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Polish Vodka Cake Recipe – Kukułka

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Polish vodka cake on a blue and white plate.

If you head to Poland and ask one of the locals about their preferred alcohol of choice, the person is probably going to say vodka. The Poles love their vodka and no matter what the occasion is, they have to open a bottle or two or three. In fact, the rule of thumb at any special occasion is that the number of bottles of vodka is supposed to be equal to the number of Poles at the party!

If you have been shopping for vodka in Poland, you probably know that there are loads of popular vodka brands in the market. Each one has its unique characteristics. You will find that people form an affinity to a brand of their choice and usually only get that one home. 

If you haven’t tried many of the brands and are really confused about what to buy, I recommend taking a look at our Polish vodka guide where we talk about the differences between each brand.

It should not come as a surprise that vodka is used in cooking and baking. The Polish vodka cake recipe is a popular favorite and is one that is used in many households. 

Polish Vodka Cake Recipe – Kukułka

Make And Bake The Sponge Cake

Part I – Preheat The Oven

Preheat the oven to 340F. Use a 9×13” cake pan for this recipe. Line the pan with parchment paper to prevent the cake from sticking to the sides. This helps you remove the cake easily when it is done. It also ensures that the shape and integrity of the Polish vodka cake is not compromised.

Part II – Separate The Egg Yolk From The Egg Whites

Separate the egg yolk and white of 8 eggs. I recommend using a small bowl to separate each egg in case of a misstep. You do not want the egg yolk to accidentally break into the egg white bowl.

Separate the egg yolks and egg whites.
Separate the egg yolks and egg whites.

Part III – Mix And Sift The Flour

Mix 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 2 tbsps. of cocoa powder and ¼ cup of potato starch together in a bowl. Sieve this mixture to remove any lumps that may have formed. This will also help incorporate air into the flour mixture which will help give the cake a nice light texture.

Mix and sift the flour for Polish vodka cake together.
Mix and sift the flour for Polish vodka cake together.

Part IV – Whisk The Egg Whites

Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites. Now whisk the egg whites well. You will need a hand mixer for this. The egg white should become the consistency of whipped cream. The trick is to start at a low speed and gradually increase the speed as you go.

Part V – Add Sugar

Add 1 cup of sugar to the mixture. This has to be done slowly. Continue whipping the egg whites and add a little sugar at a time. Keep adding the sugar and whisk till the sugar blends in with the egg-white mixture. You will notice that the sugar dissolves. Don’t worry. This is an expected and wanted reaction.

Part VI – Add The Egg Yolk

Reduce the speed of the mixer and start adding in the yolks. Add one yolk at a time and keep whisking. Add the next when the first one has combined well with the mixture. Repeat the process till all 8 yolks are added.

Part VII – Add The Flour

The next part involves adding the flour mixture. Add in a little at a time while continuing to whisk the egg mixture. Do this till the entire flour mixture has been added.

Part VIII – Bake For 35 Minutes

Gently pour the mixture into the pan and bake the cake. Do not open the oven for the first 20 minutes or the cake will collapse inwards.

Prepare The Vodka Liquor

Part I – Melt The Chocolate

For this recipe, you can choose to use either dark or milk chocolate. Dark chocolate will give the cake a bittersweet taste. Milk chocolate will make the cake sweet. 

Combine 7oz of chocolate with 3 tbsps. of sugar in a cup of coffee. Let the mixture cool down before use.

Part II – Add ¾ Cup Of Vodka And Mix

Make The Cream Custard

Part I – Combine Gelatin Powder With Water

In a pot, add 3 tbsps. of gelatin powder to water. The gelatin powder to water ratio will be based on the packet that you use. Each brand has its own instructions. Mix the gelatin and water well and leave for 10 minutes so that the gelatin combines well.

Part II – Heat The Mixture

After 10 minutes have elapsed, heat the gelatin mixture. This will ensure that any remaining gelatin crystals get dissolved. Let the mixture cool down.

Part III – Beat The Cold Cream

Add 4 cups of cold heavy cream into a bowl. Beat it till it forms stiff peaks. Add 4 tbsps. of  icing sugar and the cooled gelatin mixture to the heavy cream. Beat the mixture again. This resultant mixture will form your custard. The gelatin will serve to give it form.

