Alexandertorte — the Latvian delight associated with a Tsar

May 19, 2014

Portrait of Alexander I of Russia painted by Franz Krüger.

Portrait of Alexander I of Russia painted by Franz Krüger.

We do not know the origins of this delightful Latvian dessert, but convention associates it with Alexander I, Tsar of all Russias.

This grandson of Catherine the Great was the most powerful monarch in Europe at his time, and after Napoleon’s 1812 occupation of Moscow, the usurper’s ruthless enemy. For the French despot who had once claimed, “I am the Revolution,” the Tsar’s hatred proved to be decisive, for his troops were a major factor in toppling Napoleon and driving him into exile in 1815.


Alexandertorte Recipe


    1 cup sugar

   2 eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

    3 cups flour

    ½ teaspoon salt

    2 cups butter

Grated rind of 1 lemon



1 cup seedless raspberry jam



    3 tablespoons lemon juice

    2 cups icing sugar


1. Cream the butter and sugar well in an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Add the lemon rind and the flour. Mix just until a smooth dough is formed.

2. Grease two 9 by 13-inch sheet-cake pans and line each with waxed paper. Divide the dough evenly between the two pans. Using a spatula spread the dough evenly.

3. You may want to put waxed paper on top as well and simply use a rolling pin. Remove the waxed paper on top. Bake at 375°F for about 13 to 15 minutes, or until they are just golden brown. Allow the sheets to cool in the pans.

4. Invert one sheet onto a flat serving platter, and peel off the waxed paper. Whisk the jelly to thin it out, then spread it evenly over the first sheet. Carefully invert the second sheet on top of the first and peel off the waxed paper.

5. Prepare the glaze by stirring the lemon juice gradually into the powdered sugar with a fork. If it does not spread easily, add enough water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you get an icing that is easy to work with.

6. Spread the top of the pastry with the icing and allow it to set. Cut into diamonds or 1-inch by 3-inch pieces.


To Serve: 12 – 16

Recipe was taken from:

Photo from:


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