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three layer cake recipe

Three Layer Sheet Cake

This sheet cake is very popular in our family. Three different color-contrasting layers are alternated in the cake, and it not only tastes great and looks so good!
Course Sweet Pastry
Cuisine Czech
Keyword Coffee cakes, Sheet cakes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 25 pieces


The bottom cocoa layer:

  • 2 and ½ cups (325 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (90 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp dark cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp water

The middle white layer:

  • 1 and ⅔ lb (750 g) farmers’ cheese
  • 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk

The top layer:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) vegetable oil
  • 6 Tbsp water
  • 1 and ⅔ cups (215 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder


  • Start by lining a baking sheet measuring approximately 14x16 inches (35x40 cm) with parchment paper—Preheat the oven to 300 °F (150 °C).

Making the bottom layer:

  • Put all the cocoa dough ingredients in a bowl and work out the shortcrust pastry by hand.
  • Spread the dough in a thin layer on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. To make the job easier, I helped myself with a small dough roller.

Making the middle layer:

  • Mix the cottage cheese, sugar, and egg yolk into a smooth cream and spread it on the bottom cocoa dough.

Making the top layer:

  • In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until foamy. I used a hand mixer and gradually increased the speed. Beat in the oil and water a little at a time. Mix the flour with the baking powder and gently fold it into the egg mixture.

Baking the sheet cake:

  • Bake the three-layer cake in the oven for about 45 minutes until the top layer is golden brown.
  • Let the cake cool completely, the middle farmers' cheese layer will firm up. Then cut into rectangles and serve. You can also dust them with icing sugar.


  1. Makes about 20-25 pieces.
  2. Use any baking sheet measuring about 14x16 inches.
  3. In the middle layer, the main ingredient consists of tvaroh (quark). However, this type of fresh cheese is not readily available outside the Czech borders. In the USA, an alternative called farmers' cheese is suitable. It is similar in texture and properties to Czech tvaroh.
  4. To make sure all the layers are cooked through, bake the cake at a lower temperature for a longer time. An oven preheated to 150 °C and a baking time of around 45 minutes should be fine.