Charlotte Royale

Last month I introduced you to The Daring Kitchen and the Daring Baker challenge which I participated in. Last month the challenge was to make Lamingtons which is a kind of snack cake from Australia. So if you are still wondering what the heck is The Daring Kitchen/Bakers here is a little synopsis?

The Daring Kitchen is the home of The Daring Bakers and The Daring Cooks. The premise of both groups is to create one recipe each month, given to us by a monthly host. We all create the same exact recipe and then post about it on our personal blogs on a designated date.

This months challenge was to make a Charlotte. The challenge comes from Rebecca at  She has been a member of the Daring Bakers since 2011. She introduced all of Daring Bakers how to make a classic Charlotte Royale and Charlotte Russe! Here is how Rebecca describes the Charlotte.Charlotte Royale

The term Charlotte actually refers to two different types of dish one cold and one hot. For this challenge we are making the chilled variety, which is sometimes referred to as an icebox cake. Chilled Charlottes are composed of a lined bowl or mold, which is then filled with a Bavarian cream or mousse which is firm enough to slice when chilled. The sweet Charlotte molds are typically lined with bread, cake or ladyfingers and the savory ones are lined with vegetables or bread.

The two classic types of chilled Charlottes are the Charlotte Royale and the Charlotte Russe. The French Chef Marie-Antoine Carême supposedly invented the Charlotte Russe in the 1800s, naming it partly for the daughter of his former employer (George IV), as well as his current Russian employer (Czar Alexander I ). The Charlotte Royale is a variation on the Charlotte Russe.

The Charlotte Russe is made in a loose bottomed cake pan lined with ladyfingers and is filled with one or more layers of Bavarian Cream or mousse.


The Charlotte Royale is typically made in a round bowl lined with slices of Swiss roll cake for a spiral effect.Charlotte Royale

Though less common, Charlottes may also be savory.  These Charlottes come in many shapes and are filled with meat or vegetable mousses and the molds are lined with vegetables or bread.


Recipe Source:

The Charlotte Royale and Charlotte Russe recipes have been adapted from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  The savory Charlotte is my own invention.

For my challenge I decided to make the Charlotte Royale with raspberry jam filled with raspberry Kirsch Bavarian cream. Since July 4th is this week, here in the States, I decided to add some patriotic themes to my Charlotte by adding raspberries and blueberries. I hope someone gets the irony of this!!!Charlotte Royale

The Charlotte is a very time consuming and technical dessert to make. As Rebecca warns in her instructions the baker needs to read through the directions many times and make a plan to achieve success.

The Charlotte rouse combines two different desserts; the sponge jelly roll and the Bavarian cream filling. By following the directions and making a plan, the only complication I had was when I used too small of a pan to make the sponge cake for the jelly roll. I have four half sheet pans, but for some reason I decided to use my smaller cooking sheet baking pan. Luckily it worked and I still had enough of the sponge to make the bottom layer of the Charlotte and enough jelly roll slices to cover my mold. My family also did not care for the flavor of the Bavarian cream. I liked it but I think the flavor of the Kirsch liqueur was overpowering for them. I believe next time I will use more raspberry jam and vanilla extract instead of the liqueur flavoring in the Bavarian cream.

This recipe takes about 2-4 hours of hands on time and plus more for chilling the prepared components. I made my Charlotte over a two day period. The Charlotte can be made ahead and also can be frozen after assembly.

Charlotte Royale

Raspberry Charlotte Royale:

Servings: 8

(Recipe adapted from Rebecca from and The Daring Baker)


  • 3/4 cup (250 gm) seedless raspberry jam, divided
  • 1 recipe Biscuit Roulade (below)
  • 1 recipe Bavarian Cream, raspberry flavor (below)
  • Whipped cream, fresh fruit or sauce as desired for decoration


