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Anne of Cleves Cake Recipe

As you embark upon a culinary journey back to the 16th century, you’ll discover the Anne of Cleves Cake, a treat named after the German noblewoman and fourth wife of King Henry VIII.

Drawing inspiration from the rich tapestry of historical foods, this recipe offers a taste of the past as you commemorate the 500th anniversary of Anne of Cleves’ birth.

Known for her brief marriage that ended in an annulment, Anne left a unique legacy that extends beyond political narratives and into the realm of gastronomy.

The Anne of Cleves Cake stands as a delightful confection that intertwines the culinary traditions of her German heritage with the tastes that were treasured by the Tudor court.

As a historical figure, Anne has been the subject of much intrigue and speculation, her life story offering a fascinating glimpse into the past.

The cake that carries her name provides an opportunity to honor her memory through the medium of food, which often acts as a cultural bridge.

This recipe represents more than just a dessert; it’s an edible piece of history.

You gain insights into the ingredients and flavors that were prized during Anne’s era while also participating in the preservation of historical recipes.

Whether you’re a history buff, a baking enthusiast, or simply curious about the gastronomic preferences of a bygone era, preparing the Anne of Cleves Cake will connect you with a piece of the past.

How to Make Anne of Cleves Cake

Anne of Cleves Cake Recipe

This section provides a comprehensive guide to creating the Anne of Cleves Cake—a rich and delicious treat, perfect for those who appreciate a deep chocolate flavor complemented by a creamy texture.

Ingredients List

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix (for added moisture and flavor)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (for a moist and fluffy texture)

Buttercream and Filling:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, for chocolate buttercream
  • Milk or cream, as needed for desired consistency
  • 1 can cherry pie filling, for layering

Extras:

  • 1 bar milk chocolate candy, for garnish
  • Fresh berries (optional)
  • Parchment paper for lining

Step-by-step process

Step 1: Prepare Your Pans

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease 3 (9-inch) cake pans and line with parchment paper.

Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients

In a bowl, sift together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder.

Step 3: Combine Wet Ingredients

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and sour cream until well blended.

Step 4: Create Cake Batter

Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing until just incorporated. Avoid overmixing to ensure a fluffy texture.

Step 5: Fill Prepared Pans

Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans.

Step 6: Bake

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Step 7: Cool Cakes

Once baked, remove cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 8: Make Buttercream

Cream together unsalted butter, powdered sugar, and additional cocoa powder. Add milk or cream as needed to achieve a creamy, spreadable consistency.

Step 9: Assemble Cake

Place one cake layer on your serving plate. Top with a layer of chocolate buttercream, followed by an even layer of cherry pie filling. Repeat with the remaining layers.

Step 10: Garnish

Once fully assembled, use a vegetable peeler to create chocolate curls from the milk chocolate candy bar. Sprinkle these on top along with any fresh berries, if you’re using them.

Step 11: Serve

Your Anne of Cleves Cake is now ready to indulge. The combination of rich chocolate layers and creamy texture with the slight tartness of cherries offers a sensory treat. Enjoy your creation!

Anne of Cleves Cake Side Dishes

When serving Anne of Cleves cake, consider side dishes that complement its flavors.

Enhance your dessert table with a few simple yet delightful accompaniments.

Fresh Berries:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries

Pairing this cake with fresh berries not only adds a burst of color to your plate but also a refreshing tartness to balance the sweetness.

Chocolate Accents:

  • Chocolate Chips: Sprinkle semi-sweet chocolate chips for a classic taste.
  • Milk Chocolate Candy Bars: Break into pieces and scatter around the cake.
  • Dark Chocolate: Shave or grate over the top for a more sophisticated flavor profile.

Incorporating different types of chocolate can satisfy a range of palates and add a textural contrast.

Roasted Peanuts:

  • Lightly salted
  • Honey-roasted

Add a crunchy element with roasted peanuts. They’ll add a salty touch that pairs exceptionally well with chocolate.

Complementary Beverage Pairings

Beverage Notes
Cold milk A classic choice for chocolate-enhanced desserts.
Coffee Opt for a mild blend to not overpower the cake.
Dessert Wine A sweet Moscato can harmonize with the cake’s flavors.

Utilize these side dishes to let the qualities of Anne of Cleves cake shine, offering a delightful sensory journey with each bite.

Ingredients Substitutes

Unsalted Butter

You can use margarine or coconut oil as a substitute for unsalted butter.

Margarine will give a similar texture and richness, while coconut oil is perfect if you’re looking for a non-dairy alternative.

Brown Sugar

For brown sugar, coconut sugar is a great substitute.

It offers a comparable sweetness and the added benefit of a lower glycemic index, or you can make your own by mixing granulated sugar with molasses, using 1 tablespoon molasses per 1 cup of sugar.

Granulated Sugar

You can replace granulated sugar with honey or maple syrup.

If you use honey, use 3/4 cup for every 1 cup of sugar, and for maple syrup, use a one-to-one ratio.

However, reduce other liquid in the recipe to compensate.

Sour Cream

Greek yogurt serves as an excellent stand-in for sour cream.

It maintains the cake’s moisture while adding a protein boost.

Use the same amount as the sour cream called for.

Cake Mix

If your recipe calls for cake mix, a combination of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and sugar can be used.

Mix 1 cup of all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 cup of sugar to replace 1 cup of cake mix.

