What Is a Doberge Cake—and Why Is It Popular in New Orleans?

A New Orleans original, doberge cake is a popular layered dessert with a variety of flavors. Find out what makes this treat so special.

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Since the 1930s, doberge cake has been a staple New Orleans recipe. Locals serve up this rich layer cake for birthdays, anniversaries, Mardi Gras and other special occasions. This dessert deserves to be famous outside of Louisiana, though—it’s that good.

What Is Doberge Cake?

It’s a cake with six to eight thin alternating layers of cake and pudding, though some recipe use buttercream. In New Orleans, bakers top the cake with a glaze. Lemon and chocolate are the most popular flavors—sometimes they’re even combined!

This cake doesn’t require any complex or rare ingredients. However, it is constructed of several alternating layers of cake and frosting, so a lot of time, energy and TLC goes into baking this masterpiece. Find more Mardi Gras party desserts.

What Is the Origin of the Doberge Cake?

New Orleans baker Beulah Ledner invented the doberge cake in 1933. It’s an American take on the Hungarian Dobos torte. Ledner made the recipe her own by replacing the buttercream in the torte with a custard filling. She also iced the cakes with buttercream and a thin layer of fondant.

Ledner’s original recipe is available in her daughter Maxine Wolchansky’s cookbook, Let’s Bake with Beulah Ledner: A Legendary New Orleans Lady. Don’t miss other famous recipes from Louisiana!

Where to Get the Best Doberge Cake

If you ever find yourself in The Big Easy, pick up a slice of doberge cake to celebrate whatever occasion feels right.

The most famous New Orleanian rendition of this dessert has been made by Gambino’s Bakery since 1946. Bakery Bar in the Lower Garden District offers a colorful doberge and king cake fusion.

Psst! Before you leave New Orleans, make sure to try other favorites, such as beignets, king cake and hurricane drinks.

Ceara Milligan
Ceara “Kiwi” Milligan is a professional marketing strategist and copywriter who is proud to call Milwaukee home. She loves baking, cooking, writing, listening to music, dancing, playing and hosting trivia, watching college basketball (Go Marquette!), telling lame jokes, and petting every dog that crosses her path.