Gluten-Free Dobos Torte

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Have you ever heard of dobos torte? I still remember the first time I tried it. The very first Christmas after I married my husband we lived in a super tiny studio apartment, and were both working and going to school. I was also pregnant with our daughter. UPS wouldn’t just leave the packages at our door, and they wouldn’t give them to the office. If we weren’t there that is what they were supposed to do. And we were almost always gone during the day, so we had a hard time getting our packages that Christmas. Finally they left a package at our door, instead of just trying to deliver it the next day when we wouldn’t be home. It was a small rectangle box that said “perishable” from my husband’s sister. When we opened it and saw that it was a dobos torte he got very excited .

Dobos Torte is similar to a holiday yule log, but with tons more frosting layers inside. 6 or more thin layers of sponge and frosting all covered in a layer of smooth and shiny chocolate ganche. This recipe is gluten-free and is also easily made dairy-free too. I have to eat this right NOW!

We would slice a little off of the cake each day, we truly savored that dessert. Of course that dobos torte had gluten, but it was so good. (I was so morning sick when I was pregnant that it didn’t matter if I ate gluten-free or not. So I ate it.)

Later either that year, or the next, I thought back to enjoying that first dobos torte. So resourceful me turned to the internet and re-created my own gluten-free version.

Dobos Torte is similar to a holiday yule log, but with tons more frosting layers inside. 6 or more thin layers of sponge and frosting all covered in a layer of smooth and shiny chocolate ganche. This recipe is gluten-free and is also easily made dairy-free too. I have to eat this right NOW!

Dobos torte is basically thin layers of sponge cake layered with frosting and then topped in chocolate (traditionally the top layer gets a hard caramel shell but that wasn’t what the dobos torte I first ate had, and I love chocolate!)

Of course my recipe is gluten-free but you can easily make it dairy-free too! Just use a dairy-free butter in the frosting (like earth-balance.) and then use coconut milk instead of cream in the ganache. If I was going dairy-free on this cake I would definitely use the Swiss Meringue Buttercream instead of the American Buttercream because is has eggs as it’s base instead of the butter.

Don’t let it scare you, you can easily spread the work over several days. Make the sponge cake, cool, and then place wax or parchment paper between the layers and store in the freezer in a airtight container, make the frosting just before you want to stack the layers and you can store the layered cake in the fridge or freezer for several days before covering in the ganache, as long as it is well covered.

Gluten-Free Dobos Torte

by Brianna Hobbs
Prep Time: 2 hours active easily spread o

  • 2 thin sheets of Sponge Cake (recipe below)
  • 5 c. frosting (I used Swiss Meringue Buttercream this time, but my husband definitely prefers American Buttercream. (I love using chocolate frosting most, even though I used vanilla this time.) You can use my recipes or your go-to favorite.
  • Chocolate Ganache to coat

American Buttercream

  • 12 oz (1 ½ c.) butter, softened
  • 24 oz (5 c.) powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbs heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate melted and cooled COMPLETELY

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 1/2 c. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 c. cream

To put it all together

Bake the sponge cake, cool, and slice and directed below.
Place the first layer of cake on your serving board and adhere it with a little dab of frosting.
Spread a layer of frosting on top of the cake.
Top it with another layer of cake.
Repeat until all the cake is used.
Place the cake in the fridge or freezer so that the frosting will set a bit to make it easier to handle.
One the frosting has set a bit remove the cake from the fridge and trim each side so that you have a nice rectangle with straight sides (optional but makes it prettier and easier to apply the ganache.)
Spread the top and sides with any remaining frosting and place in the fridge until the frosting is firm.
Place a small strip of parchment or wax paper on the cake board, right up against the cake (this will catch any ganache drips and you can remove the paper and your board will be clean for serving.)
Using an offset spatula or knife spread the ganache over the sides and top of the dobos torte.
If desired use the tines of a fork to make a wave pattern in the ganache on the top of the cake.
Remove the parchment or wax paper, leaving a hopefully clean board (at least cleaner.)
Put the finished dobos torte in the fridge to set until serving time.

For American Buttercream

In the bowl of your stand mixer beat the butter on medium-high until light in color and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla and beat for another 2-3 minutes, low speed at first so that you don’t fling powdered sugar all over the kitchen, and then up the speed to medium-high. Add the cooled chocolate and stir to combine.

For the Ganache

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl (make sure it is chopped finely if you aren’t using chips.)
Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it is simmering.
Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. (If you are working in a cold location the chocolate may firm up before it melts all the way. If this happens put the bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and stir until it begins to melt OR using a microwave safe bowl microwave for 15 seconds at 50% power and stir, repeating until it begins to melt. Here is a great blog post about ganache if you need any more help.)
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GF Sponge

by Brianna Hobbs
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (2 thin sheets for a 6-8 layer)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. water
  • 2/3 c. rice flour blend
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350F and line 2 baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Beat the eggs and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer on medium-high speed until they are very light in color and the volume has at least doubled. (5 minutes-7 minutes.)
Add the water and vanilla and fold in.
Load the baking powder and salt in the bottom of your sifter/sieve and then top with the rice flour blend. Sift 1/3 of the mixture on top of the eggs, carefully fold being careful to not deflate, and repeat with the second 1/3 and last 1/3.
Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans and spread evenly (any thin spots will brown before the rest of the batter bakes so do your best to avoid any pits or thin spots.)
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the top of the cake is dry to the touch and will spring back a little bit if you touch it. (there will still be an indentation where you touch it, it will just spring back a little bit.)
Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan.
For making the dobos torte divide each baking sheet into 3 or 4 slices like in the picture above.
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