This Russian Tea Cake called Curly Boy is one of the BEST Russian cake recipes to stash in your recipe book for cakes! Moist Sponge Cake layers are cubed and layered in cream to make an anthill-looking cake similar to a volcano cake or trifle dessert, only it’s melt-in-your-mouth good! Get ready to share this Russian Cake Recipe with others because it’s likely to be asked for and is super easy to whip up!  

Russian Tea Cake called Curly Boy Cake

Want more Russian cake recipes? You need to try Russian Honey Cake or Napoleon Cake if you love cream layered cakes! Napoleon Cake Balls are a brilliant way to serve Russian desserts in bite-sized servings!

Russian Tea Cakes

Russian Tea Cakes are a big deal in the Russian and Ukrainian community-you need a good cake recipe up your sleeve for a cup of tea, coffee, or guests that you want to impress! Needless to say this is one of the Best Russian Cake recipes I turn to, or at least on my top 3 of Russian cakes recipes! It’s seriously one the tastiest cakes ever!

Russian Tea Cake (Curly Ivan or Curly Boy)

It’s super easy to make and your only working with two cake layers to make this massive dessert! Once you start layering and stacking your cubed cake layers the dessert appears bigger and can feed a crowd! Kind of like a Chocolate trifle once you start layering the sponge cakes with cream it gets taller and more luscious!

Russian Tea Cake (Curly Boy Cake)

Secret to Russian Cakes:

Russians love to use condensed milk and sour cream in many cake recipes! It’s no wonder because I do believe that helps with the moist factor of cakes or cream frostings. In fact the cream in this recipe is a little on the runnier side because that consistency will soak into the cake cubes and make for an even more luscious dessert. But no worries this cake holds its structure just right and thanks to the anthill appearance its justifies for the messy appeal of this dessert.

As of a result, you do not need any piping skills! The cake is literally piled up with cream, chilled to set and the sour cream ganache gets poured over the top with nuts before refrigeration. No culinary skills needed and the cake is so delicious! There is not even a hint of the sour cream ingredient detected throughout the cake and the ganache is the best! Not too sweet, super-moist, and very luscious! Plus the walnuts give amazing crunch and texture to the spongy dessert. What more can you ask for in a cake?

a slice of Russian Tea Cake called Curly Boy Cake

 FAQ:

What is Curly Boy Cake?

Russians love tea, so tea cakes are big! In Russian, Kucheryavyy Khlopts (Curly Boy) is just the nickname that this Russian cake gets from the messy piled cake cubes. The assembly is similar to a Volcano cake and trifle dessert as sponge cake layers are covered in a delicate cream. This torte is super-moist from the sour cream and condensed milk sponge layers and is super easy to make!

Curly Boy cake goes by so many different names that I decided to list all the related titles this cake gets from the Slavic Community.

Related Names: 

  • Curly Ivan
  • Curly Boy
  • Pincher
  • Royal ruins (grafskiye razvalini)
  • Pancho
  • Turtle cake (trifle)
  • Chocolate Volcano
  • Iceberg cake
  • Anthill (Moravenik)

 

Will I taste the Sour Cream in the Cake?

The sour cream ingredient in both the sponge cake and cream are undetectable in this recipe!

How do you make Homemade Sour Cream (Smetana)?

Smetana means sour cream, in Russian. To make it at home from scratch you’ll need buttermilk (kefir) and heavy whipping cream (slevka).

  1. Mix 1 liter of cream and a heaping 3/4 cup of thick buttermilk (or natural yogurt). Leave at room temperature for at least 8 hours (up to 24 hours) until thick.
  2. Stir after fermentation and keep refrigerated before serving.

Ingredients for the Cake Layers?

ingredients for Russian tea cake called Curly boy cake

Ingredients for Smetannik:

  • eggs- 4 eggs beaten until thick and pale.
  • sugar- granulated sugar.
  • sour cream- 2 cups or a 16oz package.
  • baking soda- stir it with the sour cream to quench any bitterness. Russians use vinegar or lemon juice but since sour cream already has the culture in it just mix them together!
  • flour- all-purpose flour or bread flour.
  • unsweetened cocoa powder- is only used for half the cake batter to make chocolate cake layers.
  • condensed milk- is sweet and used in the cream too.

Ingredients for the Sour Cream Frosting: 

  • sour cream- (smetana) is found in most Russian desserts!
  • condensed milk- staple Russian ingredient for dessert!
  • Cool whip- use whipped heavy whipping cream or thawed Cool Whip.

How To Make Russian Tea Cake (Curly Boy Cake):

How To Make Russian Tea Cake: foil pans

1. Preheat oven 350°F. Line and lightly grease two 9″ spring-form pans with aluminum foil. Set aside.

How To Make Russian Tea Cake: beat eggs and sugar

2. Place eggs and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat over high speed for 20 minutes. Add in the baking soda mixture and condensed milk.

How to make Curly Boy Cake: batter

3. Slowly beat in the flour. Evenly divide the batter and leave one plain and whisk in cocoa powder to the other half. (about 3 cups of batter for each.)

