No-Bake Charlotte Cake

Charlotte Cake or Romanian Tort Diplomat, a deliciously light no-bake dessert made with ladyfingers, whipped cream, custard cream and fruit. The perfect choice for any party, from the New Year’s Eve Party, to birthdays or any other celebration. Refreshing, silky, what a treat!

Overhead shot of a Charlotte Cake with flowers around it

With Christmas over, you have a week till the New Year’s Eve Party to recover from all that food that left you full to the brim. Not when your birthday is in between though!

The only disadvantage I can think of is that presents had already been given for Christmas, so chances are, you get pretty much nothing else. I guess best wishes also count.

And what a better way to celebrate than with a delicious birthday cake! I usually go for a rich chocolate one, but this year I decided to go for something else.

A lot ligher, equally indulgent, Charlotte Cake. Romanians love it, and it usually finds its way to the tables on the New Year’s Eve. I can’t think of a better choice!

My elder daughter loved it. I made the mistake of telling her I was making a birthday cake the day before my birthday, and all she could think of for two days was the cake. Toddlers are funny creatures, aren’t they?

So, 31!!! Where have the years gone? Not sure if I’m any wiser now than I was some years ago, but I definitely see the world with different eyes.

And I have two lovely daughters that fill my life with joy. They also make my hair turn grey at times, but that’s a different story. I have a lot to be grateful for, and I know that the best is yet to come.

A Charlotte Cake with 2 candles lit to celebrate a 31st birthday

Coming back to my Charlotte Cake, the Romanian version at least, this is one scrumptious dessert that you must try. Making it really is a piece of cake.

First of all, no baking whatsoever, which makes things a lot simpler right from the start. And another good thing is that you can use any fruit you have, there’s so set rules here.

One crucial step is getting the gelatine right, otherwise the cake collapses when you try to slice it. If you use canned fruit, make sure you drain the juice/syrup well before you add them to the cream, as the liquid may make it pretty wobbly. Kiwi, oranges, mango, pear, anything works well.

I would advise you to make the cake the night before and let it chill overnight. Not only it has more time to settle and chill, but it also tastes great when it’s nice and cool.

Make the cake as big as you like, it doesn’t even have to be round, if you have a rectangle baking tin with detachable walls, do go for it too.

A collage of 6 photos to show step-by-step insyructions how to make Charlotte Cake

I am telling you, this is pattiserie-style cake, delicate texture, subtle vanilla flavour, and fresh fruit. My kind of heavenly dessert. I will be making it again for the New Year, so we can celebrate it in style.

The last post of this year had to be a spectacular one, before we start the healthy clean-eating January recipes. But for now, let’s forget about all those resolutions, there is still time to indulge.

So, who wants a piece of the amazing Charlotte Cake? I had at least 3.

A Charlotte Cake next to some purple flowers

If you’ve liked my CHARLOTTE CAKE or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

3 from 2 votes
Overhead shot of a Charlotte Cake topped with fruit
Charlotte Cake
Prep Time
30 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Charlotte Cake or the Romanian Diplomat Torte, a deliciously light no-bake dessert made with ladyfingers, whipped cream, custard cream and fruit. The perfect choice for any party, from the New Year's Eve Party, to birthdays or any other celebration. Refreshing, silky, what a treat!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Romanian
Keyword: no-bake desserts
Servings: 6 slices
Calories: 284 kcal
Author: Daniela Anderson
  • 1 packet ladyfingers (175 g)
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup full-fat milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 400 g whipped cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped fruit, plus more to decorate
  • 10 g gelatine powder
  • 3 egg yolks
  1. In a small bowl, add the gelatine with 5 tablespoons of water and let it hydrate for 10-15 minutes until it becomes like a jelly.

  2. In a large bowl, add the egg yolks, sugar, flour and vanilla extract and mix well to get a smooth paste.

  3. Pour over the milk, and whisk well to combine.

  4. Add everything to a pan, and set it over a low heat, whisking continuously until it starts to thicken.

  5. Remove from the heat, and leave it to cool for 10 minutes, then add the gelatine and whisk well to combine. Leave to cool for antother 10-15 minutues.

  6. In a different bowl, beat the whipped cream until it holds stiff peaks, then gently fold it into the custard cream.

  7. Arrange the ladyfingers around a detachable baking tin and also cover the bottom of it. Use one third of the cream, then add one layer of fruit, then another layer of cream, until it finishes. 

  8. Decorate the cake with any fruit of your choice.

  9. Leave to cool in the fridge for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight.

Recipe Notes
  • Click on the US Customary link to see the measurements displayed in cups and ounces.
  • The servings can be adjusted by clicking the number next to Servings.
Nutrition Facts
Charlotte Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 284 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 25%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 55mg 18%
Sodium 27mg 1%
Potassium 169mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 30g 10%
Sugars 26g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 11.6%
Vitamin C 0.5%
Calcium 11.3%
Iron 0.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Adapted from

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  • Reply
    December 29, 2017 at 8:16 am

    A beautiful cake! I love charlotte cake.

  • Reply
    July 6, 2018 at 10:48 am

    I am so glad I’ve found your recipe, as a fellow romanian this is a wonderful “blast from the past”. I was wondering if you have ever tried using leaf gelatine instead of the powdered one? I am hoping to make it today, and that is all I have on hand, and I am not entirely sure about conversions in this case….

    • Reply
      Daniela Anderson
      July 6, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      Hi Monica! Glad to see your comment! I have not tried with leaf gelatine, but my guess is one leaf should be enough to set the filling. But now it depends on each brand, perhaps the instructions on the package state how much liquid it can be used for? I hope you’ll like the recipe, it went down a treat with us.

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