With its eight layered decadence sure to qualm any sweet tooth, the Doberge (pronounced Do-bash) cake has made a definite mark on New Orleans. Tantalizing taste buds for so many years, it’s natural to wonder who is responsible for all the indulgence. Behind the custard, chocolate, and lemon icing was Beulah Levy.
Beulah Levy started mastering her culinary creations during the Great Depression, when she started baking and selling pastries from home. A little while later, she opened a tearoom in her Uptown home basement. Word spread with Tulane and Newcomb students, and the establishment became a hip hotspot. From then on the bakery underwent three moves; the first to Canal Street and later to South Claiborne Avenue. The famed Beulah Ledner, Inc came to fruition after a major remodel job at 1413 Metairie Road in Jefferson Parish. Although Levy retired in 1981, her Doberge cake has survived the test of time and continues to be a New Orleans go-to treat.
It has been said that the cake is derived from the popular Hungarian dobos torta, a rich cake that Levy considered too heavy for the New Orleans climate. After switching out the filling from butter cream to light custard and adding a French twist to the name, the Doberge cake became an instant hit.
Many residents have taken the cake to a new level, opting to have the iconic treat at their weddings. The Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast, located in the beautiful Garden District, offers a wedding package complete with their very special wedding Doberge. Instead of the traditional iced topping consisting of half chocolate and lemon, the bakery uses a white butter cream icing. Available in sizes ranging from 8’’ to 12’’ round or larger in a rectangular shape that delight up to 30 persons. The cake is always a hit with clients and guests since nobody outside of New Orleans has ever heard of the delicacy. Also included in the package are cake cutting, a champagne toast, a minister, photographer, bouquet and boutonniere, and special extras in addition to a two-night stay in the Grand King. With rates starting at $1295 plus tax, the Avenue Inn B&B makes it easy to have a romantic and relaxing classically New Orleans wedding.
From snack time to weddings, the Doberge Cake does it all. Next time you are in the New Orleans area, get a slice of the action; I guarantee you will be asking for more than just a sliver.