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Irene’s Torte – Recipe

Irene's TorteI was searching for a torte recipe for a special occasion.  One that would be different from any other tortes I made before, yet not too difficult to prepare.   I selected a recipe for Irene’s Torte (I modified it slightly to conform to my taste), from a Ukrainian Traditional Cookery, by Savella Stechishin.  She has many great recipes in her book.

The recipe proved not to be very complicated, but the biggest challenge was to remove the baked cakes out of the pans, without breaking them. The cake layers are quite thin and fragile (see my Tip, below the post).

This torte has a nice combination of  shortbread layers, tangy apple butter filling, and chocolate icing.

Irene’s Torte – Recipe

Irene’s Torte – Recipe


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1¼ cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 egg
  • grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup  walnuts, ground up
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • Apple Filling
  • 9 apples, pared, cored, and diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup)
  • Sugar to taste (1/3 cup)
  • Chocolate Icing
  • 6 Tbs. butter
  • 10 Tbs. confectioners sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 1 oz melted semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 Tbs. cocoa


  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until very light.
  2. Add the egg, and beat well.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients, mix thoroughly, and chill.
  4. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.
  5. Line the bottom of a layer cake pan with buttered parchment paper. (To cut out parchment paper circles, please the pan on the paper, trace around the bottom of the pan, and cut out the circle with scissors).
  6. Pat each part of the dough into the bottom of a lined cake pan.
  7. Bake in a moderate oven at 350 degrees, for about 15 to 20 minutes (I baked it for 18 minutes), or until delicately browned.
  8. Remove from a pan onto a cake rack to cool.
  9. If you experience difficulty with removing the cake from the pan, place the cooled pan in the freezer for 15 min., then try removing the cake.  Handle with care, as this cake  breaks up very easily.
  10. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the apple filling.
  11. Apple Filling
  12. Cook the apples with the lemon juice and sugar until thick.
  13. Do not add any water.
  14. Cool.
  15. Chocolate Icing
  16. Cream all the ingredients to a smooth paste.
  17. Spread half of the apple filling on the first layer.
  18. Spread the chocolate filling on the second layer.
  19. Spread the rest of the apple filling on the third layer.
  20. Top off with the fourth layer of cake.
  21. Ice the top and the sides of the cake with your favorite icing. (I selected a traditional chocolate icing)
  22. Let it rest for 24 hours, before cutting up into serving pieces.


I used fresh tea rose petals, and mint leaves (both edible), dipped in clear gelatin and granulated sugar, to decorate the top of this cake.

When cutting a torte, first you should cut out a circle (1 inch in diameter) in the middle of the cake.  Do not remove it, just leave it in. Then using the tip of your knife, begin cutting serving wedges starting at the middle circle and pressing down towards the edge of the cake.  Repeat this action until you have cut all the necessary cake pieces.    Using this method, will allow you to cut nice serving pieces of cake, without having the tips break off on you.

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