Chocolate Volcano Cake – Торт “Пинчер”

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-28Did you ever stop to think that we are such creatures of habit?  We have a go-to style of clothing, our favorite music, a dinner entree at our go-to restaurant that never lets us down and even the things we do for fun.  Of course, there are times to try new things, but for the most part, our feet carry us to the well worn path that we’ve created ourselves.

Even before I became a food blogger, I was always interested in trying out new recipes. I’ve mentioned before that I read cookbooks like novels and get bored eating the same things over and over again. Many times I’ll be admiring the beautiful pictures in magazines, cookbooks and websites looking for a new cake to try. Creating new flavors in the kitchen is therapeutic for me. However, even with my drive for new flavors and ingredient combinations, 80% of the time I’m cooking 20% of the food that has been tried, tested and loved throughout the years in our family.

This cake is one of them. When there’s an event that requires a cake, this is one of the cakes that I can almost make in my sleep, doesn’t require too much work, and always tastes phenomenal. I also love that it’s so easy to assemble into something that makes a statement without too much precision.

Ever since I first tried this cake many years ago, this is one recipe I can always rely on. In our family, we call it the “Pincher” cake – Торт “Пинчер”.  It’s chocolaty, moist, not too sweet, and has the crunch and nutty flavors of whatever nuts you like. The chocolate glaze that’s drizzled on top of the cake is so good, you might want to make extra to eat with a spoon. You can also add fresh or dry fruit or berries to it. Maybe once you try this cake it will become a go-to favorite for you too.
Ingredients:

Cake:

3 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups sour cream

3/4 (14 oz) of a can sweetened condensed milk

3 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in 1 teaspoon white vinegar

1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

4 Tablespoons cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Sour Cream Frosting:

24 oz. sour cream

1/4 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

1 cup powdered sugar (or more depending on your taste preference)

1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 cup chopped and toasted walnuts, hazelnuts (or any other nuts)

fresh or dry fruit or berries (raisins, cranberry, cherries, etc.) optional

Chocolate Glaze:

2-3 Tablespoons cocoa powder

4 Tablespoons sour cream

6 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons butter

Instructions:

Cake

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-52Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 (9 inch) round springform cake pans.

In the bowl of a standing mixer using a whisk attachment, mix the eggs and sugar until pale yellow and frothy, 5-10 minutes. Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-51Add the sour cream, condensed milk, the baking soda dissolved in vinegar and vanilla extract. Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-49

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-50Mix to combine.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix to combine.

You don’t have to be too careful with the batter. This is not a sponge cake, so it’s not supposed to be really light and fluffy. You don’t have to be delicate with it.

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-48

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-47

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-46Divide the batter between the 2 prepared cake pans. Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-45Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes. You can check to make sure the cakes are baked through completely by using a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean when you poke it into the center of the cake, the cake is done. Cool the cakes completely.

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-44Sour Cream Frosting and Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-43Meanwhile, make the sour cream frosting.

Whip the heavy cream in a chilled bowl of a standing mixer using a whisk attachment until frothy and thick. Set aside. Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-42Mix the sour cream with the remaining condensed milk, powdered sugar and vanilla. You can add as much or as little sugar as you like. Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-41Fold the whipped cream into the sour cream. Set aside.

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-40Cut one of the cake layers in half horizontally.

Cut the second cake layer into cubes, as big or as little as you want.

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-39Place a dollop of sour cream frosting onto the bottom of a cake platter.

Place one of the divided cake layers on top and spread out a layer of frosting all over the surface. Sprinkle some of the nuts over the frosting. Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-38Place the second half of the cake layer on top and spread more frosting and sprinkle with more nuts.

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-37

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-36Set aside some of the frosting for the sides of the cake and the top.

Gently toss the cubed cake pieces with the rest of the frosting and the nuts. Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-35

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-34As I already mentioned, you can use any nuts that you like and well as fresh or dried fruit or berries.

Arrange all the cake pieces on top of the cake in the shape of a volcano, piling them up one on top of another. Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-33

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-32Spread the frosting that you set aside over the sides of the cake and cover the top with a thin layer of frosting as well.

Place the cake in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-30Meanwhile, make the chocolate glaze.

In a small saucepan, whisk together all the ingredients EXCEPT the butter, while they are still cold.

Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, simmer for a few minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the glaze thins out to a syrupy consistency. Whisk in the butter. Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-31Drizzle the hot glaze over the top of the cake in any design that you like. It’s much easier to do if you’re not trying to take a picture of the process at the same time:).

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-29Refrigerate the cake for at least a few hours. I usually keep it refrigerated overnight. It’s very important to give the cake time to set and chill, otherwise it will fall apart when you cut it.

