Biskvitnyi Abrikosovyi Tort
(Apricot Sponge Cake with Lemon Butter Cream Icing and Rum Syrup)

PREP TIME: 24 Hours
SERVES: 8-10

COMMENT: This traditional Russian dessert is a great summertime cake. Filled with apricot jam and iced with a rich lemon butter cream, this cake is a wonderful teatime treat or afternoon snack. The chocolate-dipped, rum-soaked apricot flowers make it a beautiful piece of edible art.


  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp water
  • ½ cup rum
  • ¼ tsp rum extract
  • 16 dried apricots

Bring the sugar and water to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cover for 1½ minutes. Let cool and stir in the rum and rum extract. Add the dried apricots and soak for 24 hours. Drain, reserving the syrup, and set the apricots to dry on a plate for about 2 hours or until the surface is dry, turning once or twice during the drying process. Set aside.


  • 7 eggs, separated
  • 8 ounces sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ounce melted butter

In two bowls, separate egg yolks and whites. Add ½ of the sugar to each bowl. Beat both until peaked. When stiff, fold the whites into the yolk mixture. Gradually add flour, mixing with a wooden spoon or spatula. Mix in the butter. Pour this mixture into a 10-inch greased cake pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until spongy and golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, slice the cake in half horizontally into 2 even slices. Set aside.


  • 3½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 2 pounds (8 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3-5 tbsps lemon juice, to your taste

Combine sugar and water and bring to a boil in a medium saucepan. Boil until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip egg yolks until light and fluffy. Carefully pour the hot sugar mixture into the yolks while the mixer is running at half speed. Continue whipping until mixture is cool. Add softened butter in small batches, stopping after each addition. When butter is fully incorporated, add lemon juice to taste.


  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • ¾ cup rum syrup
  • sponge cake
  • ¾ cup jarred apricot jam
  • lemon butter cream
  • 24 toasted whole almonds

Melt the chocolate according to manufacturer's directions and dip one end of each apricot into it. Let the dipped apricots cool on the edge of a plate until the chocolate hardens. To assemble the cake, place one half on a cake stand or serving platter. Brush the cake with an ample serving of the rum syrup. Brush the second half of the cake evenly with the rum syrup and set aside. Spread the apricot jam evenly over top of the half sitting on the platter. Position the second half of the cake evenly on top of the first layer. Whip the butter cream gently to ensure that it is soft and fluffy. Reserve about ½ cup for decoration, then ice the top and sides of the cake evenly with the butter cream using a spatula. Place the reserved butter cream into a pastry bag fitted with a ¼ inch star tip. In a decorative fashion, pipe a border around the top and bottom of the cake. Arrange chocolate-dipped apricots evenly around the top of the cake and add toasted almonds in a decorative pattern around the bottom edge. Refrigerate the cake for 1½ hours or until the butter cream has hardened. The cake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, but it tastes best when it is fresh.

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