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A slice of cake on a white plate with more cake in the background
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3.75 from 4 votes

Charlotte Cake

Charlotte Cake or Charlotte Russe is a deliciously light no-bake dessert with ladyfingers, whipped cream, custard cream and fruit. A refreshing dessert for those special occasions like birthdays or Christmas or New Year's Eve party. Also a great summer dessert that is refreshing and fruity. The cake is easy to put together, and uses a few simple ingredients that make it so special. In Romania the cake is called Diplomat Cake.
Prep Time40 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Romanian
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 297kcal


  • 1 packet ladyfingers (200 g)
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup full-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 600 g whipped cream
  • ½ cup canned chopped fruit, plus more to decorate
  • 4 sheets gelatine
  • 3 egg yolks


  • In a bowl, add the gelatine sheets to cold water and leave to soften for about 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, add the egg yolks, sugar, flour and orange extract and mix well to get a smooth paste.
  • Pour over the milk, and whisk well to combine.
  • Add everything to a pan, and set it over a low to medium heat, whisking continuously until it starts to thicken.
  • Remove from the heat, and leave it to cool for 10 minutes, then add the gelatine and whisk well to dissolve the gelatine. Leave to cool for another 10-15 minutes.
  • In a different bowl, beat the whipped cream until it holds stiff peaks, then gently fold it into the custard cream.
  • Arrange the ladyfingers around a detachable baking tin set over a large plate and also cover the bottom of the plate. Use one third of the cream, then add one layer of fruit, then another layer of cream, until it finishes. 
  • Decorate the cake with any fruit of your choice.
  • Leave to cool in the fridge for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight.


  • 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.
  • Once the cake has been decorated, it has to go in the fridge for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight. That will allow the cake to settle well in order to be sliced.
  • If you use gelatine granules instead of the leaf gelatine, hydrate it first by adding water until the granules have a jelly-like consistency, then add it to the warm custard, and that's that.


Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 692IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 1mg