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-28

Chocolate Volcano Cake-1-27

 

Chocolate Volcano Cake - Торт "Пинчер"
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 1 (9-10 inch) round cake
Ingredients
Cake:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups sour cream
  • ¾ (14 oz) of a can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Sour Cream Frosting:
  • 24 oz. sour cream
  • ¼ can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (or more depending on your taste preference)
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup chopped and toasted walnuts, hazelnuts (or any other nuts)
  • fresh or dry fruit or berries (raisins, cranberry, cherries, etc.) optional
Chocolate Glaze:
  • 2-3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 (9 inch) round springform cake pans.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer using a whisk attachment, mix the eggs and sugar until pale yellow and frothy, 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add the sour cream, condensed milk, the baking soda dissolved in vinegar and vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
  4. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix to combine. You don't have to be too careful with the batter. This is not a sponge cake, so it's not supposed to be really light and fluffy. You don't have to be delicate with it.
  5. Divide the batter between the 2 prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes. You can check to make sure the cakes are baked through completely by using a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean when you poke it into the center of the cake, the cake is done. Cool the cakes completely.
Sour Cream Frosting and Chocolate Glaze
  1. Meanwhile, make the sour cream frosting. Whip the heavy cream in a chilled bowl of a standing mixer using a whisk attachment until frothy and thick. Set aside.
  2. Mix the sour cream with the remaining condensed milk, powdered sugar and vanilla. You can add as much or as little sugar as you like.
  3. Fold the whipped cream into the sour cream. Set aside.
  4. Cut one of the cake layers in half horizontally.
  5. Cut the second cake layer into cubes, as big or as little as you want.
  6. Place a dollop of sour cream frosting onto the bottom of a cake platter. Place one of the divided cake layers on top and spread out a layer of frosting all over the surface. Sprinkle some of the nuts over the frosting. Place the second half of the cake layer on top and spread more frosting and sprinkle with more nuts.
  7. Set aside some of the frosting for the sides of the cake and the top.
  8. Gently toss the cubed cake pieces with the rest of the frosting and the nuts. As I already mentioned, you can use any nuts that you like and well as fresh or dried fruit or berries.
  9. Arrange all the cake pieces on top of the cake in the shape of a volcano, piling them up one on top of another.
  10. Spread the frosting that you set aside over the sides of the cake and cover the top with a thin layer of frosting as well.
  11. Place the cake in the refrigerator.
  12. Meanwhile, make the chocolate glaze.
  13. In a small saucepan, whisk together all the ingredients EXCEPT the butter, while they are still cold.
  14. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, simmer for a few minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the glaze thins out to a syrupy consistency. Whisk in the butter.
  15. Drizzle the hot glaze over the top of the cake in any design that you like.
  16. Refrigerate the cake for at least a few hours. I usually keep it refrigerated overnight. It’s very important to give the cake time to set and chill, otherwise it will fall apart when you cut it.

53 Comments

  • yuliya vakulchik

    В Бресте мы этот торт называли “Графские развалины” – очень к изображению торта подходит 🙂 Спасибо за рецепт, Олечка!!!

  • Tanya

    Hey! Everyone i know calls this “curly boys cake”. Very interesting. And I thought grafskiye rozvalini was from meringue?

  • Irina

    Hi Olga!
    I Love your blog and your recipes,but your spoons are killing me. You have these wonderful images and everywhere where “the spoon” is featured makes me wanna grab some baking soda and scrub them,or better throw them out and get a new quality one. Cheap cutlery is cheap cutlery.
    The fork on Campanella pasta should have retired years ago. I honestly don’t mean to offend. Just my view.

    • Marina | Let the Baking Begin!

      Hi Irina,
      I am no Olga, but I just had to say something lol.
      The word “cheap” has nothing to do with that cutlery. The weathered look is part of the ongoing trend of displaying antique (looking) cutlery around dishes. Check out http://vikalinka.com she’s someone who does that with a lot of grace 🙂 It’s a matter of opinion, not esthetics 🙂

    • olgak7

      I’m sorry to hear that my spoons and fork are distressing you, Irina. I was going for a vintage look when I bought them specifically to use as photo props. I guess it’s a matter of taste. It never even crossed my mind that someone would see it as “cheap cutlery”, but I can see where you’re coming from. Thanks for sharing your opinion.

  • o

    I have never seen this cake before yet it seems so popular on instagram. I do want to try it but it looks a Lil unappealing. Have you had weird stares at it?

