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Čierna Torta – Black Cake

This is a nutty concoction similar to the Walnut Cake.  I see that most of the recipes in Pauline’s cookbook so far have relied primarily on eggs and sugar. I was unable to find any other black cake recipe like this one: while there are other black cake recipes, they are from the Caribbean and made with raisins, and are more complicated than this one.

The “black” in the name comes from the black coffee.  The cake is iced with a creamy butter frosting.  I like the measurement for flour – 1 wineglass-full.  I wonder if this indicates what Pauline’s friend was doing while she was baking the cake.


  • 6 whole eggs
  • ½ l sugar (2 cups)
  • ½ l Ground black walnuts (2 cups)
  • Grated peel of 1/3 lemon (I used the peel from a whole lemon)
  • 1 dcl black (preferably Turkish) coffee (1/3 cup)
  • 1 wineglass full of flour (2/3 cup)


  1. Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans
  2. Cream together the 6 eggs with the sugar
  3. Add the ground nuts along with the lemon, coffee and flour
  4. Pour into pan, bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 min, until toothpick comes out clean
  5. Cool layers
  6. Spread on creamy, frothy icing inside, on top and sides

Creamy Butter Frosting:

  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • ½ cup fine sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Frosting Steps:

  1. Heat the milk and flour together, whisk until thick. Cool.
  2. Whip butter, sugar and vanilla for 4 minutes.
  3. Add in milk mixture and whip until well blended.
  4. Spread in the middle and on top of the cake.
  5. Sprinkle with crushed nuts if you like.

You can see in the picture that I didn’t wait long enough for the cake to cool, and the frosting is melting a bit. Oh well, it still tastes good.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Dagmar (Dasa) Kubas permalink
    May 25, 2010 4:17 pm

    Both these cakes, Walnut Torta, and Black Torta – sound great, I have a lot of poppy seeds, could I use them instead of walnuts.


    • May 25, 2010 7:11 pm

      Hi Dasa, here is a poppy seed one from Pauline’s cookbook. I haven’t tested it yet or converted it, but see if this works for you:

      Makova torta (Poppy seed cake)

      Mix together well 9 egg-yolks with 18 dg of sugar and 18 dg of butter; then add 18 dg of poppy seeds, 18 dg of nuts, 9 spoonfuls of flour and also a thick froth, whipped from 9 egg-whites.

      I assume you can bake it like the walnut one.


  2. Zelka Cani permalink
    July 30, 2010 7:49 am

    Hi there. I may be able to share some insight into the Makova Torta, Poppy Seed cake. One thing that needs to be noted is that the poppy seeds were always ground up, not placed whole in a cake. Poppy seeds were grown by all the people in Vojvodina and used in cakes and to get the full flavour of the poppy seed, it needs to be ground up and the flavour if phenominal. Also to help out, the Cierna Torta, Black Cake is noted due to the coffee. The coffee that is used is not the instant coffee that we are familiar with, it is what is referred to as ‘Turkish Coffee’ that very dark/black thick coffee and that is what gives the cake a dark colour. It is the only coffee that they drank in Vojvodina and still do. Regards. Zelka.

    • July 30, 2010 8:53 am

      Thank you – I knew that, yet completely forgot to put that down. I enjoyed the Turkish coffee when I visited there last month. I bet my grandmother substituted Nescafe when she couldn’t find the right coffee here in Essex County.

      Why did your parents choose to move to Australia?

      • Zelka Cani permalink
        July 30, 2010 10:41 am

        Hi Tonya,
        My father first moved to Germany where he lived for 9 months but was only there temporarily and had to decide from there whether to move to Canada, America or Australia. He chose Australia as it was not well known and to him it was a mysterious place so he wanted to move here and find out for himself what it was like. He arrived here in 1966. He was not married at this stage. He found a Slovak community very quickly and was surprised to find people here from his own town. Most people that arrived here were already married and dad could not find a Slovak single lady here and wrote home to his mother to see if she knew of a Slovak girl that would be willing to move to Australia and be his wife. My 2 grand mothers knew each other and hence my mum was single and available. She was asked if she would like to go to Australia and marry and due to the difficult life in Vojvodina she agreed to go. My father sponsered her as his fiancee and came out never before even meeting my father. The marriage was arranged and I think a huge step of faith for the both of them. My mum arrived in 1968 and they were married in November of that year. Mum came from a farming family and dad came from a factory working family. So coming here, they both found work in factories. I was born in 1969. Also another intriguing piece of information is that in those days it was rare to marry into another town, most married and stayed within the one town. Mum not only got married into another town, but another country and many were disgusted with my grandma that she would allow something like that, but she also wanted a better life for her daughter and dad came to seak a better life for himself. I think that is why so many emmigrated to Canada, America, Australia, to look for greener pastures and they found them, bringing along their culture and their cuisine. Zelka.

      • July 30, 2010 3:42 pm

        What a great story. I think we need to write this one up and post it on Pauline’s Cookbook!

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