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“Vetka” – Soviet sponge meringue cake with nut “The tree branch”

"Vetka" – Soviet sponge meringue cake with nut "The tree branch"

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Moist, fluffy sponge cake, nutty, crispy meringue and aromatically soft buttercream – these components are combined in the Russian cake “Vetka” and result in an irresistibly delicious taste experience. It tastes moist, crispy, fluffy, nutty and creamy at the same time. Classically decorated with pink flowers and green leaves made with butter cream on a tree branch made with chocolate, the sponge meringue cake is also a cute eye-catcher on the dining table. Here I show you how to make it yourself. A detailed recipe for the Russian cake “Vetka” with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions can be found here at the very bottom.

Popular sweet classic from the former Soviet Union

Besides the sponge cake with butter cream, the cake “Podarochny”, the shortcrust cake “The lily of the valley”, the cake “Vetka” was also one of the most popular Soviet cakes, which you could buy in many pastry shops, bakeries or canteens at that time. In the meantime, it has fallen into oblivion – you can hardly find it anywhere in Russia anymore. But you can easily make it yourself and bring the taste of the sweet Soviet classic to your home.

Cake "Vetka"

What does the cake name mean?

The word “vetka” translated from Russian means “tree branch”. This popular Russian sponge meringue cake with nut got this name because of its decoration. Because on the cake you can find a decoration in the form of a flowering tree branch, which is sprayed from butter cream.

What is the Russian cake “Vetka” made of?

The cake “Vetka” or “The tree branch” consists of two sponge cake layers and one meringue nut cake layer. The sponge cake is soaked with sugar syrup. The cake cream is a butter cream. It is made with home-made milk syrup. By the way, many Russian cakes are made with this cream.

Russian cake "The tree branch"

How to decorate the Soviet cake “The tree branch”?

To decorate the cake according to the classic variant, draw a flowering tree branch on it. The tree branch itself is piped with chocolate. For this you need a piping bag and a round nozzle with a small hole. To pipe the leaves out of the butter cream you need a leaf piping nozzle. And for the flowers, you can use any piping nozzle that fits for that. I used the wavy star nozzle. You’ll also need green and pink food coloring to color the butter cream. I used the gel food coloring for this.

Idea: make the sponge meringue cake with nut for special occasion

By the way, you can make the cake “The tree branch” for a special occasion and decorate it not classically, but to match the occasion. For example, I have already made it for the wedding anniversary. I decorated it with small and large flowers and leaves. You can also make it for a birthday or Mother’s Day.

Wedding anniversary cake

Russian cake “Vetka” is

  • fluffy,
  • moist,
  • crispy,
  • nutty,
  • creamy,
  • aromatic,
  • incredibly delicious,
  • beautifully decorated,
  • a sweet eye-catcher on the dining table,
  • easy to make with common ingredients,
  • perfect for a party or a special occasion,
  • classic of Soviet cuisine.

Recipe for cake “Vetka”

The making of the Russian cake “The tree branch” is not difficult at all. You just need to bake the sponge cake and meringue cake base, as well as cook the cream. Here you can get a rough idea of how the making is done and what you need for it. As always, you can find the exact quantities and step-by-step instructions for making the Russian cake “Vetka” yourself here below in the box recipe.

First you make the classic sponge cake made with eggs, sugar and flour. After it has cooled down and rested overnight, cut it into two cake layers and soak it with the syrup with water and sugar. Make the meringue by mixing the whipped egg whites, sugar, flour and any nuts you like. I used peanuts. You can also use other nuts. The meringue base has to be dried in the oven until it becomes firm. For the cream, first cook the milk syrup with egg yolks, sugar and milk. When it has cooled down, stir it into the fluffy whipped butter. Now spread the two sponge cake layers and the meringue cake layer with the cream and stack them on top of each other, placing the meringue cake layer between the two sponge cake layers. Then you can decorate the cake any way you like. And it’s ready!

Russian sponge meringue cake with nut

How to make the Russian sponge meringue cake with nut: tips and tricks

  • You can use vanilla sugar, vanilla powder, vanilla extract or vanilla bean scraped out as vanilla for the sponge cake and the cream.
  • It is best to add flour through a sieve to the egg-sugar mixture, so that no lumps form in the sponge mixture and you don’t have to stir it too long.
  • To bake the sponge and the meringue cake layer, you will need a Ø 24 cm baking springform pan.
  • To check if the sponge is baked, use a toothpick. Insert it briefly into the center of the sponge and see if it comes out clean. Alternatively, you can use a finger to gently press on the surface of the sponge about halfway down. If it springs back after you press it, and no marks remain, it’s done.
  • You can use any nuts you like for the meringue cake layer. They should be toasted. You can toast them yourself in the oven or in a pan.
  • To check if the meringue cake layer is dried enough, tap it with your finger. If it is firm, it is ready.
  • You can omit soaking the sponge cake with the sugar syrup if you find it moist enough as it is.
  • Be sure to cook the milk syrup in a thick-bottomed saucepan so it doesn’t burn.
  • The milk syrup and butter for the cream need to be room warm and about the same temperature when whipped together so they can combine well.
  • You can just omit alcohol anywhere or use something else for flavoring instead.
  • You can also decorate the cake differently, to your taste.
  • Make sure to refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours after making it, so it can infuse. It will taste even better the next day.
  • Store the sponge meringue cake in the refrigerator. You can enjoy it for about 3 days.

