Hungarian Rigó Jancsi (Chocolate Mousse) Cake Recipe

It is a traditional Hungarian cube-shaped chocolate sponge cake and chocolate cream dessert. It gained popularity in the former Austria-Hungary and is named after Rigó Jancsi (1858–1927), a famous Hungarian Gypsy (Romani people) violinist.
It was not at all so easy to find a proper recipe, so I finally contacted one of the owners of Auguszt Cake Shop. It is one of the oldest cake shops in Budapest established in 1870. Five generations of tradition, knowledge and quality, they make delicious pastries, cakes, biscuits and ice-cream.

Hungarian Rigo Jancsi cake recipe

Preparation time: 70 mins


For the sponge cake:
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
6 tablespoons of sugar
4 tablespoons of all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder (20-22%)
Teaspoon of baking powder – optional. If you think you broke the beaten egg whites when stirring with the yolks and flour, then add it to make sure the the sponge cake will not be too thin.
Pinch of salt

For the chocolate mousse filling:
500 ml (2 cups) whipping cream
130 grams dark chocolate – 50-60%
Whip it powder – I always use a sachet (about one tablespoon) because my whipping cream never gets whipped without it

For the topping:
100 grams dark chocolate – 50-60%


Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F). Grease and line two 20×25 cm tins with baking or wax paper.

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt. It is better if you beat it it until creamy, it is not necessary to beat until stiff peaks form, because it will break easily when you fold in. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with 6 tablespoons of sugar until creamy.

Carefully pour the yolks over the beaten egg whites and fold gently. You need to make sure all of the air bubbles are encased in batter; otherwise the cake won’t rise properly. The batter will set around the air bubbles when the cake bakes in the oven, allowing it to puff, and then set properly.

Sift 4 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder over the batter and fold gently. The batter should be airy. Add the baking powder if it is not airy.

Pour the batter into the 2 separate pans and smooth evenly. Bake approximately 15 minutes set aside to cool. Remove the wax papers.

For the filling: Melt the chocolate and cool back until lukewarm. Whip the cream. Mix the melted chocolate and about ¼ of the whipped cream well. Then fold this mixture gently into the remaining whipped cream. Do not break it, keep it airy.

Spread the filling on top of the bottom sponge cake.

For the glaze: Melt 100 grams of dark chocolate and spread it on top of the sponge cake. Put it in the fridge and wait until cools down completely. Then using a long chef’s knife that you’ve heated under hot tap water and dried, score the top into 18 squares. Wipe the knife, re-warm it and dry it, then cut clean through the layer, separating the pieces. (You’ll need to wipe, warm and dry after each cut to keep the edges clean).

Place these squares on top of the filling. Put the cake in the fridge for an hour.