  1. Lightly oil a 6-cup  round bowl or mold (the smaller the diameter at the top the better) and line it as smoothly as possible with plastic wrap, leaving a small overhang.  Measure the diameter of the bowl and make note of it.  You will need a round cake base of this size for the bottom of the Charlotte.   Note:  If the diameter of the top of your 6 cup bowl is very wide, you may want to make an additional 1/2 recipe of the cake in a smaller pan to make sure there is enough for the roll as well as the base.  Alternately, you can use a smaller bowl.
  2. Make the Biscuit Roulade cake in a sheet pan as directed in the recipe.  As soon as the cake has finished baking, slide it out of the pan onto a flat surface using the parchment to help move it.  Flip the cake onto a clean dishtowel and carefully remove the parchment paper.
  3. While the cake is still hot, you will need to set aside a piece for the base and roll the remainder in a towel as described below.
  4. Cut off a piece from one of the ends just wide enough to cut the top from later as shown in the photo below.   Set this piece aside to cool.  After this piece has cooled, cut it with shears or a sharp knife into the circle for the Charlotte base.  Charlotte Royale
  5. While the cake is still hot, roll the remaining piece of cake up tightly in the dishtowel.  Roll from the longest side with the darkest side of the cake on the inside.  Cool the rolled cake/towel on a rack.
  6. When ready to fill, gently unroll the cake and leave it on top of the towel.  Spread up to ½ cup of raspberry jam in a thin layer on top of the cooled cake, leaving it on the towel. The jam should look like it’s barely covering the cake).Charlotte Royale
  7. Roll up the cake as tightly as you can about 1/3 of the way and then use the towel to pull the roll towards you and press on the other side of the roll with a bench scraper or your hands to help make the roll tight as you continue to use the towel to help roll the cake all the way up.  The completed roll should be about 2” in diameter.  It is important to get this roll as tight as possible as you do not want gaps in the spirals.
  8. Wrap the roll tightly in plastic wrap and then foil and freeze until firm enough to slice, at least a couple of hours.  If desired, the roll and the base can be frozen for a few weeks before you make the rest of the Charlotte.
  9. When the roll is firm, cut it into ¼ inch slices with a small, serrated knife.  You want to get as many spirals as possible, so be careful to evenly cut the slices as close to ¼ inch as you can.  Work quickly so the cake roll doesn’t thaw and soften too much.
  10. To line the bowl, place 1 slice in the center and place other slices around it as tightly as possible to try to avoid gaps.Charlotte Royale
  11. The width of your mold and the width of your slices will determine how far up the mold you can get.  You may need to cut the slices in half or smaller to fit the last rows if your slices go all the way up the mold.  My bowl was fairly wide, so my cake slices did not go all the way up to the top of the bowl with what I had left over after cutting the base circle.   If your spirals do go all the way up, trim the last ones even with the edge of the bowl.  If not, you can trim them when you put in the cream.
  12. Adjust the spirals to eliminate gaps, but it may not be possible to make it fit perfectly.  If there are any gaps between the spirals, plug them with a small amount of the remaining raspberry jam or some trimmings from unused spirals.  If you are using a glass bowl, you can hold it up to the light and see where light comes through.  You want to plug these spots to prevent the Bavarian Cream from leaking through.
  13. Cover the lined bowl tightly and place it in the refrigerator until the filling is ready.
  14. Make the Bavarian cream and spoon it into the lined bowl until it comes up to the top of the bowl or just to the place the top spirals last touch each other.
  15. Trim the top spirals even above the cream if necessary.
  16. Place the cake round on top of the cream and touching the edge of the spirals.
  17. Press down gently on the edges of the cake circle so it makes contact with the edge of the spirals.
  18. Cover tightly and refrigerate until set, at least 8 hours.To unmold, invert onto a plate and lift away the bowl, tugging gently on the plastic wrap to release it.  To prevent drying out, leave the plastic wrap in place until serving. Decorate with whipped cream and fresh fruit.Charlotte Royale

Biscuit Roulade:

Servings: (8) 1 cake


1/3 cup (33gm) sifted cake flour,

3 tbsp unsifted cornstarch, preferably organic, non-GMO

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 large egg yolk, room temperature

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (4 oz ) sugar, divided

¾ tsp Rodelle Vanilla Extract

¼ tsp cream of tartarCharlotte Royale


  1. Position the oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to hot 450°F.  Grease the jellyroll/sheet pan and line it with parchment and then grease it again and flour it. You may use baking spray with flour included if desired.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cake flour and cornstarch.
  3. Separate 2 of the eggs, placing the yolks in one large mixing bowl and the whites in another.
  4. To the yolks, add the additional yolk, the 2 remaining eggs, and ½ cup of the sugar.Charlotte Royale
  5. Beat the yolk mixture with the paddle attachment on high speed for 5 minutes or until thick, fluffy and tripled in volume.  Beat in the vanilla. I placed a towel over mine because it was splattering. See photo below.
  6. Sift ½ the flour mixture over the egg mixture and fold it in gently but rapidly with a large balloon whisk (see notes), slotted skimmer spoon or rubber spatula until the flour has disappeared.  Repeat with the remaining flour mixture.
  7. Beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment until foamy, add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.  Beat in the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.  Fold the whites into the batter and pour into the prepared pan, using an angled/offset metal spatula to level it.Charlotte Royale
  8. Bake for 7 minutes or until golden brown, a cake tester comes out clean, and the cake is springy to the touch.
  9. While the cake is still hot, follow instructions in the Charlotte Royale recipe about cutting a base and rolling the cake. 

