Four Layer Sheet Cake – Recipe
I prepared this cake several times in the past but was not ready to share it until I figured out an easier way of handling this delicate dough. The original recipe is in the “Selected Ukrainian Recipes for Spring and Summer” compiled and printed in 1982, by Branch 12 of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, located in Cleveland, Ohio.
Since I modified the procedure of preparing this recipe to reflect my own experience and tried other fillings, I renamed it and am posting my version of it.
The original recipe calls for lekvar as one of the fillings, but since I am not a big fan of lekvar, I tried other flavors of the Solo cake filling instead, including my own apple filling included with this recipe.
This recipe makes one 9 x 13 x 2 sheet cake, which can translate to at least 24 (1.5″ x 3″) serving pieces.
- 3 cups of all purpose flour (I used unbleached Gold Medal)
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 cup sweet butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 12 oz can of Solo cake filling (Prune Plum, blueberry, apricot) see note below for apple filling
- lemon juice and rind, only if using Prune Plum filling
- 2 1/2 cups of ground walnuts
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. boiling water
- I egg (use the white only)
- 1 tsp. water
- In a large mixing bowl sift flour, confectioners sugar and baking powder.
- Add in the butter, and using a pastry cutter, spoon or your hands, combine the flour mixture with the butter until a crumbly mixture is formed.
- Add egg yolks, one egg, heavy cream and vanilla extract and blend well to form a smooth sticky batter.
- Place the batter on a lightly floured work area and gently form a soft ball of dough.
- Divide the dough into 3 parts: part one being 1/2 of the ball, then 2/3 of the second half, remaining with 1/3 for the third part. Set aside.
- Prepare a 9"x13"x 2" baking sheet by lining the bottom with parchment paper, greasing well the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Prepare the walnut filling by placing the ground walnuts in a medium bowl, mix in the sugar and vanilla extract.
- Pour the hot water over the mixture and fold in gently to create a creamy filling. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and make sure the oven rack is placed in the middle of the oven.
- Cut a piece of a plastic wrap a few inches longer than the length of your pan and place it on a work area.
- Form a log out of the largest section of the dough and place it on the plastic wrap.
- Cut another section of plastic wrap in the same size, and place it on top of the dough log.
- Using a rolling pin roll out the dough making it about 9" x 13".
- Place the rolled out dough encased in the plastic wrap in the freezer for about 5 minutes or until the dough i quite firm for easier handling.
- Remove from the freezer, place it on a work area, gently peel off the top layer of the plastic wrap (save the plastic wrap for later use).
- Lift the thin dough sheet by grabbing the edges of the plastic wrap and flipping it over onto the prepared baking sheet. Using your finger tips fit it nicely into the pan. Gently peel of the plastic wrap and set aside.
- Spread the first filling over the dough in the pan. Check the notes below for the apple filling instructions.
- Place one piece of the saved plastic wrap on the work area again, and place the second section of the dough on it forming it into a log.
- Cover it with the second saved plastic wrap, and using a rolling pin prepare another thin dough sheet, then place it in the freezer for about 5 minutes or so, just like the previous one.
- Follow the above instructions of handling the dough and place it over the first filling in the pan.
- Set aside the plastic wrap pieces.
- Spread the walnut filling over this dough layer.
- Once again, place one of the saved plastic wrap pieces on the work area and follow same instructions of rolling out and firming up the last piece of the dough.
- Remove it from the freezer, place it on a work area, peel off the top layer of the plastic wrap, and this time toss it away.
- Using a pizza cutter, or a knife and cut the thin dough sheet into 1/2" wide or narrower strips. Gently remove each strip off the work area and place it on top of the second filling forming a lattice design.
- In a small bowl beat 1 egg white with 1 tsp. of water for a minute to make egg wash.
- Using a pastry brush gently spread the egg wash all over the top of the cake.
- Place the cake in the preheated oven and bake it for 45 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven,keep it in the pan and place it on a cooling rack to fully cool off.
- Cut it into serving pieces and store it in an air tight container in a dry cool place or in the fridge, until ready to serve. Sprinkle tops of the cake with powdered sugar just before serving.
5 medium apples (Macintosh, Gala, Pink Lady) 2 Tbs. butter 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 Tbs. cinnamon 2 tsp. lemon juice
Peel, core and shred the apples on a large eye shredder. In a large saucepan melt the butter, place the shredded apples, sugar and cinnamon, and saute until uniform and fairly smooth batter forms (15 - 20 minutes) mixing it frequently to prevent scorching at the bottom. Add the lemon juice to flavor it. Cool to room temperature before using it as a filling.