Vegetable Oil

When vegetable oil is required, you may replace it with an equal amount of applesauce to lower the fat content or use another neutral oil like canola oil.

Milk

If you need a non-dairy substitute for milk, almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk work well in baking.

Use them in a one-to-one ratio.

Cocoa Powder

You can use an equal amount of Dutch-processed cocoa powder as a substitute for regular cocoa powder for a milder, less acidic chocolate flavor.

Powdered Sugar

Blended granulated sugar can be used as a powdered sugar substitute.

Blend until it becomes fine like powdered sugar.

Useful for recipes where sugar’s granular texture isn’t desired.

Instant Vanilla Pudding

A homemade mix of dry milk powder, cornstarch, and vanilla extract can replace instant vanilla pudding mix to control sweetness and avoid preservatives.

Cream Cheese Mixture

You can substitute cream cheese mixture with mascarpone or a blend of ricotta cheese and heavy cream to achieve a similar tangy, creamy texture for your cake.

How to Store Anne of Cleves Cake

Refrigerating Your Cake

Store your Anne of Cleves cake in the refrigerator if you plan to consume it within a few days.

Place the cake in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing odors from the fridge.

Allow the cake to sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving for optimal flavor and texture, especially if it has Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.

Freezing for Longevity

For extended storage, freezing is your best option.

Wrap your cake slices or the entire cake in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil to protect against freezer burn.

Remember to label the cake with the date of storage.

Thaw in the refrigerator a day before you wish to enjoy it.

Keeping at Room Temperature

If your Anne of Cleves cake is unfrosted or has a buttercream frosting, like Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, it can be kept at room temperature for a couple of days.

Ensure it’s in a cake container or covered with a dome to protect it from dust and to retain moisture.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Ignoring the Correct Timing

Ensure you mix your ingredients for the specific time ranges given.

Under-mixing (less than 10-15 minutes) may lead to an uneven texture while over-mixing (more than 15-25 minutes) can result in a dense cake.

When adding custard powder to the batter, stick to a 30-35 minutes time frame to bake, allowing the flavor to thoroughly infuse without drying out the cake.

Overlooking Custard Powder Proportions

Custard powder is crucial for that unique depth of flavor in Anne of Cleves cake.

Using either too little or too much can dramatically alter the taste and texture.

Follow the recipe’s exact measurement to achieve the desired creamy consistency.

Inconsistent Cream Cheese Mixing

When incorporating pieces into cream cheese, do so gradually and ensure they are fully integrated.

Unevenly mixed cream cheese can cause lumps and affect how the cake cooks through, as well as its final taste and presentation.

Not Considering Seasonal Variables

Be mindful of the temperature when working with dairy.

Whipping cream in summer can be tricky due to heat.

It’s best to work in a cool environment or chill utensils and bowls beforehand to keep the cream stiff.

Improper Use of Chocolate Splitters

When it comes to chocolate splitters, sprinkle them evenly over the cake for a balanced flavor.

Clumps of chocolate can lead to a concentrated bitterness in certain bites, disrupting the cake’s overall taste harmony.

Neglecting the Batter Consistency

Your prepared batter should have a smooth consistency without being too runny or too thick.

This is essential for the cake to rise properly and cook evenly in the middle.

Disregarding Social Context

If you’re serving this cake in a middle class setting, such as a tea party or a family gathering, respect the traditional aspects of the recipe.

Avoid making excessive adjustments to the original flavor profile that could disappoint guests expecting a classic taste.

Disregarding Expert Advice

Professional bakers, like Lori Walker, may offer valuable tips for this recipe.

Ignoring expert advice can result in common errors that are easy to avoid with guidance.

Take advantage of their experience to perfect your Anne of Cleves cake.

Anne of Cleves Cake Recipe

Anne of Cleves Cake Recipe

This recipe represents more than just a dessert; it's an edible piece of history.
You gain insights into the ingredients and flavors that were prized during Anne's era while also participating in the preservation of historical recipes. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Ingredients
  
Dry Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 13/4 Cups Granulated sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 11/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Package instant vanilla pudding mix (for added moisture and flavor)
Wet Ingredients:
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 3/4 Cup Sour cream (for a moist and fluffy texture)
Buttercream and Filling:
  • 1 Cup Unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 Cups Powdered sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa powder, for chocolate buttercream
  • Milk or cream, as needed for desired consistency
  • 1 Can cherry pie filling, for layering
Extras:
  • 1 Bar milk chocolate candy, for garnish
  • Fresh berries (optional)
  • Parchment paper for lining
Instructions
 
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
    Grease 3 (9-inch) cake pans and line with parchment paper.
  •  In a bowl, sift together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
  •  In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and sour cream until well blended.
  • Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing until just incorporated. Avoid overmixing to ensure a fluffy texture.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans.
  • Place in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Once baked, remove cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Cream together unsalted butter, powdered sugar, and additional cocoa powder.
    Add milk or cream as needed to achieve a creamy, spreadable consistency.
  • Place one cake layer on your serving plate.
    Top with a layer of chocolate buttercream, followed by an even layer of cherry pie filling.
    Repeat with remaining layers.
  • Once fully assembled, use a vegetable peeler to create chocolate curls from the milk chocolate candy bar.
    Sprinkle these on top along with any fresh berries, if you're using them.
  • Your Anne of Cleves Cake is now ready to indulge.
    The combination of rich chocolate layers and creamy texture with the slight tartness of cherries offers a sensory treat.
    Enjoy your creation!

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