Cake “Black Prince”
I am not sure why this cake is called “Black Prince”, but I do know that this same recipe has at least 5 other names that I have heard it go by. I’ve found that almost everybody who lived in Russia has some variation of this cake recipe and that is not to say that Americans don’t. You can find similar recipes, with the only difference being that sour cream is sometimes replaced by yogurt, sometimes buttermilk, others decide to substitute it with vegetable oil. And no wonder it is such a popular cake worldwide it seems – it definitely is one of the best tasting cakes. Dense, moist with a certain creaminess from the condensed milk frosting, or as I call it – Russian buttercream.
The versatility of the cake layers is also another reason why this cake is popular among the Russian community. Each layer can be different, depending on what you want to add to it. You can make your cake all chocolate, or all poppy seed, or all raisins, or all white vanilla cake, or alternate the flavors of the cake layers to your liking.
Those that have attended my baking class will recognize this cake, as this is the same cake I demonstrated making and decorating. I have edited the recipe a little after the class, to clarify some things that were mentioned in class, but were not in the recipe.
When giving somebody a recipe, I always say that if you’ve never baked a thing in your life you can still make this cake, it is that easy and straightforward.
The original recipe does not call for additional frosting for decorating, but I always find that given frosting is only enough to layer the cake and make it delicious. I always add 2 cups of whip cream (whipped to stiff peaks) to decorate the outside of the cake.
The cake shown above is a 6 inch cake, made with half the ingredients listed below and I have decided to use only chocolate & poppy seed for my cake.
Cake “Black Prince”
- 2 cups sour cream
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup poppy seeds
- ¾ cup raisins
- ¾ cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans work best)
- 2 tblsp. cocoa powder
- 4 tsp. baking soda
- 4 tblsp. Vinegar
- 500 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cans sweetened condensed milk (as is, or cooked**)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream (at least 36% fat content)
- 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Turn the oven to 350F.Apply some butter to the inside of the baking pan and dust with flour. Shake out the excess. Alternatively you can spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Mix 1 egg with ½ cup of sugar, add ½ cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar, ½ cup flour and ¾ cups poppy seeds. Mix everything thoroughly until smooth and creamy, then pour out into the baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes.
- Second layer - Follow the instructions above (step 3), but replace poppy seeds with ¾ cup raisins.
- Third layer - Follow the instructions in step 3, but replace poppy seeds with ¾ cups nuts.
- Fourth layer - Follow the instructions in step 3, but replace poppy seeds with 2 tablespoons cocoa powder.
- Invert the cakes onto a wire rack and let cool
- Split the cake layers into two thinner layers *optional.
To make the frosting:
- In a bowl of mixer, with the whip attachment, whip the butter until whiter in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- With the mixer still running, slowly pour the condensed milk, against the inside wall of the mixer bowl, until fully incorporated and fluffy. As soon as the condensed milk is added, with some streaks of the condensed milk still showing, turn the mixer off and fold the frosting until fully combined.
- **To cook sweetened condensed milk, take the paper label off, place it in a deep pot, cover with water so that the water covers the cans at least 2 inches. Cover with lid and bring the water to boil. Cook on medium heat for 1.5 hours. Do not let the water evaporate and add hot water as necessary. Take off the heat and cover with cold water until the cans are cool.
- To assemble:
- Layer the cake with frosting.
- Whip the cream with a mixer (whip attachment), gradually increasing the speed as the cream thickens. When the cream is somewhat fluffy, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating until the whisk creates visible ripples and is very thick.
- Cover the cake in this frosting and decorate to your liking.
NotesRefrigerate the cake overnight. Serve at room temperature or cold out of the fridge, depending on how you like it.
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