cake to set overnight will develop its rich flavors and make it sturdier.
Storing Cake Prague
- Refrigerator: Store leftover Cake Prague in an airtight container (preferably an airtight cake container) in the refrigerator. It should keep for up to a week.
- Freezer: Freeze a fully decorated Cake Prague by placing it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pop the cake uncovered into the freezer and allow it to completely freezer for at least four hours. Once it’s frozen solid, wrap it tightly in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil.
Thawing Tip: To thaw frozen Cake Prague, place it in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Slice and enjoy cold!
What kind of flour should I use for Cake Prague?
You should use all-purpose flour. There is no need to use pastry or cake flour.
How long should I allow the cake layers to sit in the soaking cream?
You should allow the cake layers to sit in the soaking cream for at least a couple minutes. By the time you’re done making the chocolate cream, it will have had enough time to settle and moisten the spongecake.
Can I use any oil besides vegetable oil?
You can canola oil if you don’t have vegetable oil. Stay away from strongly flavored oils like avocado or olive oil. They will overpower the delicate flavor of the spongecake.
Do I have to let the cake set overnight?
You should let the cake set overnight for optimal flavor and texture. It’s worth the wait!
What kind of chocolate chips should I use?
Semi-sweet chocolate chips work best. However, if you like it extra sweet you could use milk chocolate chips.
Other Tasty Cake Recipes to Try
- Zebra Cake – Kid-friendly marble cake
- Ferrero Rocher Cake Recipe – Hazelnut + chocolate cake
- Kiev Cake – Hazelnut + jam cake
- Drunken Cherry Cake – Rich liqueur cake
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1 1/3 tbsp instant coffee
- 8 egg whites
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 400 g Unsalted Butter room temperature
- 8 tbsp condensed milk
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 oz chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Chocolate Sponge Cake
- Whisk together the cocoa, instant coffee, and warm water until fully dissolved and smooth.
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Set egg whites aside in a small bowl. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together until smooth. Add vegetable oil to the mix and whisk.
- Slowly, stir in the cocoa and coffee mixture.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In thirds, mix the flour into the wet ingredients until well-combined.
- Add salt to the bowl of egg whites. Beat until the whites turn into a thick, sturdy foam. (Note: The foam should be so thick that if you were to flip the bowl upside-down they wouldn't fall out.)
- Slowly and in small portions, fold the foam egg whites into the batter until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
- Pour the batter into a cake pan and bake in a preheated 300°F oven for about 50 minutes. Check the doneness of the sponge cake by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
- Remove the cake from the oven. Let the cake cool to room temperature. Carefully slice it into four layers. In a small bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and heavy whipping cream to make the cake soak. Transfer the mixture into a squirt bottle or gently spoon it over the cake layers.
- Beat the egg yolks. Add water and condensed milk. Stir until smooth.
- Place the mixture in a saucepan over very low heat, stirring the cream mixture constantly to prevent sticking. Gradually, turn up the heat in intervals without bringing the mixture to a boil. Keep on stirring and slightly turning up the heat until the mixture has a thick texture similar to canned condensed milk.
- Remove the mixture from heat. While it's still hot, pour in the chocolate chips. Give the chocolate chips a few minutes to melt. Mix until well combined. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Place room temperature butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Set the speed to medium and spoon small portions of the chocolate cream in until fully combined.
Assembling the Cake
- Place one of the cake layers onto a cake stand or plate. Top it with a layer of the chocolate cream. Stack and repeat with the remaining layers. Using a cake spatula or butter knife, smoothen the top layer of frosting. Serve as-is or move on to the next step to decorate with ganache.
- Optional Ganache Topping: Bring whipping cream to a boil and add chocolate chips to it. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Allow it to cool to room temperature. Drizzle the cake with the cooled ganache, allowing it to drip off the sides. Sprinkle grated chocolate around the inner rim of the cake top.
- Allow cake to set in the refrigerator overnight. Serve cold and enjoy!
I am planning to make this cake but I was wondering how tall does it come to?
Hi Riley, thank you for reaching out. The cake turns out to be anywhere from 4-6 inches depending on the size of the cake pan you use.
What is the best way to cut the one 8 or 9" cake into four pieces? Do obviously have to cut it before the soaking liquid goes on. I am worried it won't be even or will fall apart.
Hi Michele, I cut it with a long knife to ensure even layers. You can also cut in half and then cut those two pieces in half again for even pieces. Thank you for reaching out. Wishing you the best of luck!
Hello! I see that it says to eat this cake chilled, would it be ok at room temp?
Thank you 🙂
Hi Evelina- yes, it would be good room temperature. The reason we recommend eating it chilled is because after assembling it, it's best to refrigerate for the flavors to meld and yield the tastiest result. That being said, it's fine to enjoy at room temperature too! 🙂
Hi! The cake looks amazing and I can't wait to try it out. WHat size cake pans do you use?
Hi Ivy - Thanks for the note! You can use any round pan from 7-9-inch. It depends on how tall or short you'd like the cake to be. Just remember, the smaller the pan the more you might need to increase the bake time. I believe when we made this recipe I used an 8-inch round pan. Hope this helps!
How do you prepare the baking pans?
Grease and flour? Line with parchment paper?
There's no need to prepare the pans at all. Simply pour the batter in and bake, Mindy. Hope this helps!
The more chocolate, the better!! It is a major hit with my family & will be a great chocolate option for the holidays!
