Home SweetsCakes Layered Cake with Jam Filling – Romanian Cake Harlequin

Layered Cake with Jam Filling – Romanian Cake Harlequin

by Adina 17/12/2017 11 comments

Layered Cake with Jam Filling – Romanian Cake Harlequin

Thin layers of cake filled with tangy plum and apricot jam – this is the Romanian cake Harlequin.

The cake Harlequin – Prajitura Arlechin – is a very old Romanian recipe, which you will probably find in every Romanian grandmother’s recipe notebook. It is the first cake I ever remember eating, actually the only cake I have ever eaten as a small child. I love the fact that although the cake is sweet, that sweetness is somewhat attenuated by the tanginess of the jam. Just make sure to use a tangy jam.

jam cake arlechin ed 3 Layered Cake with Jam Filling – Romanian Cake Harlequin

How to make the Layered Cake with Jam Filling – Romanian Cake Harlequin

This cake is not particularly difficult to make, but unlike other easier cakes, it does require a bit of time and dedication on your side. You do have to roll the four layers of dough, but after that everything couldn’t be easier.

When rolling the layers of dough, make sure to work on a floured surface or, even better, roll the dough directly on baking paper. And don’t forget to flour the rolling pin as well a few times in between. When rolling the first layer you will probably curse me and think I am crazy for posting such a recipe. Rolling the second layer will be much easier and you will probably begin to smile a bit and think I am not that crazy after all. The third one will really put a big grin on your face and by the time you roll the last layer of dough you will pat yourself on the back and call yourself an expert. 🙂

jam cake arlechin ed 1 Layered Cake with Jam Filling – Romanian Cake Harlequin

I always make the Layered Cake with Jam Filling – Romanian Cake Harlequin with plum and apricot jam, two layers of apricot and one layer of plum (or the other way around). These sort of jams are very aromatic and tangy. An even tangier jam to use would be redcurrant jam, but that is something I have never seen in an Harlequin cake in Romania, so I prefer to use the traditional sorts of jam. However, you can use whatever jam you like, just make sure is a tangy sort.

I make the glaze with raw egg yolks. I have never had an issue with that, but if you are feeling better about it, make sure you use pasteurized eggs.

jam cake arlechin ed 6 Layered Cake with Jam Filling – Romanian Cake Harlequin

I am not sure if the name of the cake Harlquin refers to the cake’s colorful jam layers or to the colorful sprinkle topping. Many people top the Layered Cake with Jam Filling – Romanian Cake Harlequin with chopped nuts or chocolate sprinkles, so the name might not have much to do with the colorful sprinkles. However, I have ever only eaten Harlequin topped with colorful sprinkles and that is the way I make it myself all the time, I have never tried it with nuts or chocolate. But, so you know, you have a choice, if you are not into the sprinkles.

The Layered Cake with Jam Filling – Romanian Cake Harlequin has to be made quite in advance, two or three days before you mean to cut and serve it. The layers of dough will be very dry at first, but after being covered with jam and spending two or three days nicely wrapped in foil, they will become deliciously soft and tender. So this is really not a step you can skip.

jam cake arlechin ed 2 Layered Cake with Jam Filling – Romanian Cake Harlequin

Other delicious Romanian layered cakes:

Caramelized Walnuts Buttercream Cake
Layered Romanian Lemon Cake – Lamaita or Alba ca Zapada
Layered Cake with Walnuts and Jam – Prajitura Greta Garbo 

jam cake arlechin ed 5 Layered Cake with Jam Filling – Romanian Cake Harlequin

jam cake arlechin ed 4 150x150 Layered Cake with Jam Filling – Romanian Cake Harlequin

Layered Cake with Jam Filling – Romanian Cake Harlequin

Share this on WhatsAppThin layers of cake filled with tangy plum and apricot jam – this is the Romanian cake Harlequin. The cake Harlequin –… Cakes Layered Cake with Jam Filling – Romanian Cake Harlequin European Print This
Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • For the layers:
  • 250 g/ 8.8 oz/ 1 cup + 1 tablespoon butter at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 85 g/ 3 oz/ 1/3 cup smetana/sour cream
  • 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 525 g/ 18.5 oz/ 4 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 sachet Dr. Oetker baking powder
  • For the filling:
  • ca 400 g/ 14.1 oz/ 1 ¼ cup apricot jam
  • ca 200 g/ 7 oz/ 5/8 cup plum jam
  • For the glaze:
  • 4 egg yolks (pasteurized eggs – See note)
  • 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ 1 cup icing sugar + more if necessary
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150-200 g/ 5.3-7 oz colorful sprinkles for the top layer

Instructions

Be aware that the cake has to be made at least two days, preferably three days in advance.

