Puncs slice

A classic Hungarian cake from the Soviet era. In my high school there used to be a small cafe with cakes and sandwiches. I was a typical starving high school student living in the dorms, missing home cooking, and constantly hungry. Occasionally I used to be able to save up some cash to visit the little cafe and I always bought myself one slice of this cake. It’s basically a cake meant to use up leftovers in a tasty fashion. The dried edges of cakes can be incorporated into the filling. Unfortunately, it is nowhere near as delicious with even the most expensive apricot jam I can find as it is with my mom’s homemade apricot jam from fruit grown in our garden. Alas, it’s still worth a try.


12 eggs

100g flour

40g starch

24g baking powder

0.25 tsp salt

80g sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract


2 tbsp cocoa powder

0.5 cup water

0.5 cup sugar

0.25 tsp lemon juice

350g apricot jam

2 tsp rum extract

100g sour cherry compote (if available)


100g  icing sugar

2 tsp rum extract


1 drop red food coloring


Preheat oven to 380F. Separate the egg whites and yolks. Add the sugar to the egg yolks and beat until smooth. Add the flour, starch, baking powder, vanilla, and salt and whip in.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into egg yolk mix little by little. Spread out onto a parchment-lined half sheet pan and bake.  for about 15 minutes (until set).

Cool on a cookie rack.

Cut out two equivalent pieces covering about 1/2 of the cake. Set aside. 

Crumble the rest of the dough. Boil the sugar in the water until it is fully dissolved. Add the rum extract and lemon juice and pour onto crumbled cake. Mix with cocoa powder and the blended apricot jam, reserving about a quarter cup of jam.

Spread the bottom cake layer with half of the reserved jam. Top with the crumbled cake mix, spread that with jam and cover with plastic foil. Compress and allow to sit for a few hours.

Mix the icing sugar, rum extract, food dye, and enough milk to form a thick paste. Spread this onto the top layer. Refrigerate. Serve after a few hours.

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