This delicious party torte dessert has a soft sweet center that will remind you of a light airy marshmallow with a crisp meringue-like crust. Then, the layers are frosted with homemade lightly-sweetened whipped cream.
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If you have been following my blog for a while, you know I love to share my grandma’s recipes. She was an outstanding cook, and I love being able to share her recipes with the world. Of all the desserts she used to make, her party torte is definitely my favorite. Whenever we would have big family get-togethers, everyone would beg her to make her amazing chicken and dumplings and a party torte for dessert.
How My Grandma Discovered the Party Torte
Grandma once told me she found the party torte recipe in a newspaper and clipped it out. She had to put her own twist on the fancy dessert so it was, well, less fancy. My grandma was such a modest lady and liked to keep things simple.
The original recipe she found had fruit mixed in with the whipped cream frosting. Although she may have added the fruit at times, I don’t ever remember that version. Her party torte is similar to the Pavlova recipes floating around the Internet, but most of the recipes have fruit on top and a few additional ingredients.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
I have very fond memories helping my grandma make the party torte. The thing that sticks out the most, is that she would line the pans with paper sacks–yes, from the grocery store! My grandma had a knack for making use of many things, because she liked to waste nothing. She was a newlywed just beginning to raise a family during the Depression and understood the value of reusing anything and everything.
My grandma eventually discovered round cake pans with sliders that would easily release the cakes. The party torte is crumbly and will stick to the pan, so these sliders will go all the way around the pan and allow the cake to pop right out.
Making the Party Torte
Only six ingredients are used for this delicious party torte dessert. It does take a bit of time to make, but each mouth-watering bite makes it worth all of the effort. The recipe calls for a dozen egg whites at room temperature. Vanilla and vinegar are added to the egg whites and then beaten until soft peaks form. Next, sifted sugar is added a small amount at a time. The sugar needs to be sifted so it will dissolve better into the egg whites. The mixture is beaten to stiff peaks and it’s ready to bake.
The cakes will cook at a low temperature for an hour and 15 minutes. Then, they have to cool completely before turning out of the pans. Using the round cake pans with sliders makes this process super simple.
Heavy whipping cream is beaten with powdered sugar (optional). Heavy cream is pretty sweet on its own, but if you want a little added sweetness the powdered sugar will do it. Each layer is frosted with the whipped cream. The layers are very crumbly, but the whipped cream helps hold everything in place. So easy!
The one small caveat is that you now have to wait 12 hours for the cake to set. Once it sets, the cake isn’t crumbly anymore. You can also add fruit to the top for decoration. I choose not to, because I feel like the juices from the fruit break down the whipped cream.
This party torte is definitely worth the effort it takes. I can’t wait for you to try it! If you want to try another dessert my grandma used to make, that is much more simple, check out her Strawberry Shortcake recipe.
Grandma’s Party Torte Recipe
- 12 egg whites
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups sifted white sugar
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)
- fruit, such as berries (optional)
- Bring egg whites to room temperature.
- Add vanilla and vinegar to egg whites and beat until soft peaks form.
- Add sifted sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Continue beating until very stiff peaks form and all sugar is dissolved.
- Spread into three 9-inch round cake pans. Use pans with a blade scraper, or line pans with brown paper.
- Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Cool thoroughly in pans, then turn out.
- Whip heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar (optional) until medium to stiff peaks form.
- Spread whipped cream between layers and on top and sides.
- Chill in refrigerator 12 hours or overnight.
- Top with diced fruit before serving, if desired.