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Rigo Jancsi Cake Recipe

It is believed that Rigo Jancsi, a turn of the century Hungarian gypsy violinist, created this cake for Princess Klara  of Belgium, with whom he had a scandalous affair and later married.   The marriage didn’t last, but the cake remains a popular Hungarian dessert.  A stand mixer is recommended for this variation of the Rigo Jancsi cake (unless you don’t mind beating batter with a hand-held mixer for 15-plus minutes.)

Preparation: 45 minutes | Cook: 15 minutes | Chill: 4 hours | Serves: 8-10

Rigo Jansci


Sponge Cake

  • 3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar

Mousse Filling

  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla



  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.   Lightly grease a jellyroll pan (either 10-1/2 x 15-1/2 pan or 12-1/2 x 17-1/2 pan) and line with wax paper or parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, salt, cinnamon, powdered espresso and cocoa.  Set dry ingredients aside.
  3. In a  bowl of stand mixer, beat eggs and vanilla together for 15 minutes on high speed.  Eggs will have the consistency of soft whipped cream.   Continue beating on high speed while slowly adding sugar to egg/vanilla mixture, one tablespoon at a time.
  4. Set stand mixer speed to lowest setting and add dry ingredients one tablespoon at a time.  Use rubber spatula to scrape sides and beat until just incorporated.  (Over mixing will cause the eggs to deflate.)
  5. Spread cake batter in prepared jelly roll pan and bake for 12-15 minutes until cake starts to pull from sides.  Do not overbake. Cool a few minutes on a wire rack and then invert cake onto the rack.  Carefully remove parchment paper and allow cake to cool completely.

Mousse Filling

  1. Place chocolate chips in the bowl of electric mixer.  Bring the heavy cream to a boil on stove top and pour over chocolate. Cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let stand for 10 minutes.   Add rum and vanilla and stir until smooth.   Refrigerate for 2 hours.   (I put my mixer whip attachment in the freezer while the chocolate cream mixture is chilling in the refrigerator.
  2. With electric mixer, whip the chilled chocolate cream filling, scrapping sides with rubber spatula, until volume has doubled.
  3. Assembly: Cut the cake in half and place one half on a large square serving dish.  Spread the whipped chocolate cream over the top of that half, than place the remaining cake half over the whipped chocolate cream.  Refrigerate for one hour.


  1. Place chocolate chips in a medium bowl.  Bring the heavy cream to boil on stove top and pour over chocolate.  Cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let stand for 10 minutes.  Add butter and vanilla and stir until smooth.
  2. Remove cake from refrigerator and place strips of wax paper or parchment paper a bit under each side of the bottom layer of cake to catch the glaze.  Pour the glaze over the top of the cake evenly using a rubber spatula.  Allow glaze to drip down sides of cake.  Refrigerate 1 hour or until glaze is set.
  3. Before serving, remove cake from refrigerator and carefully remove wax paper strips.  Serve cake by cutting into cubes.  Store in refrigerator.

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  1. Just wanted to share a photo of Rigo Jansci and Princess Klara

    Comment by Annie