“Cherepacha” – recipe for Russian turtle cake

"Cherepacha" – recipe for Russian turtle cake

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“Cherepacha” is probably one of the most delicate Russian cakes. It is also called a dessert and practically melts in your mouth after each bite. Here, we’ll show you how to make the turtle cake yourself. It tastes heavenly fluffy, creamy and moist. You can find a detailed recipe for Russian turtle cake with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions here at the very bottom.

The name and shape of the cake “Cherepacha”

“Cherepacha” translated from Russian means “turtle”. The cake dates back to the Soviet era. It’s probably pretty clear where the name of the cake comes from, namely from its appearance. After all, it is shaped like a turtle.

Cake "Cherepacha"

What is the Russian turtle cake made of?

The cake “Cherepacha” consists of layered cookies, the sour cream and chocolate glaze. The sour cream has a slightly chocolaty note thanks to cocoa. The turtle cake tastes not too sweet and slightly tart. The glaze is not a classic chocolate glaze. It also contains sour cream, which makes it unique in taste.

Recipes for Russian turtle cake with slight differences

Several recipes exist for Russian turtle cake, but they differ only slightly. For example, I made the sour cream with cocoa powder. Sometimes the sponge cookies for the cake are prepared with cocoa powder and the cream without. To do this, replace about 20 g of flour with the same amount of cocoa powder for the batter in the recipe. Cocoa powder for the cream is then simply omitted. There are also recipes for the cake “Cherepacha”, in which both the sponge cake and the cream do not need cocoa powder. In addition, you can make the cake cream without butter, but only with sour cream and powdered sugar.

Russian turtle cake

How to decorate turtle cake?

I only spread the top sponge cookies with the chocolate glaze. All the crevices in between were filled with the cream. Alternatively, you can completely cover the turtle cake with the glaze. In this case, you need to prepare about three times the portion of it. Occasionally, the turtle cake is not covered with the glaze, but only sprinkled with cocoa or finely grated chocolate after it has cooled. I recommend you make the chocolate glaze, though, because it really tastes uniquely delicious.

Perfect for children’s birthday parties

With its fancy look, the Russian turtle cake is perfect for a kid’s birthday party. Also, in terms of taste, every child will surely be delighted with it. For adults, however, the cake “Cherepacha” is just as much a taste highlight.

Russian cake from sponge cookies and sour cream

The cake “Cherepacha” is

  • incredibly tender,
  • creamy,
  • airy,
  • soft,
  • fluffy,
  • moist,
  • chocolaty,
  • not too sweet,
  • with a slightly sour note,
  • an eye-catcher on the dining table,
  • ideal for children’s birthday parties,
  • easy to make with common ingredients,
  • classic of Russian cuisine,
  • from the distant Soviet Union.

Russian turtle cake recipe

The Russian turtle cake recipe is not difficult at all. Depending on how you want to decorate it, it could take more or less time. Further down in the box recipe, I’ve described to you how I decorated the turtle cake, and how you can make them yourself in a quicker way. Here you can get a rough idea of how the preparation goes, and what you need to make it. The exact quantities and step-by-step instructions on how to make the Russian cake “Cherepacha” yourself can be found here below in the box recipe.

For the sponge batter you need

  • eggs,
  • sugar,
  • flour,
  • baking powder
  • and vanilla.

For the cream you need

  • cold sour cream,
  • room-warm butter,
  • powdered sugar
  • and cocoa powder.

For the chocolate glaze you also need

  • sour cream,
  • butter,
  • sugar
  • and cocoa powder.

How to make Russian turtle cake: here’s how (Check out the detailed recipe below.)

  1. For the sponge cake, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until fluffy, then fold in flour with baking powder. Bake small sponge cookies from the batter.
  2. For the cream, whip butter until fluffy and then stir in sour cream and cocoa powder.
  3. Dip the cookies in the chocolate cream and layer them in the shape of a turtle shell. Spread the rest of the cream generously over the cake.
  4. For the chocolate glaze, heat all the ingredients together until the butter and sugar have dissolved, and use to coat the cake. Done!

