This layered Russian Sour Cream Cake is extremely moist and undetectable in the chocolate and basic cake layers! Tort Smetannik (Russian Sour Cream Cake) will become a cake recipe you’ll want to make for guests or as a quick dessert! It’s incredibly easy and the cream frosting moistens the cake layers without any syrup! No one will tell there’s sour cream (smetana) in this amazing cake!
Russian and Ukrainian cakes can be so moist and not overly sweet! Some of our favorites are the Volcano Cake and Chocolate Cherry Cake with Super-Moist Crumb! And if you want a super easy and moist cake this German Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting will come to the rescue!
Moist Sour Cream Cake (Smetannik)
If you love a moist cake or just want to impress your guests with a delicious dessert, this is it! This sour cream cake is incredibly moist and so tasty! Its so moist you don’t even to soak the layers! Sour cream works as a syrup to these chocolate and basic cake layers!
Condensed milk and sour cream are staple ingredients in most baking recipes for Russians and Ukrainian’s. Fact is if you tried a Russian cake before it’s likely to have condensed milk in the frosting or sour cream. Perhaps the village women needed to use up the cream off of the cows milk, but those ingredients can work wonders when it comes to moist cakes. Looking for a sour cream Honey Cake? Make this Medovik Cake (Russian Honey Cake!)
Russian Sour Cream Cake
So, just because sour cream is in a Russian layer cake it doesn’t mean you’ll taste the sour cream. In fact it’s undetectable in both the cream and cake layers! You know how some chocolate cake recipes call for mayo in the cake batter well sour cream works similar, to moisten the cake but in a totally hidden way!
In Russian, Tort Smetannik means a cake with sour cream. This layered Russian cake is a Super Moist Sour Cream Cake that’s incredibly moist and tender from the sour cream ingredient in both the cake layers and frosting! This torte is super easy to make and is actually one of my quick stand by cake recipes to whip up quickly. I’ve even served it same day I baked it and it’s was still moist!
The cake layers here are not your typical sponge cake (biskvit) layers! Condensed milk, sour cream, and a heaping Tablespoon of baking soda will give one of the moistest cake layers! Despite the sour cream amounts in both the cream and cake you will not be over whelmed from sour cream. I highly encourage you to try this cake even if your not a dairy person!
What is Smetannik?
In Russian, Tort Smetannik means a cake with sour cream. This layered Russian cake is a Super Moist Sour Cream Cake that’s incredibly moist and tender from the sour cream ingredient in both the cake layers and frosting! This torte is super easy to make and is actually one of my quick stand by cake recipes to whip up quickly.
Will I taste the Sour Cream in the Cake?
The sour cream ingredient in both the cake layers and frosting 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).
- 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.
- Stir after fermentation and keep refrigerated before serving.
Ingredients for the Cake Layers?
Ingredients for Smetannik:
- eggs- 4 eggs beaten until thick and pale.
- sugar- granulated sugar.
- sour cream- 1 1/3 cup.
- baking soda dissolved in 2 TBSP of vinegar- vinegar or lemon juice will help the baking soda dissolve better in the cake so you won’t bite into a bitter chunk of soda.
- 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 partially used for the cream too.
Ingredients for the Sour Cream Frosting:
- sour cream- dairy.
- cream cheese- to soften an 8 oz package of cream cheese quickly, unwrap and microwave it for 30 seconds. Super handy!
- condensed milk- since the cake batter calls for 1/2 can of condensed milk use the other half for the cream frosting!
- Cool whip- use whipped heavy whipping cream or thawed Cool Whip.
NOTE: The original recipe for Smetannik called for a quick syrup. You can choose to add it but I found the cake pretty moist on its own, so I omitted it. You can still find the syrup proportions down below.
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 3 tbsp sugar
How To Make Smetannik Cake:
1. Preheat oven 350°F. Line and lightly grease two 9″ spring-form pans with aluminum foil. Set aside.
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. Then mix in the condensed milk and sour cream until well combined.
3. Whisk in the flour stirring one direction. Evenly divide the batter and leave one plain and whisk in cocoa powder to the other half. (about 3 cups of batter for each.)
4. Bake 25-35 minutes or until done. Cool completely.
5. Cut cakes in half (4 layers in total.)
6. TO MAKE CREAM: Beat the cream cheese for 2-3 minutes over high speed, scrapping sides. Add in the condensed milk and beat until smooth. Mix in the sugar and gradually add in the sour cream. Mix in the cool whip and mix until well combined (cream will be slightly on the thinner side but will set once chilled.)
7. Trim the sides of the cake. Crumble the trimmings with your hands for finer crumbs. Frost the cake and garish with cake crumbs. Drizzle Dulce-de-leche on top and refrigerate (optional.)
(Note: If you don’t want to trim cake, you can use crushed chocolate cookie crumbs instead.)
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 frost the cake layers and let it sit for as quick as an hour before slicing.
How many slices does Smetannik serve?
The Smetannik cake can easily make 8 large slices or 14 small slices. The smaller cake pieces are more ideal for feeding a crowd and are a more moderate serving per person.
Can I soak the Cake Layers?
Yes! The traditional recipe called for a quick 2-ingredient syrup, which I decided to omit since this cake alone is plenty moist by itself! Here is the original syrup if you decide to soak the cake layers:
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 3 tbsp sugar
- Trim the sides of the cake layers to get the fine crumb garnish.
- Drizzle Dulce de Leche over the top for more flavor!
- Add vanilla flavoring to the cake batter for a sweeter cake.
- Use my quick 2-ingredient syrup if you want an even more moist Smetannik!
Other Russian Cakes to Try:
- Chocolate Cherry Cake with Super-Moist Crumb!
- Chocolate Dulce de leche Cake (Cake Jeremiah)
- Easy Volcano Cake
Russian Sour Cream Cake (Smetannik)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 heaping TBSP baking soda (dissolved in the sour cream)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 7 oz condensed milk (1/2 a can)
Sour Cream Frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 7 oz condensed milk (1/2 a can)
- 4 oz Cool Whip (half 8 oz package)
How to make Smetannik Cake:
- Preheat oven 350°F. Line and lightly grease two 9-inch springform pans with aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Beat eggs and sugar in a stand mixer over high speed for 15 minutes. Add the diluted baking soda in sour cream and condensed milk.
- 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.)
- Bake 30-35 minutes or until done. Cool completely.
- Cut both cake layers in half making 4 layers in total. Stack and trim the sides. Finely crumble the trimmings and set aside for garnish later.
- TO MAKE CREAM: Beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add in the condensed milk and gradually mix in the sour cream and Cool whip. Mix well. (Frosting will be on the runny side this soaks the layers.)
- Frost the cake and garish with cake crumbs. Let sit at least an hour before serving or refrigerate overnight.
Nutrition per serving