Popular Soviet cake

Did you make the Russian cake “Vetka” according to this recipe? I look forward to your result, your star rating and your comment below, how you have succeeded and tasted the sponge meringue cake with nut.

Got a craving for more delicious Russian cakes? Try also:

Cake "Vetka" (Russian sponge meringue cake with nut "The tree branch")

Cake "Vetka" (Russian sponge meringue cake with nut "The tree branch")

Moist fluffy sponge cake, nutty crispy meringue cake base and aromatic soft butter cream – these components are combined in the Russian cake "Vetka" and result in an irresistibly delicious taste experience. It tastes moist, crispy, fluffy, nutty and creamy at the same time. Classically decorated with pink flowers and green leaves made with butter cream on a tree branch made with chocolate, the sponge meringue cake is also a cute eye-catcher on the dining table. You can make it yourself according to this recipe.
Prep Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Cooling and drying time 5 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine Russian
Servings 10

Equipment

  • Ø 24 cm baking pan
  • piping bag

Ingredients
  

for the sponge dough

  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g sugar
  • 150 g flour
  • vanilla
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • butter or margarine to grease the baking pan

for the meringue dough

  • 60 g of any nuts (roasted and coarsely chopped)
  • egg whites of 3 eggs
  • 80 g sugar
  • 20 g flour
  • 1 pinch of salt

for the cream

  • 300 g butter (room temperature)
  • 180 ml milk
  • yolks of 3 eggs
  • 205 g sugar
  • 1 tbsp rum or cognac
  • vanilla

for the sugar syrup

  • 80 ml water
  • 65 g sugar
  • 1 tbsp rum or cognac

for decorating

  • some chocolate (melted and cooled)

Instructions
 

Making of the sponge cake dough

  • Line the bottom of the baking pan with parchment paper and grease the sides with butter or margarine.
  • Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until fluffy and white.
  • Fold in flour to make a fluffy, thick batter.
  • Pour the sponge mixture into the baking pan and bake in a preheated oven at 180 °C top and bottom heat for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool and then store in an airtight container overnight.

Making of the meringue dough

  • Line the bottom and sides of the Ø 24 cm baking pan with baking paper.
  • Beat the egg whites with salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar (from the total amount given) until stiff.
  • Mix flour, remaining sugar and chopped nuts.
  • Fold the flour mixture into the egg white mixture to make a fluffy, gooey dough.
  • Spread the meringue dough evenly on the bottom of the baking pan and dry it in a preheated oven at 120 °C convection oven for about 2 hours. Let it cool down afterwards.

Making of the sugar syrup

  • Put sugar and water in a small saucepan, boil it while stirring constantly, take it off the stove and let it cool.
  • Add rum and cognac to the sugar syrup and stir.

Making of the cream

  • Mix egg yolks and milk in a thick-bottomed saucepan.
  • Add sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Then continue to cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes until it has thickened a bit. Then let the milk syrup cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  • Beat softened butter for about 4 - 5 minutes until fluffy and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla and the milk syrup in portions and whip each time to a homogeneous cream.
  • Add rum or cognac and whip again briefly to a homogeneous cream.

Making of the cake

  • Cut off the bumps on the surface of the sponge cake and crumble them finely.
  • Cut the sponge lengthwise into two equally thick cake layers and soak them with the sugar syrup.
  • For decorating, pour a small amount of cream into a clean bowl and put it aside for the time being. Spread the remaining cream first on one of the two sponge cake layers, place the meringue cake layer on top, spread it also with the cream, place the second sponge cake layer on top and spread it with the cream in the same way.
  • Spread the edge of the cake thinly with the cream and sprinkle the edge with the sponge cake crumbs.

Decorate the cake

  • Pour some of the cream into the piping bag with the star-shaped nozzle and pipe a border on the cake.
  • Draw a tree branch on the cake with the chocolate.
  • Color one part of the cream with pink and one part with green food coloring and pipe flowers and leaves on the tree branch with the piping bag and the corresponding piping nozzles.
  • Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Notes

  • It is best to add flour to the egg and sugar mixture through a sieve to avoid lumps forming in the sponge mixture.
  • To check if the sponge is done baking, use a toothpick. Alternatively, you can press a finger on the surface of the sponge and see if it springs back and no marks remain to be seen.
  • To check if the meringue has dried enough, tap it with your finger. If it is firm, it is ready.
  • The milk syrup and butter for the cream need to be room warm and about the same temperature when whipped together to combine well.
  • Alcohol is an alternative everywhere. You can simply omit it or use something else for flavoring instead.
  • Note the detailed tips and tricks for making the Russian cake "Vetka" at the top of the post.
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