Bavarian Cream:

Servings: enough to fill a 6-cup cake- lined mold


  • 1/3 cup (2.25 oz ) sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp (3 teaspoons ) unflavored gelatin powder
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1-2/3 cups milk
  • 1 cup  heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Rodelle Vanilla Extract
  • 1½ tbsp Kirsch or other liqueur, optional but helps mask the gelatin flavorCharlotte Royale


  1. Refrigerate the mixing bowl for whipping the cream.
  2. Have ready a fine strainer nearby, suspended over a small bowl.
  3. In a small, heavy, noncorroding saucepan, stir together the sugar, salt, gelatin and yolks until well blended, using a wooden spoon.
  4. In another small saucepan heat the milk to just below a simmer (170°F – 180°F).  There will be steam rising off the milk and there may be some small bubbles but it will not be at an active simmer yet.  Stir a few tablespoons of hot milk into the yolk mixture to temper it.  Gradually add the remaining hot milk, stirring constantly.
  5. Heat the egg and milk mixture, stirring constantly, to just below a simmer again (170°F– 180°F).  Steam will begin to appear and the mixture will be slightly thicker than heavy cream.  It will leave a well-defined track when a finger is run across the back of a spoon.   If the mixture gets too hot (above 180°F/82°C), the cream can curdle.  If this happens, immediately pour it into a blender and (with the vent open or a towel over the top) blend it to try to bring it back together smoothly.
  6. Immediately remove from the heat and pour the mixture through the strainer , scraping up the thickened cream that settles on the bottom of the pan.
  7. If time allows, chill the pastry cream in the refrigerator for about 1½ hours (checking frequently and stirring occasionally) until whisk marks barely begin to appear when stirred.   For faster results, cool the sauce over an ice-water bath, stirring with a whisk, until whisk marks barely begin to appear.  The mixture will start to set around the edges but will still be very liquid.
  8. In the chilled bowl, whip the cream until it mounds softly when dropped from a spoon.
  9. Whisk the Rodelle vanilla, optional kirsch or other liqueur into the pastry cream and then fold in the whipped cream just until incorporated.  The mixture will be soupy, like melted ice cream.  Pour into a cake-lined mold.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before unmolding.   The flavor will improve as it sits, so letting it chill for 24 hours before serving will be even better.


Raspberry Bavarian:  Use raspberry liqueur in place of the kirsch.  After folding in the whipped cream, fold in ½ cup of seedless raspberry jam.  If the jam is stiff, you may need to loosen it a bit first with a tablespoon or two of warm water until it’s liquid enough to fold into the cream mixture.

Enjoy and Happy 4th of July!

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t.Charlotte Royale

26 thoughts on “Charlotte Royale”

  1. This is an amazing accomplishment. I had never heard of these before. It really turned out beautifully! I admire you for all the time and effort you put into it.

  2. Well done on your challenge Quinn – looks fantastic! Like you I might try a different flavour for the Bavarian Cream if I make it again – maybe some pureed raspberries.

  3. Great charlotte Quinn! I’m impressed with how well your cut swiss roll pieces fit together! It all looks beautiful and I suspect my family would have enjoyed all the kirsch alcohol in the mousse! Hope you get it more to your tastes next time… Great post! 🙂

    1. Lets be clear. I enjoyed the Bavarian cream with Kirsch. :)) The rest of the family did not. Thanks for the kind words. Mine doesn’t compare to your Charlotte. Have a great week.

  4. Wow! I’m impressed! You are obviously not one to back away from a challenge. My son once spent two weeks before Christmas trying to perfect a buche de noel. I think it took three attempts. Great job!!!

    1. Thanks.. First try on this one. I got lucky. I was a little nervous when I cut into it knowing I get to get a photo showing the Charlotte from the side. Luckily it set up.

  5. You win Quinn! This is gorgeous, and I love that you used berries around the border, and your posting instructions and pictures were great. It was difficult to take 27 pages and put them into a post don’t you agree? Well done my Daring Kitchen friend!

    1. Thanks Julie. It was very difficult to pair down the instructions. That might have been my longest post ever. I still think yours was the best….
      Hey did you leave a comment for my wet burritos post this morning?? I thought I saw it on my phone then puff it was gone. Oh well if you did thanks. Not sure what happened. :)))

  6. Stunning! Looks like you met your challenge- all of your hard work certainly paid off. 🙂 I’ve never made a charlotte before- I may now be MORE intimidated! So impressed!! Thanks for sharing this beauty at Fiesta Friday this week & Happy July 4th!! 🙂

  7. I love all these challenges that you do, and the spiral effect is so cool. I’d say that’s a challenge well done. Have a wonderful weekend with your family, and happy FF! 😀

  8. I am incredibly impressed! You are obviously quite an accomplished baker! I appreciate learning so much about the different kinds of Charlottes. I don’t know that I am ready to take this on, but maybe… I would be honored if you would come and share this at my new link party at Celebrate and Decorate, I think my readers would really love it.

    1. Hi Clioe. Thanks you for your kind words. I tried to follow your link to your new link party Celebrate and Decorate but I was getting security alerts from my system for malware

  9. I love all the detailed pictures you included…very helpful to anyone who would like to do this. It was indeed a great challenge.
    Manal from

  10. This looks amazing! Not sure I’m talented enough to make it turn out like your photo…Thanks for linking up and sharing with us at Funtastic Friday. Please join us again this week:-)

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