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Riga cake

Riga cake

Fluffy sponge cake, tender short pastry, sweet butter cream and tart apples with aromatic cinnamon – all this is combined in the Riga cake. It tastes airy, tender, creamy and fruity at the same time. Who can resist such a dessert?! And even if it sounds totally complicated with so many flavors, the cake is quite simple to prepare.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12


  • Ø 24 cm large baking pan


for the sponge dough

  • 90 g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 90 g flour

for the shortcrust pastry

  • 70 g butter (cold)
  • approx. 40 g sour cream
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 4 g baking powder
  • 130 g flour

for the apple filling

  • 920 g apples
  • 20 g butter
  • 20 g sugar
  • 10 g cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp cognac
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 30 ml water

for the cream

  • 330 g sweetened condensed milk (room temperature)
  • 250 g butter (room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp cognac

for the sugar syrup

  • 30 g sugar
  • 30 ml boiling water
  • 1 tbsp cognac


Preparation of the sponge mixture

  • Beat eggs and sugar until white and fluffy.
  • Fold in the flour to make an airy, thick dough.
  • Line the bottom of the springform pan with baking paper, pour the batter into the pan and bake in a preheated oven at 180 °C for about 20 minutes. Let the sponge cake cool for a few hours and then cut it lengthwise into two cake layers.

Preparation of the shortcrust pastry

  • Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Add cold butter and chop it finely.
  • Add sour cream in portions and knead it briskly into a soft dough. Cover the dough and chill it for 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the short pastry on a sheet of baking paper so that you can cut out a 24 cm diameter circle. Cut out the circle, pierce it several times with a fork and bake it together with the leftover dough in a preheated oven at 200 °C for about 8 minutes. Let the shortcrust pastry cake base cool down. Finely crumble the leftover dough.

Preparation of the apple filling

  • Dissolve cornstarch in water and cognac.
  • Peel and core apples, cut them into very small cubes.
  • Melt butter in a frying pan, add apples and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add sugar to the apples in the pan and fry them for another 2 - 3 minutes until they soften.
  • Add cinnamon and cornstarch dissolved in water and cognac, continue stir-frying for about 1 - 2 minutes until thickened, and remove pan from heat. Let the apple filling cool down.

Preparation of the sugar syrup

  • Pour boiling water over sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Let the sugar syrup cool down and then add cognac.

Preparation of the cream

  • Add sweetened condensed milk in portions to softened butter and mix it with a hand mixer on the lowest speed each time until homogeneous.
  • Add cognac and mix again briefly to a homogeneous cream.

Preparation of the cake

  • Soak the two sponge cake layers each from the inner cut side and the short pastry layer with the sugar syrup.
  • Spread the apple filling on the short pastry base. (You can leave a small amount of apple filling for decorating).
  • On top of the apple filling layer, place one of the two sponge cake bottoms with the side soaked in the sugar syrup facing down and spread it with about half of the cream.
  • Place the second sponge cake layer with the soaked side down on top of the first and spread it with the cream as well.
  • Brush the edges of the cake with the remaining cream and sprinkle with the crumbs. Decorate the cake as desired with the remaining apple filling and chill for 2 - 3 hours.


  • To check if the sponge is done baking, do a chopstick test.
  • The amount of sour cream given for the shortbread may vary. The dough should become very soft.
  • Do not knead the shortbread too long.
  • Butter and sweetened condensed milk for the cream must be at room temperature.
  • The amount of sugar for the apple filling can be adjusted as desired.
  • Cognac is alternative in the recipe.
  • Note the detailed tips and tricks for DIY Riga cake at the top of the post.