Romanian Diplomat Cake Recipe – Tort Diplomat

This Romanian Diplomat Cake Recipe reminds me of many happy winters. For me, this is a winter cake. I used to make it for New Year’s Eve, when I used to live with my grandma during uni. It’s a simple cake to make, that back then, I used to build inside a pot. Once cooled down, I would pop it upside down and it would just slide out, perfectly. 

I know that for many families in Romania, the Diplomat Cake is a celebratory dessert, made usually for Christmas or New Year’s Eve. It’s a very light cake, filled with canned pineapple and fresh oranges – the fruits that were usually easy to find when I was younger. 

Cakes are often something people avoid making, but this isn’t as complicated as you might think. I have shared a few variations and notes further down to help you out. While this is a Romanian fruit cake we would usually enjoy in the winter or as part of a celebration, you could make this at any time of the year. It is delectably tasty and once you make it I guarantee you will be whipping it up again and again. So here is the Romanian cake recipe to help you make Tort Diplomat. 

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Ingredients Needed to Make the Romanian Diplomat Cake 

A photo of the cake taken from above. You can see that it is decorated with chunks of pineapple and slices of oranges.

There are two different ways that you can make this cake: you can either make a sponge and layer the cream inside, or just use ladyfingers. I am not very good at baking, so I prefer the later option. But, I will tell you how to make the sponge – if you choose this method. 

The Diplomat Cake is very light, and has a mousse-like consistency. It has a layer of pineapple chunks and ladyfingers in the middle, and it is decorated with more fruits. 

The cream of the cake is a simple custard mixed with whipped cream and set using gelatine. 

There are a couple of different types of ingredients you need for the separate elements to bring this Romanian cake recipe together. I have separated them out in the recipe card below so you can be organised when you begin. 

Recipe Notes and Tips

Mixing sugar with egg yolks and milk, in a big blue bowl

Sometimes recipes can be simple, other times they can appear a little complex. This is where I hope to help and guide you through this recipe with some helpful recipe notes and tips. Romanian cooking is wholesome and full of flavour, and I want to help you create that. Here are some of the helpful recipe notes and tips that will help with this Romanian cake recipe. 

  • This is a celebratory cake that used to be made for New Year’s Eve, or in winter in general. You can however make it in summer as well, as it is a very refreshing cake. 
  • It is important to act very fast when you are making the cream. The whipping cream has to be very cold when you are adding it to the room temperature custard with gelatine. This is because the cold will activate the gelatine and the cream will start setting fast. You want to obtain a nice, creamy consistency, and not lumps. 

Variations to Try

I appreciate that we all like to vary recipes from time to time, and often it might be that you want to know of any substitute ingredients or any additions or changes that you can make that will work well. So here are some of the variations to try when it comes to this Romanian Diplomat cake.  

  • I usually use pineapple from the can as well as pieces of oranges because these are the winter fruits that were available in Romania when I was growing up. But you can use any acidic fruits you like. 
  • You can replace the homemade sponge with a sponge cake bought from the store. You can also add ladyfingers instead of the sponge if you prefer. 

Romanian Diplomat Cake

The Romanian Diplomat Cake is a delicious winter favourite. The Diplomat Cake is usually served for the New Year's Eve.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Setting time 8 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine Romanian
Servings 8 people


For the sponge: 

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 pack baking powder
  • pinch salt

For the cream:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 400 gr sugar
  • 400 gr milk
  • 25 gr gelatine pack
  • 500 ml whipping cream

For the filling and decoration

  • 2 cans pineapple chunks
  • 1-2 sliced oranges
  • 1 pack ladyfingers optional


  • The first thing you need to do is make the sponge. Separate the eggs and mix the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a mixer, until they get hard. Add the sugar and mix until the mixture becomes dense and shiny. Incorporate the egg yolks, baking powder, and flour and mix with a spatula until you get a smooth mix. 
  • Preheat the oven and grease a round cake tin or two sandwich tins. Put the mix in the chosen baking tins and bake for 25-30 minutes at 170 degrees or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. 
  • Once the sponge is baked, take it out of the baking tin and let it cool completely before cutting it in two equal pieces (if you have used one round tin). 
  • Prepare the gelatine as instructed on the pack ready for the next step.
  • Now we are going to move on to make the cream. You could start this step while the cake is baking. Add the egg yolk, milk and sugar in a bowl and mix all together over a bain-marie, until you obtain a thick cream. Make sure it doesn’t reach boiling point. It has to be hot, but not boil as it will cut the cream. 
  • Once it is ready, take it off the heat and after about five minutes, incorporate the gelatine. Mix well and let it cool down naturally. 
  • Make sure the cream for whipping is very cold, and mix it until you obtain a thick whipped cream. 
  • Once you have the very cold whipped cream and the cream that has reached room temperature, you have to move fast, as this is how the gelatine will be activated.
  • Start by mixing ⅓ of the cream with the whipped cream, with a spatula, until it incorporates. Do the same for the next ⅓ of the cream, and then for the last batch. You will notice that the cream will start to become very thick.
  • Use a ring to build the cake. You can also use a large pot and build it upside down. Put the first sponge at the bottom and use some of the liquid in the pineapple on top, to get it a bit most – but not to the point that it gets wet. If you are using ladyfingers, pass them quickly through the pineapple juice, so they don't soak, and then layer them at the bottom.
  • Add 1/4 of the cream, then top the cake up with the fruits of your choice. Then add the next ¼ of the cream, and put the second sponge over. Add some pineapple syrup, then repeat with the rest of the cream. Smooth the top of the cake, and decorate it with fruits, grated chocolate, etc. 
  • Put the Diplomat Cake in the fridge and let it rest for at least 8 hours – best overnight.


There will always be questions about recipes so I hope to answer some of them below. However, please get in touch if you have a question that isn’t covered here or in the recipe notes section. 

Can you make this ahead of time?

This is a great recipe to make ahead of time. It should be stored in the fridge until you need it. 

How do I store the Tort Diplomat?

This dessert can be stored for up to 4 days in the fridge. However, you might find it won’t last that long as it is delicious. 

I hope you enjoy this Romanian fruit cake recipe. 

For more Romanian desserts check out the following recipes:

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