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Hungarian Decadent Chocolate Cake- Rigo Jancsi

Hungarian Decadent Chocolate Cake- inspired from the original recipe of Rigo Jancsi Cake, an elegant dessert from the 19th century in the Austro Hungarian Empire.

Hungarian Decadent Chocolate Cake- slice of cake on white plate with fork

Today I am going to share with you a delicious Hungarian Decadent Chocolate Cake recipe. Maybe you have heard of it.  

This is a recipe inspired by the classic Rigó Jancsi cake, named after the legendary Hungarian Gypsy violinist.

If you have never had this cake before, you do not know what you are missing. For chocolate lovers and not only, but this cake is also a must-try.

Once you have had it, this recipe will become one of the family treasures. At least, this is what happened in our house, and I am confident that it will happen in yours as well.

Moist and delicious, with a hint of rum flavor and coffee (flavors that are so traditional in Eastern Europe), the cake has a decadent layer of chocolate ganache and a glaze that makes the cake really handsome and presentable.

This is an elegant dessert that resembles the rich, decadent life of the 19th century in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. 

Before you start making this recipe, please read the instructions carefully. It is not a difficult dessert to make, but it has some things that you need to pay attention to.

Hungarian Decadent Chocolate Cake- inspired from the original recipe of Rigo Jancsi Cake- overhead picture

For example, the cake batter has a little bit of baking soda in the mixture, but the air incorporated in the egg whites will help the cake rise beautifully, so make sure you beat the eggs really well, stiff but not dry.

You will also need a 9×9″ cake pan

Remember: After you make the chocolate ganache, you will need to set aside 1 cup of it for the final glaze. Don’t forget about it. It happened to me.

Hungarian Decadent Chocolate Cake- slice of cake on white plate- close up

Serve the cake by cutting it into small equal pieces. For cutting, use a sharp knife that has been dipped in warm water. Rinse the knife and dip it again in warm water before each cutting.

Now, let’s make the cake and enjoy it!

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Yield: 12 servings

Hungarian Decadent Chocolate Cake- Rigo Jancsi

Hungarian Decadent Chocolate Cake Rigo Jancsi

Hungarian Decadent Chocolate Cake- inspired from the original recipe of Rigo Jancsi Cake, an elegant dessert from the 19th century in the Austro Hungarian Empire.

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 18 minutes


Ingredients for the Chocolate Ganache and Topping

  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup/½ stick unsalted butter 
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 20 oz semisweet chocolate finely chopped
  • Plus 2 oz chopped chocolate separately will use it for the topping
  • ⅓ cup dark rum
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ingredients for the Syrup

  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum

Ingredients for the Cake:

  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoons instant coffee powder
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs separated
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt


  1. How to make the Chocolate Ganache:
  2. Stir the heavy cream, butter, and sugar together in a saucepan.
  3. Place the saucepan over medium heat and heat it until the sugar dissolves and the heavy cream comes to a simmer.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Add 20 oz of chocolate. Whisk until melted and smooth.
  6. Whisk in rum and vanilla.
  7. Transfer one cup of the warm mixture to a small bowl and add the 2 oz chocolate to it. This will be the final glaze. Mix until smooth. Set aside.
  8. Transfer the rest of the chocolate mixture into a larger bowl to use as filling.
  9. Chill until cold and thick, at least 6 hours.
  10. How to make the Syrup:( It will be used to flavor and make the cake moist)
  11. Bring water and sugar to a boil. Remove and let cool. Mix in the rum.
  12. How to Make the Cake:
  13. Preheat oven to 350F.
  14. Line bottom of a 9x9" pan with parchment paper and then butter the paper.
  15. Combine vanilla and coffee powder in a cup and mix to dissolve the coffee.
  16. Sift flour, cocoa, and baking soda together into a bowl.
  17. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and ½ cup sugar in a medium bowl until they get very thick and light in color.
  18. Beat in the vanilla coffee mixture.
  19. Use clean, dry beaters to beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form in another bowl.
  20. Add remaining ¼ cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry.
  21. Fold ½ of egg whites into a yolk mixture. Fold in half of the flour mixture. Fold the remaining whites, then the remaining flour mixture.
  22. Transfer batter to prepared pan and spread gently to an even thickness.
  23. Bake cake for about 18 minutes until it puffs up and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  24. Cool in pan on rack. It might shrink a little bit.
  25. How to assemble the cake:
  26. Cut around the pan to loosen up the cake.
  27. Turn out onto the work surface and peel off the parchment paper.
  28. Using a long serrated knife, cut the cake horizontally in half.
  29. Place 1 half, cut side up, on a platter.
  30. Use a pastry brush to brush syrup over the cake surface.
  31. Using an electric mixer, beat the cold chocolate ganache until thick and lighter in color, less than 1 minute.
  32. Spread all filling evenly over the cake layer, aligning with the sides of the cake.
  33. Brush with syrup the other half of the cake, the cut side one.
  34. Place layer syrup side down on top of the chocolate ganache.
  35. Rewarm the preserved cup of ganache over low heat until pourable.
  36. Pour it over the top of the cake, starting in the center.
  37. Use a spatula and spread topping to edges, trying not to spill over.
  38. Chill cake overnight, covering loosely with foil or with cake dome after 2 hours.
  39. Keep refrigerated but serve it at room temperature.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 696Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 30gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 150mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 3gSugar: 49gProtein: 7g