For the cake layers:

Place the soft butter, eggs, smetana or sour cream, sugar and vanilla sugar in the bowl of the food processor. Mix until creamy. In another bowl mix together the flour and the baking powder. Give them to the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Give the mixture on the lightly floured working surface and knead shortly to obtain a smooth dough.

Wrap the dough in cling foil and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Divide the dough into four equal parts. Cut four large pieces of baking paper. Flour the rolling pin.

Flatten the first piece of dough on one piece of the baking paper to get a rough rectangle and then roll it to a rectangle of about 23x30 cm/ 9x12 inches. It works better if you have a small rolling pin, which you can hold in one hand, while you hold the baking paper with the other hand. If you only have a regular sized rolling pin, maybe someone can hold the baking paper for you or you can fix it down with some tape.

Try to push the edges of the dough with a butter knife or your fingers in order to make them a bit neater and to prevent them being thinner than the rest of the rectangle, so that they will not get excessively dry when baking. However, the edges do not have to be perfect, you can cut them straight and nicely after the cake has rested for the necessary two or three days.

Carefully place the dough on the baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until the edges of the dough rectangle start to get brownish. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

While the first cake layer is in the oven, roll the second one and so on until all four cake layers are baked.

Filling the cake:

When the cake layers are cool, fill them with the jam. Choose the nicest cake layer and set it aside to use it as the top layer.

Stir the jam well before spreading it on the cake layers. The first layer should be smeared with apricot jam, the second with plum jam and the third one with apricot jam again. Place the last cake layer on top and press gently.

Glaze:

For the glaze mix together the egg yolks, icing sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract together.

Place the layered cake on a large baking tray or wooden board. If using the wooden board place that in a baking tray as well. This is necessary because some of the glaze will run down the sides of the cake and you don't want a mess in the kitchen.

Start spreading the glaze on top. If the glaze is excessively runny, add a few more tablespoons icing sugar until you obtain the desired consistency. If you need to add more icing sugar depends on the size of the egg yolks.

Top the cake with colorful sprinkles. The cake can also be topped with roasted and chopped nuts of any kind or with chocolate sprinkles. Leave the cake to rest on the counter until the glaze is dry.

Wrap the whole cake including the wooden board it sits on (or the baking tray/ casserole dish it sits on) very well in cling film. I make a double layer and make sure there is no whole or anything. Leave the cake to rest for 2 or 3 days in a cool place. It doesn't have to be the fridge, but make sure is cool. I always keep it in the cellar.

Cut the edges of the cake straight. Cut the cake into small squares. Keep in airtight cookie tins with baking paper between the several layers of cake squares.

Notes

I make the glaze with raw egg yolks. I have never had an issue with that, but if you are feeling better about it, make sure you use pasteurized eggs.

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11 comments

Alina 17/12/2017 - 12:20

I looove this cake! Never tried to make it before, I hope I’ll have time to make it for New Year’s Eve. It looks really pretty. 🙂

Reply
Brie 17/12/2017 - 16:02

Adina, this cake is amazing, it looks like something you’d see on The Great British Baking Show! I love all of the thin layers, tangy jam, and colorful sprinkles. Your pep talk for rolling out the layers was so fun it makes me want to roll up my sleeves and give it a try 🙂

Reply
Anca 18/12/2017 - 12:13

Looks so festive and colourful. I think it would be great for Christmas.

Reply
Marvellina|What To Cook Today 21/12/2017 - 04:01

This cake is sooo pretty! I love all the layers, though I’m sure it takes a bit of dedication like you said! Wish I could have a bite

Reply
Adina 25/12/2017 - 08:16

You would like it, I am sure. 🙂

Reply
Valentina | The Baking Fairy 21/12/2017 - 05:44

What a fun and beautiful cake! This is perfect for the holidays but to be honest, I wouldn’t mind it on my birthday too 😉

Reply
grace 22/12/2017 - 22:23

this is a masterpiece of a cake!! love those layers. 🙂

Reply
Adina 23/12/2017 - 09:25

Thank you, Grace, it is one of my favorite cakes. 🙂

Reply
Adina 25/12/2017 - 08:14

Thank you, Grace. Merry Christmas!

Reply
Kim 24/12/2017 - 16:46

Adina, I love all of the recipes you share on your blog, but i especially love your desserts. I love a good cake and this look and sounds wonderful with its tart jam filling. Thank you for sharing.

Reply
Adina 25/12/2017 - 08:13

Thank you, Kim. This is one of my old time favorites. 🙂

Reply

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