    • olgak7

      I guess it’s a matter of taste. I’ve never had any weird stares:). Maybe some people thought so, but were too polite to say something. I definitely wouldn’t put in the effort to make something that I thought was unappealing. There are so many beautiful cakes out there to try, so if this one doesn’t appeal to you, there are so many others you can make.

  • Ella

    Hello Olga, this cake looks wonderful! What kind of dried fruit do you think will pair well with this cake? (Besides cranberries and cherries).

    Thank you,
    Ella

    • olgak7

      That depends on your taste preference, Ella. Dry blueberries, pineapple, apricots, prunes, orange. Anything will work. You can even add fresh cherries, strawberries, raspberries, pineapple, mandarin oranges, etc. I usually prefer to keep it simple and only add nuts. Sometimes I will add raspberries, but usually I don’t.

      • Ella

        Hello Olga,
        Thank you for the quick reply. I prefer simple tastes as well, but I have a friend asking me to make a moist, chocolate cake with nuts and fruit, and this recipe seems to be perfect for it. 🙂
        Raspberries sounds like they’d be delicious with chocolate and roasted walnuts! Is there a significant taste difference between fresh fruit and dried fruit? Do you have a preference?

  • o

    I made this cake last night. I wanted it all day from the moment I seen you post it. It is very delicious! And the volcano/ cubed pieces itself are the best part of the cake! Mmmm.

    Thanks you!

  • Vita

    Olga! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, my mom used to make it every year for my birthday. She hasn’t made it in a while and wad trying to remember the recipe when we came across your blog. And its exactly how she made it!!

    PS we are from Belarus too (loved your potato babka recipe) and now live in Canada 🙂

    • olgak7

      Glad to “meet” another Belorussian:).
      Don’t you just love those recipes that bring back warm memories? I love nostalgic recipes. I’m so glad you’ll be able to enjoy this cake again:).

  • yana

    Hi Olga, I want to make this cake as a layer cake and also want to skip the cocoa, do you think by skipping the cocoa it will be good as a white cake? Thanks so much for all your work and I loveeee all the pictures with the pretty spoons!!

    • olgak7

      Hi Julia! Happy New Year to you too.
      I don’t know how much the cake will cost to make. It depends on where you live and what type of ingredients you buy.
      Different parts of the world have different prices and it will make a difference whether you buy regular ingredients or organic.

  • Elena

    I made it for New Year party…this cake was a bomb! it was pretty easy to make if you follow the recipe. Thank you very much!

  • Alena

    My sister made this cake and she also added sour Russian cherries from banka, it was delicious, that sour and sweet tangle was perfect combination! planning to make it as a layer cake type for this weekend with nuts and sour cherries in between, will tag u on instagram if I don’t forget:)

  • Tanya

    Oh my goodness, this cake was so delicious! My husband claimed this cake was his favorite when we got married. I had never tasted this cake before and each of my attempts got a thumbs down. I gave up making it several years ago and randomly decided to make your recipe last week. We (ahem, I) could not stop eating it! I love that it’s not too sweet, and it’s definitely MY new favorite cake. Thanks, Olga! The search is over 🙂

    • olgak7

      I’m so happy to hear that, Tanya. I also love cakes that aren’t too sweet, so I totally agree with you. Thanks for taking the time to write.

  • Tzivia

    Omg wow Olga chocolate cream and nuts what could be better lmao I am totally drooling and salivating right now am wondering tho if the nuts need to be toasted pr is it not necessary may be going away to friends pf the family next week or two for the Sabbath weekend and this cake looks so very tantalizing and scrumptious perfect homemade gift

  • Iris Ansell

    Just wondered what percent fat sour cream you used. I am afraid that if it isn’t thick enough it might get runny. My daughter, who lived in Ukraine, really wants me to make it, and I just want to make sure it will turn out with the type of sour cream we have. Thanks

  • Lyukon

    Olga, thank you for your site-I like it and use a lot for ideas what to make.
    My daughter and I made this cake for thanksgiving dinner, and I noticed that 3 teaspoon of baking soda is too much (my opinion) We put 2 teaspoon, and my sister-in-law said that soda was noticeable (by taste).
    Otherwise my 11 years daughter had fun -it’s her new experience now-learning to make different desserts.
    Thank you for having a varieties of these on your site.

    • olgak7

      Hi Lyukon,
      I’m sorry you weren’t 100% satisfied with the recipe.
      Next time, you could try using baking powder instead. This is the classic recipe that I got from a relative in Belarus, so I choose to use the original recipe, but you can experiment and try using the baking powder instead and hopefully, it will taste better for you.

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