Slice of Doberge cake with whipped cream
Doberge Cake Is More Than A Layered Dessert, It's A New Orleans Staple
Beignets and king cake are New Orleans desserts that are famous the world over, but Doberge cake is just as much of a classic, being a go-to birthday treat for NOLA natives.
Like many American desserts, Doberge cake can vary from bakery to bakery. Some recipes feature a combo of yellow cake layers, chocolate pudding filling, and ganache topping.
Others who have tasted this treat know it as a lemon layer cake with a yellow glaze. To other Louisiana locals, it's a cake split down the middle: half lemon, half chocolate.
All of these qualify as Doberge cakes, and they're all owed to Beulah Ledner, a daughter of German immigrants who invented the dessert as a 6-layer cake in the early 1900s.
Ledner's Doberge cake borrowed from the Eastern European Dobos torte, a grand dessert of several layers of sponge cake with chocolate buttercream and caramel glaze.
Ledner adapted the torte into her own lemon, caramel, and chocolate-flavored versions, and changed "Dobos" to the French-sounding "Doberge," suitable for New Orleans.
You can find this cake at spots like NOLA's Gambino's Bakery, which uses Ledner's recipe and turned the cake into a birthday classic, and Debbie Does Doberge, an online bakery.
You can even make your own Doberge cake with chocolate or lemon butter cake, lemon curd or chocolate pudding filling, buttercream, and a ganache or lemon icing glaze.