Did you make this recipe?

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Stacey McPeek

Saturday 23rd of October 2021

This was certainly a fail on my end, but although it will be ugly as all sin, the ganache is really tasty.

The Bossy Kitchen

Saturday 23rd of October 2021

Well, the taste is what matters! :- )

Cindy D

Friday 22nd of October 2021

Help, My ganache is runny after chilling for 7 hours. It was thickening but recipe said beat for less than 1 minute. Should I chill it for several more hours? or overnight?

The Bossy Kitchen

Friday 22nd of October 2021

Oh, no! This is not good! You say it was thickening after 7 hours, but you beat it, and now it is runny? Or the ganache never got thicker? Clearly, if the ganache is not thick after a few hours, there is no point in keeping it more hours in the fridge. Something happened to it.

Is it split/broken/grainy or just runny from the beginning? Was the heavy cream at least 36% fat? (This is the standard for the US). What kind of chocolate did you use, and did you measure it right? The ratio between heavy cream and chocolate is very important.

Please send me more details, so we can troubleshoot. Otherwise, place the bowl with the ganache on top of a double boiler and warm it up. Add 1 oz of chocolate to it and stir gently to incorporate the chocolate. Allow the ganache to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate it again. When you beat it, make sure you don't overdo it. It should slightly change the color to a lighter brown and become fluffier. If you beat it too long, it might split.

If the ganache is grainy, oily, split, then start the same: warm it up on top of a double boiler and add either a tablespoon of corn syrup, OR honey. Whisk gently until you obtain a smooth ganache. Continue with the rest of the steps.

Please feel free to write back and let me know how it went. A lot of things can go wrong when you work with chocolate, so don't lose hope and please don't throw away the ganache. You can fix it!

Karl Rathswohl

Saturday 11th of September 2021

Hi there, Great recipe thks. used to make Rigo Jancsi in Salzburg, Hotel Goldener Hirsch.... Suggest to have a metric conversion......thks....

Kind regards,



Wednesday 7th of August 2019

I have a question or two. I am serving more than 12 people, can i double the recipe and use a larger pan? Right now I am just planning on making a few 9"x9" ones. Also since there is so much time between portions can the cake part sit overnight as well as the syrup and one cup of ganache?

Right now everything is done and I am waiting for the cake to cool to assemble.

After being put together, how many days can it be in the fridge?

The Bossy Kitchen

Thursday 8th of August 2019

Hi, Yes, you can double the recipe. Making a few 9x9' ones is a good idea.Make sure you have a double batch of everything(ganache, syrup etc). I am not sure I understand what you mean about "Also since there is so much time between portions can the cake part sit overnight as well as the syrup and one cup of ganache?"- If you do not assemble the cake tonight, place the ganache in the refrigerator, also the syrup. The cake has to be wrapped in some plastic foil so it doesn't dry out. Oh, also, the cake is good for maximum 4-5 days in the refrigerator. There is heavy cream in it, which is perishable.Let me know if you have more questions.:-)


Wednesday 30th of May 2018

I am definitely making this one! I didn’t have it in forever, so as soon as the heat lets up a bit I’ll be baking it. Looking through the recipe though I noticed that you said to keep a cup (I believe it says a cup) of the mousse. That was a bit confusing so I kept on reading. I hope you don’t mind if I say this, I think it’s not technically a mousse, but rather a ganache until it’s whipped? And even then I think it’s a bit more like a truffle? I don’t mean to offend, I like your blog and your open style of writing and I often come back to read it, not just for a recipe, but because of it’s style. It feels like home. Numai bine Gabriela, mult succes mai departe și mulțumiri multe pentru tot efortul (știu ca e mult) și rețetele minunate. Îți doresc o zi frumoasa. Dana.

The Bossy Kitchen

Monday 4th of June 2018

Hi Dana, I revisited the recipe and made some corrections to it. Technically, you were right. I think we will stick with the term "ganache" for now, it is the most appropriate. Thank you for visiting and being a loyal reader of the blog. Multumesc frumos! :-)

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