Sponge Cake for Russian Tea Cakes (curly boy cake)

4. Bake 25-35 minutes or until done. Cool completely.

Russian Tea Cakes Sponge layers

5. Trim the sides, top, and bottom of each cake layer.

Cream for Russian tea cake (curly boy cake)

6. Meanwhile Make The Cream and Ganache: beat the cream ingredients together until smooth; set aside (if using heavy cream beat first until thick then add the other ingredients.) To Make ganache; simmer the first three ingredients together. Whisk in the butter and set aside to cool.

Assembly: 

Image of assembling Russian Tea Cake (curly boy cake)

7. Arrange cake cubes into a single layer onto a large square serving plate. Top and cover sides with the cream and repeat 3-4 times ending with the cream on top and sides. Freeze 30 minutes to set. Pour cooled ganache over top of cake and sprinkle with 1 cup of chopped walnuts*.

Best if refrigerated overnight before serving.

Can I use a different pan size?

Two 9-inch springform pans are best for these cake layers. Since the sponge cakes rise much during baking it’s best to use something with room and depth to allow for growth. Any rectangular or deep round cake pans are ideal. Look for depth and enough room for about 6 cups of batter plus growth.

How Soon Can I serve this Cake?

This sour cream cake can be served a couple of hours after preparing! Once the cake is cool enough to handle you can pile the cake pieces and let it sit for as quick as an hour before serving.

How many servings?

This Russian dessert is ideal for serving large crowds because it makes plenty! Depending on what serving size (kid or adult) the cake can stretch for more servings. It’s ideally for 22 servings, but is easily a delicious dessert to be eaten within a few days for a smaller crowd.

Do I soak the Cake Layers?

No. The sponge cake layers are already super-moist to work with and the cream soaks into the dessert making it completely soak-free! Since the cream is on the runny side it helps moisten the sponge cake without any additional ingredients.

Russian Cake Tips:

  1. Trim the sides, bottoms, and edges of the cake layers to open the spongey part of the cake to the cream.
  2. Drizzle Dulce de Leche over one of the layers for more flavor!
  3. Add vanilla flavoring to the plain cake batter for a sweeter cake.
  4. Sour cream makes for a less sweeter dessert and is undetectable in this Russian Cake!

 

Other Russian Cakes Recipes:

How To Make (Curly Boy) Russian Tea Cake:

Russian Tea Cake (Curly Boy Cake)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Assembling: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 22 servings
Author: Alyona's Cooking
This Russian Tea Cake called Curly Boy Cake is one of the BEST Russian cake recipes to stash in your recipe book for cakes! Moist Sponge Cake layers are cubed and layered in cream to make an anthill-looking cake similar to a volcano cake or trifle only it's melt-in-your-mouth good! Get ready to share this Russian Cake Recipe with others because it's likely to be asked for and is super easy to whip up!  

Equipment

  • two round 10-inch springform pans

Ingredients

Sponge Cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda (stirred into the sour cream to quench the bitterness)
  • 14 oz condensed milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (added to half of batter)

Cream:

  • 16 oz cool whip (or whipped heavy cream)
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 14 oz condensed milk

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 4 Tbsp butter (unsalted)

Instructions

How To Make Curly Boy Russian Tea Cake:

  • How to make Curly Boy Cake: batter
    Beat the eggs and sugar for 15 minutes over high speed until pale and thick. Mix in the sour cream mixture and condensed milk then slowly blend in the flour.
  • How To Make Russian Tea Cake: foil pans
    Pour 3 cups of batter into a foil-lined springform pan and leave plain. Whisk in 1/4 cup of cocoa powder to the remaining batter then pour into another foil-lined springform pan.
  • Sponge Cake for Russian Tea Cakes (curly boy cake)
    Bake 30-35 minutes at 350°F (or until toothpick comes out clean.) Cool.
  • Cream for Russian tea cake (curly boy cake)
    Meanwhile Make The Cream and Ganache: beat the cream ingredients together until smooth; set aside (if using heavy cream beat first until thick then add the other ingredients.) To Make ganache; simmer the first three ingredients together. Whisk in the butter and set aside to cool.
  • Russian Tea Cakes Sponge layers
    Trim the tops, bottoms, and edges of the cake layers. Cut into cubes. Set aside.
  • Image of assembling Russian Tea Cake (curly boy cake)
    To Assemble Cake: arrange cake cubes into a single layer onto a large square serving plate. Generously top and cover sides with the cream and repeat 3-4 times ending with the cream on top and sides. Freeze 30 minutes to set.
  • Pour cooled ganache over top of cake and sprinkle with 1 cup of chopped walnuts*. Best if refrigerated overnight before serving.

Notes

  • Nuts: are optional.
This cake goes by various names:
  • Curly Ivan
  • Curly Boy
  • Pincher
  • Royal ruins (grafskiye razvalini) 
  • Pancho
  • Turtle cake (trifle)
  • Chocolate Volcano 
  • Iceberg 
  • Anthill (Moravenik) 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1servingCalories: 375kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 7gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 274mgPotassium: 284mgFiber: 1gSugar: 42gVitamin A: 498IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 181mgIron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




4 comments

    • Dina

    Great recipe! I made this when I was having girls over for tea and everyone loved it! Very moist and delicious!

      • Alyona’s Cooking

      Oh awesome, Dina! Love to hear from my readers!

    • Natasha

    Can you post a recipe for Russian merengue cake?

      • Alyona’s Cooking

      Hi Natasha, are you looking for something more of a Kievski torte?

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