top of page
  • Julia Peics

Esterházy torte

This cake was first prepared in Budapest in the 19th century to honour Prince Paul III Anton Esterházy de Galántha. It is one of the most classic dessert heritages of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and there are certain rules to abide by when baking an Esterházy torte: 4-5 layers of meringue, a cooked buttercream filling, and a feathered design on the top represent the trademarks of this elegant dessert. Today, many versions exist and the cake can be prepared using either walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts. In addition, the buttercream may be flavoured with cognac, brandy or rum. Originally, the glaze on the top consists of poured fondant, however as this method requires a high level of technical skills many bakers use melted white and dark chocolate or sugar icing instead.


Cake size: ⌀ 22 cm

Serves: 16


For 5 meringue layers:

10 egg whites

230 g sugar

230 g ground walnuts

40 g flour

pinch of cinnamon

For the buttercream:

400 ml milk

50 ml cognac or brandy

180 g butter, softened

150 g sugar

45 g corn starch

4 egg yolks

For the glaze:

70 g icing sugar

15 g egg whites (about 1/2)

30 g dark chocolate, melted

apricot jam


200 ml heavy cream

walnuts, coarsely ground

walnuts, halved


Baking the meringues:

Start by mixing all the dry ingredients. It is highly recommended to use a stand mixer for the next step. Whisk the egg whites until frothy on low-medium speed and start adding the sugar gradually. Switch to medium-high speed, and whisk the egg whites until you have reached a stiff meringue consistency. Gently fold in the dry ingredients with a cream spatula. Draw 23 cm diameter circles on 5 pieces of parchment paper. Divide and spread the whipped meringue evenly on the 5 sheets of parchment. In a preheated oven, bake the meringues at 180 C (165 C for fan oven) for approximately 10 minutes. If you have a fan oven, it is recommended to bake multiple meringues simultaneously. While the meringues are still warm, use a 22 cm cake ring to cut out perfectly round circles, and peel off the parchment paper. Let the meringue layers cool completely before assembling the cake.

Making the buttercream:

Whisk together the egg yolks with the sugar, corn starch and a bit of milk until there are no lumps. Start heating the remaining milk on medium-low heat. Once boiling, add the egg mixture and stir continuously until the cream has thickened and resembles pudding. Finally, mix in the cognac. Cover with foil and let this mixture cool down to room temperature before moving onto the next step. Whisk the softened butter until fluffy and add the pudding-like cream until it is all combined.

Filling and assembling:

Set aside a small amount of the cream for covering the side of the cake. Divide the remaining cream into 4 equal parts and fill the cake by sandwiching the meringues with cream. Remember to flip the top meringue upside down so that the top of the cake is nice and even. Cover the side of the cake with the leftover buttercream. Wrap in foil and place a cake ring tightly around the assembled cake. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or let it the cake sit in the fridge overnight.


Spread a thin layer of apricot jam evenly on the top of the cake - this will serve as a barrier between the meringue and the glaze. Melt the dark chocolate and pour it into a piping bag. Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl and add the egg white. Whisk for 3-4 minutes until you get a thick, white glaze. Pour onto the cake and even out. While the white glaze is still wet, pipe the melted dark chocolate in a spiral using circular motions and use a toothpick to achieve a feathering effect. Place in the fridge for 30 min.


Cover the side of the cake with coarsely ground walnuts. Whip the heavy cream and decorate the cake by piping with a star-shaped piping nozzle. Place walnut halves on the piped cream and voilá! Cake done! Refrigerate until served, slice with a knife dipped in hot water.


Per serving: 444 kcal

C: 41.5 g

F: 28.8 g

P: 7.5 g




Recent Posts

See All




Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm Julia, a recent PhD graduate in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology who now works as a Medical Writer in Scientific Communication. I was born in Subotica (SRB) and am currently based in Copenhagen (DK). 

I'm passionate about experimenting in my kitchen and all about turning family recipes into stories.

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
bottom of page