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Charlotte (cake)

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Title: Charlotte (cake)  
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Subject: List of desserts, French desserts, Cakes, Tarts, Custard desserts
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Charlotte (cake)

Strawberry charlotte
Alternative names Ice-box cake
Course Dessert
Place of origin France
Serving temperature Hot or cold
Main ingredients Bread, sponge cake or biscuits; fruit puree or custard
Variations Charlotte russe
Cookbook: Charlotte 

A charlotte is a type of dessert or trifle that can be served hot or cold. It can also be known as an "ice-box cake". Bread, sponge cake or biscuits/cookies are used to line a mold, which is then filled with a fruit puree or custard. It can also be made using layers of breadcrumbs.

Classically, stale bread dipped in butter was used as the lining, but sponge cake or ladyfingers may be used today. The filling may be covered with a thin layer of similarly flavoured gelatin.


  • Types 1
    • Charlotte russe 1.1
      • New York City version 1.1.1
  • Etymology 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


Due to the simple preparation of charlottes, many different varieties have developed. Most charlottes are served cool, so they are more common in warmer seasons. Fruit charlottes usually combine a fruit purée or preserve with a custard filling or whipped cream. Some flavors include strawberry, raspberry, apple, pear, and banana.

Other types do not include fruits, but use a custard or Bavarian cream. Chocolate charlotte uses a mousse filling within the layers. A citrus curd is a more contemporary choice.

Charlotte russe

Charlotte russe is a Princess Charlotte ,[1] and his current, Russian employer Czar Alexander I (russe being the French word for "Russian"). It is a cold dessert of Bavarian cream set in a mold lined with ladyfingers.[2]

An alternative to this is a Charlotte Royale, which has the same filling as a Charlotte Russe, but replaces the ladyfinger lining with Swiss roll.[3]

New York City version

Charlotte russe was also a dessert or on-the-go treat popular during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. It was sold in candy stores and luncheonettes throughout the five boroughs of New York. It consisted of a paper cup filled with yellow cake and whipped cream topped with half a maraschino cherry. The bottom of the cup is pushed up to eat.[4]


There is a lot of doubt surrounding the origins of the name charlotte. Despite the fact that charlottes are served across Europe, one etymology suggests it is a corruption of the Old English word charlyt meaning "a dish of custard". In another, meat dishes that were known as charlets were popular in the 15th century. Other historians say that this sweet dish took its name from

  1. ^ "January 07 Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales' Birthday". Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  2. ^ "charlotte russe". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Accessed via, February 27, 2010.
  3. ^ "Charlotte Royale". Food- 
  4. ^ See:
    • : Lost foods of New York City: Charlotte Russe (with recipe)CapitalLeah Koenig (Feb. 6, 2012)
    • : Retro Brooklyn; searching for a Charlotte russe (recollection & recipe)Daily Food & WineCharlotte Goldblatt (April 6, 2013)
    • New York style Charlotte russe is mentioned in the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1943), chapters 16 and 39. From chapter 16: "There was a bakery store to one side of it which sold beautiful charlotte russes with red candied cherries on their whipped cream tops for those who were rich enough to buy."
  5. ^ Olver, Lynne. Food Timeline FAQs: charlotte to hush puppies. The Food Timeline, 2000. Accessed February 27, 2010.
  6. ^ Stradley, Linda. History of Charlotte Russe. What's Cooking America, 2004. Accessed February 27, 2010.


See also

Another possible origin of the Charlotte is the failure of the British to replicate traditional French pastries that British nobility enjoyed prior to the end of diplomatic relations precipitating the Napoleonic War. British nobility was accustomed to enjoying French delicacies and had their kitchen help attempt to replicate pastries, but the lack of formal culinary training forced them to improvise. Their attempts to make ladyfingers resulted in the usage of bread dipped in butter and rolled in sugar and cinnamon and prebaked as the lining for sweet desserts.

. Charlotte of Prussia It is possible that the dessert takes its name from Alexander I's sister-in-law, [6][5]

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