Rigó Jancsi

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Rigó Jancsi
Alternative namesGypsy John
Place of originHungary and Austria
Region or stateVienna
Main ingredientsChocolate sponge cake (flour, butter, sugar, egg whites, chocolate, egg yolks)
Filling: chocolate and cream icing, apricot jam, dark rum or vanilla

Rigó Jancsi (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈriɡoː ˈjɒnt͡ʃi]) is a traditional Hungarian cube-shaped chocolate sponge cake and chocolate cream pastry. It gained popularity in the former Austria-Hungary and is named after Rigó Jancsi (1858–1927), a famous Hungarian Gypsy (Romani people) violinist who seduced and married Clara Ward, Princess de Caraman-Chimay, the only daughter of American millionaire E. B. Ward and the wife of Belgian Prince de Caraman-Chimay.[1]

In Flavors of Hungary, a cookbook written by Charlotte Slovak Biro, this cake is called "Gypsy John".


Clara Ward and her second husband, Rigó Jancsi, on a German postcard from about 1905

Clara and Jancsi met in 1896, while Rigo Jancsi played violin at a Paris restaurant, where Clara dined out with her husband, Prince Joseph. Between 1896 and 1898, newspapers wrote extensively about the marriage of the primás (first violinist)[2] Jancsi Rigó to the Belgian countess.[3] The cake is a celebration cake wearing Rigó Jancsi's name and in honor of the romantic love story.

Sources do not agree about the origin of the pastry. Some claim that Rigo created the pastry together with an unknown pastry chef to surprise Clara;[4] others claim that Rigó Jancsi brought this pastry to Clara and the confectioner named it afterwards Rigó Jancsi.[5]

The cake[edit]

The cake has two layers of chocolate-sponge cake.[6] These chocolate sponge cake layers are made with beaten egg whites, melted chocolate, butter, sugar and flour. Sugar creamed egg yolks are beaten into the mixture.

Between the two chocolate sponge cake layers is a thick layer of very rich, chocolate and cream filling,[7] and a very thin apricot jam layer.[8] The filling may include a touch of dark rum and/or vanilla. The cake is covered with a dark chocolate fondant glaze.[9]

See also[edit]


  • Gundel's Hungarian Cookbook, Karoly Gundel, Budapest, CORVINA. ISBN 963-13-3733-2


  1. ^ Gundel's Hungarian Cookbook, Karoly Gundel
  2. ^ "Primas (Ungar.: primás; Servika-R.: primašis) [Rombase]". ling.kfunigraz.ac.at. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  3. ^ "hungarian quarterly -". hungarian quarterly. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ "rigó jancsi torta. csak 53 $!". 5 October 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Főoldal - National Geographic". Geographic.hu. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Flora's Recipe Hideout : Rigo Jancsi". Floras-hideout.com. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Rigo Jancsi". Crixacakes.com. Archived from the original on 12 November 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ Gundel, Karoly (1992). Gundel's Hungarian cookbook. Budapest: Corvina. ISBN 963-13-3600-X. OCLC 32227400.page 130
  9. ^ "thehungariangirl.com". Thehungariangirl.com. Retrieved 15 December 2017.

External links[edit]