Tipsy Cake Recipe

2 min read

Originating from the USA, the British version of the Tipsy cake (or Russian cake) has been widely sold across the North of England for decades. It’s a firm classic not often seen these days however we still produce this cake daily in our bakery!

The story goes that a New Orleans baker made it because he ran out of ingredients to bake a proper cake for the visit of the Russian Grand Duke Alexis when he visited the city in 1872 for Mardi Gras.

As romantic as this is, it has never been proven. The Tipsy cake may simply have been an offshoot of the raspberry trifle, the Austrian/German punschtorte or the Charlotte à la Russe. The latter was a popular dessert in the 18th century, whereby a cake mould was lined with stale cake then filled with cream or trifle and set with a layer of gelatin.

Here in the UK, the Russian slice was also a way that bakers would use up leftover sponge cake. They would moisten the cake with lashings of rum and ice the top. You’ll be pleased to know that we only use fresh sponge these days and not leftovers!

Some versions have a pastry base, but in Northumberland we make a baseless version often with feathered icing.

We’ve pulled together a Tipsy or Russian cake recipe you can make at home if you fancy giving it a go at home!


  • 1 Kg sponge cake
  • 120g jam of choice (raspberry or apricot)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 60ml Jamaican rum


  1. Crumble the left over cake pieces into small cubes
  2. Melt butter and jam in the microwave and mix well
  3. Add the rum and cake pieces together and mix
  4. Add to a mould lined with baking paper
  5. Press tight and refrigerate overnight
  6. Ice if preferred using fondant - or you can go one further and use sherry icing or feather the icing

Make sure to tag us in your Instagram or Facebook shots with your completed bakes, use the hashtags #grantsbakery #russiancake

Not much of a baker? Don’t worry, you can order your Tipsy Cake in the UK from us and have it delivered to your door. 

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