Buttercream Torte

Fancy enough for a wedding, this cake is a showstopping finale to any meal.

November 22, 2016 | | Desserts

This is a two-layer version of the wedding cake restaurateur and cookbook author Pia Wiesen made from an old family recipe for her daughter Laura Wiesen and son-in-law Xel Campbell.

It is a family recipe handed down from Laura’s great-grandmother, who cooked for the prime minister of Luxembourg in her day. The three-tier torte was topped with a decadent French buttercream flavoured with espresso.

Pia used fancy organic whey butter for the buttercream frosting, which should have made for a beautiful, silky consistency. Unfortunately no one got to taste that batch because it curdled in the fridge overnight! The lesson: If you’re going the DIY route, be ready for last-minute curveballs at 6 a.m. on the wedding day.

“I took a deep breath, had a coffee, put on my boots and fed my horses. Then I drove to the 24-hour Foodland in Caledon East for regular butter,” she says, mimicking the pick-yourself-up moment. Crisis averted.

Buttercream Torte

Recipe submitted by: Pia Wiesen ( Visit Website )


  • Butter and flour to grease the pan
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour

For the buttercream

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 shot glass of espresso
  • 4 cups unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour an 8" springform cake pan.
  2. Beat the 6 egg yolks with the sugar. When creamy white, slowly add the flour and keep beating.
  3. Beat the 6 egg whites until stiff peaks form, then slowly fold them into the egg/flour mixture.
  4. Pour into the cake pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes
  5. out clean. Set aside and let cool.
  6. For the buttercream, pour the sugar in to a saucepan, add the water and bring to a slow boil, stirring with a wooden spoon until a small string of syrup hangs down when you lift the spoon out.
  7. Set aside and cool down enough that you can touch it without burning your fingertip. Add the glass of espresso.
  8. Beat the butter until soft, using a stand mixer and paddle attachment if you have. Add the egg yolk and mix well. Add the coffee sugar syrup in a very slow stream, stirring until all the syrup is mixed in.
  9. To finish, remove the cake from the pan. Cut in half horizontally.
  10. Spread about a third of the buttercream on the bottom half. Place the other half on top. Smooth the remaining buttercream on top and sides.
  11. If desired, sprinkle with toasted almond slivers and freshly grated dark chocolate.

About the Author More by Pia Wiesen

In her book, Journey to the Three Little Lands, Pia shares how simple old country cooking can be. Learn her techniques and make cooking delicious meals simple!

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