Turtle cake recipe

How to make Russian turtle cake: tips and tricks

  • As vanilla for the batter goes, for example, vanilla bean scraped, vanilla sugar or vanilla extract.
  • To check if the sponge cookies are done baking, gently press with a finger on the surface of one of the cookies. If it springs back after pressing, and no marks remain to be seen, they are done.
  • You can adjust the amount of powdered sugar for the cream according to your taste.
  • You can omit cocoa powder in the cream.
  • You can also make the cream without butter, but only with sour cream, powdered sugar and cocoa powder according to your taste.
  • You can bake the sponge cookies with chocolate flavor. To do this, replace a small amount of flour in the batter with the same amount of cocoa powder.
  • You can prepare a larger portion of chocolate glaze and cover the cake completely with it.
  • The turtle cake tastes best the next day.

Did you make the cake “Cherepacha” using this recipe? I’m looking forward to your result, your star rating and your comment here below how you succeeded and tasted the Russian turtle cake.

Fancy getting more Russian cake recipes? Try:

"Cherepacha" – recipe for Russian turtle cake

"Cherepacha" (Russian turtle cake)

"Cherepacha" is probably one of the most delicate Russian cakes. It is also known as a dessert and practically melts in your mouth after each bite. With this recipe, you'll make the turtle cake yourself. It tastes heavenly fluffy, creamy and moist.
Prep Time 50 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
cooling time 5 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine Russian, Soviet
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

for the dough

  • 4 eggs
  • 100 g sugar
  • 170 g flour
  • 5 g baking powder
  • vanilla (e.g. vanilla sugar, vanilla bean scraped out, vanilla extract)

for the cream

  • 550 g sour cream cold
  • 100 g butter room-warm
  • 150 g powdered sugar
  • 20 g cocoa powder

for the chocolate glaze

  • 35 g sour cream
  • 20 g butter
  • 20 g sugar
  • 10 g cocoa powder

Instructions
 

Preparation of the batter

  • Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  • Mix flour with baking powder and fold into the egg-sugar mixture to make a fluffy, gooey sponge batter.
  • Using a tablespoon, place blobs (1/2 tablespoon per blob) on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, spacing them well apart, and bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 180 °C top and bottom heat for about 10 minutes. Repeat the process until the batter is used up.

Preparation of the cream

  • Beat the butter and powdered sugar for about 5 minutes until you have a fluffy, creamy, light-colored mixture.
  • Add sour cream and whip to a homogeneous cream.
  • Alternative for decorating: Transfer two tablespoons of cream to a clean bowl and chill for now.
  • Add cocoa powder to the rest of the cream and whip to a homogeneous chocolate cream.

Preparation of the cake

  • Set aside about 20 sponge cookies. Dip the remaining cookies generously in the chocolate sour cream and layer them on top of each other on a flat plate in the shape of a turtle shell.
  • Spread the "turtle shell" generously with the remaining chocolate sour cream, leaving about two tablespoons for decorating.
  • Now take the sponge cookies that have been set aside. Cut two of them in half and make little feet on the "turtle shell". Make the head of the turtle from two more cookies by placing them on top of each other, and the tail from one cookie. Spread the remaining cookies on the surface of the "turtle shell", pressing them lightly. Refrigerate the cake for the time being.

Preparation of the chocolate glaze

  • Place sour cream, butter, sugar and cocoa powder in a small saucepan and heat (don't boil!) it over low-medium heat, stirring, until the butter and sugar have melted and a smooth, glossy chocolate glaze has formed.
  • Take the chocolate glaze off the heat and let it cool slightly.

Decorate the cake (as I did in the pictures)

  • Brush the cookies without cream on the surface of the "turtle shell" with the chocolate glaze.
  • Fill the chocolate sour cream left for decorating into a piping bag and use it to fill the slits between the cookies covered with the chocolate glaze.
  • Pour the chilled light sour cream into a piping bag and pipe it over the turtle's head, feet and tail.
  • Use the chocolate glaze to draw the turtle's eyes, mouth and claws.
  • Chill the cake for at least five hours or preferably overnight.

Alternative: Preparation of the cake (quick version)

  • Dip all the sponge cookies in the chocolate sour cream and layer them on top of each other in the shape of a turtle shell.
  • Spread the "turtle shell" generously with the remaining chocolate sour cream.
  • Prepare a triple portion of the chocolate glaze as described above and let it cool slightly.
  • Pour the chocolate glaze over the cake and refrigerate.

Notes

  • To check if the sponge cookies are done baking, gently press the surface of one of the cookies with a finger. If it springs back after pressing and no marks remain, they are done.
  • You can adjust the amount of powdered sugar for the cream according to your taste.
  • You can prepare a larger portion of chocolate glaze and use it to completely cover the cake.
  • Note the detailed tips and tricks for making the cake "Cherepacha" above in the post.

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