Assemble The Cake

Part I – Cut The Cake In Half

After the cake has cooled, lay it on a flat surface and use a knife to slice it in half. Make sure to do this horizontally. Each half will form one of the layers of the cake.

Cut the cake in half.
Cut the cake in half.

Part II – Soak The Bottom Cake Layer

Place a cake layer on the plate that you intend to serve it on. Use half of the vodka coffee mixture to soak the bottom layer.

Part III – Spread Half Of The Custard On Top Of It

Add a layer of custard.
Add a layer of custard.

Part IV – Cover It With The Second Cake Layer

Part V – Soak The Top Layer

Use the remaining coffee vodka mixture to soak the second cake layer of the Polish vodka cake. Make sure to spread it out evenly.

Soak the top layer of the Polish vodka cake.
Soak the top layer of the Polish vodka cake.

Part VI – Spread The Remaining Custard And Decorate With Chocolate Flakes.

Don't forget the chocolate sprinkles.
Don’t forget the chocolate sprinkles.

Part VII – Refrigerate The Cake Before Serving

Refrigerating the cake will help the custard take form. Remember that the consistency of the custard is one of the most important parts of Polish vodka cake. That way when you serve the cake, it will not be mushy. Plus, this cake tastes best served cool.

The layer Polish vodka cake.
The layer Polish vodka cake.

FAQs About Polish Vodka Cake

What Are The Best Vodka Brands In Poland?

If you are looking for cheap Polish vodka brands, choose Krupnik. Belvedere on the other hand is for those who want to choose quality. If you want to try different flavors, such as Polish cherry vodka or Polish lemon vodka, you will find that Soplica or J.A.Baczewski has the best quality vodka.

Which Flavor Of Vodka Is Best Suited For Polish Vodka Cake?

Generally, you do not need flavored vodka when working on a Polish vodka cake. This is because you combine it with chocolate and vodka that already have strong flavors. If you want to give the cake a twist, you can choose from one of the flavors. Try a berry flavor. The idea is to pick a flavor that pairs well with coffee and chocolate.

Why Do You Need To Refrigerate Polish Vodka Cake?

Refrigerating the Polish vodka cake is essential so that the gelatin sets. This gives the custard a firmer consistency. That way when you slice the cake, it remains in a perfect cube. Like all custard-filled cakes, the Polish vodka cake tastes great cold.

Yield: 24 pieces

Polish Vodka Cake Recipe - Kukułka

Polish vodka cake on a blue and white plate.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes


Chocolate Sponge Cake

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup of potato starch
  • 2 tbsps of cocoa

Vodka Liquor

  • 1 cup of coffee
  • ¾ cup of vodka
  • 3 tbsps of sugar
  • 7 oz (200g) of chocolate (dark or milk)

Cream Custard

  • 4 cups of heavy cream (cold)
  • 2 tbsps of icing sugar
  • 3 tbsps of gelatin powder


  • Chocolate flakes / grated chocolate to decorate


Make And Bake The Sponge Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 340˚F (170°C). Line the 9x13" cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. Separate egg yolks from egg whites.
  3. Mix and sift the flour, cocoa, and potato starch.
  4. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and whisk until you will get the consistency of the whipped cream. Start with the low speed, then slowly increase it.
  5. Slowly start adding the sugar, whisking all the time. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Reduce the speed and slowly start adding the egg yolks.
  7. Next, slowly add the flour.
  8. Bake immediately for about 35 minutes. Don't open up the oven for the first 20 minutes!

Prepare The Vodka Liquor

  1. Melt chocolate and sugar in hot coffee. Let it cool down.
  2. Add vodka and mix.

Make Cream Custard

  1. In a pot, cover gelatin powder with ½ cup of water. Mix and leave for 10 minutes.
  2. After that time, heat the mixture until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Let it cool down.
  3. Beat cold heavy cream until stiff. At icing sugar, gelatin mixture, and beat again.

Assemble The Cake

  1. When the sponge cake is cold, cut it in half (horizontally).
  2. Soak the bottom cake with half of the vodka liquor.
  3. Spread half of the custard onto it.
  4. Cover it with the second layer of cake.
  5. Soak it with the remaining vodka liquor.
  6. Spread the remaining custard onto it.
  7. Sprinkle with chocolate flakes.
  8. Place the cake in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 40mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 5g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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