Agreed, never enough chocolate 🙂
This cake is seriously amazing! Can't wait to make it again!
Glad you enjoyed it, thank you for your feedback!
I made this cake for a special celebration and it was a huge hit! It's rich and decadent. Everyone asked for seconds!
Anna, I am so glad everyone loved it, it really is super rich and amazing! Thank you for taking the time to comment 🙂
What if you don’t leave in fridge over night? Just few hours?
Hi Esther – That’s totally fine! I like to leave it overnight so it really has time to develop it’s flavors and texture. However, a 2-hour chill will work just fine if you don’t have the time. I hope you enjoy each slice!
Super excited to make this cake!
Can I mix in the flour instead of stiring/folding into the batter?
Thanks in advance!
Hey Val, it's better to stir it in lightly. It can lose fluffiness if you use a mixer.
hi - cake looks perfect for my daughter's birthday. I am wondering if it is just all purpose flour or would you recommend cake and pastry flour?
Hey Martha, we always use all purpose flour. It works really well in this recipe.
Hi, this cake looks delicious! Is the cream good for piping? I’m thinking about making cupcakes using your chocolate recipe and cream for the frosting.
Hey Petra, yes the cream will work for piping. Sounds delicious!
Hey,on step 8 what is this sweetened whipping cream?
I added a few table spoons of condensed milk to whipping cream and soak the cake layers. This is optional but it does make the cake moist.
Hello! I would like to make this cake right now, but I can not go out at the moment for obvious reasons. I have everything to make it besides whipping cream, is it possible I could use whole milk instead?
Hey Diana, whole milk wouldn't be a good replacement for the whipping cream. Hope you can get your hands on whipping cream. Enjoy!
Planning on making this cake for mothers day, just wondering how long to soak the cakes for before assembling?
Just leave it for a few minutes to soak up. Doesn't need to be a very long time, just until liquids absorb.
I cannot find the directions or ingredients for the sweetened whipping cream to soak the cake...please help
Just use a combination of whipping cream and condensed milk, about 1 cup of it and pour over cake layers.
My cake turned out great, so happy..finally its a cake that is moist not crumbling...thank you.
I even froze left over and defrosted weeks later and tasted just like on day I made it.
Emma, I am so happy this cake turned out for you! Thank you for sharing your feedback.
I dont have vegetable oil at home what can i use instead? Just any other oil or melted butter?
Thank you in advance
Any other oil but be sure that its not going to add flavor to it. Like strong avocado oil wouldnt be a good idea.
Can I use two 9inch pans if so does the baking time change?
Yes you can. The time would be shorter but it also depends on your oven. I would say use a toothpick to check readiness after 30 minutes.
I did use 9” pans
Much easier to cut in half and not 4 !
Baked 45 min for two side by side
Also the ganache was very runny had to add double amount of chocolate chips !
I used vanilla sugar for the whip cream for soaking the layers !
Thanks for the recipe !
Maggie, thank you for your feedback. You can let the ganache sit and it will harden a bit but it's supposed to be runny in this recipe. Enjoy
Awesome thank you. condensed milk cooked or non cooked?
Non cooked condensed milk.
Could you please explain the soaking step, I wanna try out thos cake this week but cant seem to understand the soaking part
Typically I combine whipping cream with condensed milk, just enough to make it a little sweet. I drizzle is over baked cake. The cake itself can come out dry so this step makes it more juicy and moist. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.
How do you sweeten the whipping cream that you use to soak the sponge cakes? I tried googling it, but everything else talks about sweetened whipped cream - not in liquid form.
Sorry, should have been more clear. I usually add sugar or condensed milk to sweeten whipping cream.
Does the cake have to sit overnight? I ask because it says Ready in 8hrs and 10min.
The results are always better if the sponge cake part does sit overnight.
Hi! What do you think of adding cool whip to the cream? I'm not too big on buttercreams :/ do you think it would mess up the texture?
I don't think it will mess up the texture but it will be completely different cream. If you know of a basic cool whip cream you use, you can always do that.
Do you use semi sweet or bitter chocolate chips for the cream ?
Semi sweet worked the best for me. I like the flavor.
Hi when you say to soak cake in whipping cream, how much cream did you use to soak the cake?
Typically I use right around one cup.
This cake is soooo cost and fluffy and just too delicious!!!!
Thank you Julie! This is always been one of my favorite chocolate cakes 🙂
This cake is amazing!!! Sponge is so fluffy and soft!! Thank. You so much !!!!!!!
Hey Julie! Yeah I agree, this cake is so light. Thanks for feedback 😉
Oh my goodness! This cake has been on my list for a while and now that I've found an occasion to make it for, you go ahead and do this to me LOL ... I've been on a kick of "good old Soviet" cakes.... Now you have me debating between the recipe I have (the original) and yours... I MIGHT JUST HAVE TO MAKE BOTH!!! Can't wait to try it!
How different is our original one? You got me wondering 😉
the condensed milk, is it sweetened condensed milk, im going to be making this this weekend for Mothers Day 🙂
Yes it is sweetened condensed milk.
Wonderful cake.. im gona make it for my baby birthday.! I feel the butter is so much.. can I reduce it to 300g..? Does it alter anything with the taste..?
The consistency of the cream will change. You can try it and if you don't like the consistency you can add the rest of the butter.
Very interesting blog. A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that attract others, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know.