One of the latest cake trends in vintage cakes or Marie Antoinette cakes. Think a pastel aesthetic with lashings of buttercream swirls and frills. Unashamedly feminine and almost too pretty to cut, these stunning cakes are delightful as they are tasty. These glorious, coquettish cakes are perfect for Mother's Day! I called her Marie of course!
The first time I saw a vintage cake I was blown away by the prettiness of the cake. Once you make one Vintage or Marie Antoinette Cakes they become a bit of an addiction. As soon as I made this one, I started of thinking up people who might want a vintage cake for their birthday. You can decorate it with your favourite colours and use which cake flavour you want inside.
Tips for Making Vintage Cakes:
1 - This cake uses a lot of piping bags and tips. I used Loyal biodegradable piping bags.
2 - The tips you will use are the following:
867 or 6B (large French star tip) for the shell details at the bottom and outer edge of the top
2D (star, rosette tip) for the red star blossoms
104 (small petal tip) for the vanilla or cream ruffles
32 (small open star tip) for the pink fleur de lys and red banners on top of the ruffles
3 (small round tip) for the green lines.
3 - As I said you can design it to any colours that you'd like. I would recommend having 3-4 colours in your vintage cake including a plain white buttercream.
4 - Before you start anything clear out some room in your fridge to keep your cake in because the fridge will be your best friend with this cake as it will be where you store your cake to set each layer which makes it easier to work with, especially if you make a mistake. If you pipe fresh buttercream onto set buttercream and make a mistake you can lift it off if the layer or detail below is set firm. I often bake cakes on Fridays because the fridge is emptiest then.
5 - The decoration is the fun bit-if you like the decorating there's no reason why you couldn't use a bought sponge or double decker cake for this. The recipe below is for a vanilla butter cake and we add black cherry jam and cream in the filling.
6 - If you want to have a cake that can keep outside of the fridge, switch the jam and cream filling to a buttercream filling (be sure to make more buttercream). I just don't like that much buttercream in a cake.
7 - The quantity will make more buttercream than you will need for piping and frosting because there's nothing worse in cake decorating than running out of frosting. This buttercream is a super smooth buttercream that pipes like a dream, doesn't crust over and is wonderful to work with. It is a very different buttercream from the classic American buttercream which is more about sugar, this has more butter than sugar in it.
This is a great cake for Mother's Day or for when you want to make an impact. It's definitely a special occasion cake and one that we intended to serve at a dinner to celebrate both Mother's Day and my birthday. My parents are moving overseas to Singapore permanently and they had booked tickets to leave a few days before my birthday and we were headed overseas for my birthday too. We had arranged to have dinner 10 days before this; we decided that 10 days seemed like a good amount of time because that way you'd have time to recover from COVID and undergo the 7 day isolation.
But then fate intervened. A couple of nights before our dinner Mr NQN and I had been out with a couple we are close friends with. Two days later we got a message that he had tested positive during a routine work test. As soon as I told Mr NQN that his friend had tested positive he immediately started to feel symptoms. "I'm not feeling great actually," he said and almost crumpled in a pile in front of me. I wasn't sure if he was joking or being dramatic but then we decided to separate in different areas of the house just in case while we awaited our test results. Our plans to go out to dinner and have this vintage Marie Antoinette cake were cancelled as we weren't able to get results in time. We did get some good news and that we both tested negative but my birthday and Mother's Day celebrations were postponed indefinitely and we have a tonne of cake to eat too which is either a good or bad thing!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you bunker down for a period before you travel? What are you doing on Mother's Day? Do you like vintage style cakes?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Vintage Marie Antoinette Cake
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 4 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 120 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 180g/6ozs. butter, softened
- 150g/5ozs caster or superfine sugar
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 135g/4.7ozs. cake flour
- 135g/4.7ozs almond meal
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 150ml/5ozs. buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 750g/1.6lbs butter, room temperature
- 375g/13ozs. caster sugar
- 225mls/8ozs. room temperature water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Baby pink, red, green food colouring
- 250ml/8.8flozs cream
- 1 tablespoon caster or superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 150g/5ozs. cherry jam
- Pearl cachous to decorate
Step 1 - Make the cake first. Line the base and sides of 2x15cm/6inch round tins and preheat oven to 160C/320F/ gas 3. Sift the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre and set aside. In a jug place the buttermilk, vinegar and vanilla together and whisk.
Step 2- Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, around 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well combined and you don't feel any grains of sugar in the mixture when you rub it between your fingers. Gradually add the egg mixture to the bowl of flour and alternate with the buttermilk mixture folding in well until there are no lumps.
Step 3 - Divide the mixture in two evenly, scooping it into the prepared tins. Allow the unbaked cakes to rest on the counter for 10 minutes and then bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden on top and the centre is done (press a finger gently to the centre of the cake and it should bounce back). Cool in the tin and then wrap up (you can bake these the day before). You can trim the domes off the cakes if you want (mine didn't have much of a dome so it wasn't necessary).
Step 4 - Place the mixer bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes beforehand. Using the whisk attachment whip the cream, sifted icing sugar and vanilla bean paste together until fluffy (do not overbeat). Place one cake on a cake disc and spread with 3/4 of the cream. Add the cherry jam on top leaving a half inch border. Place the other half on top and then pipe the remaining cream around filling any gaps. Use an angled spatula to smooth the edges and keep in the fridge while you make the buttercream.
Step 5 - Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until as white as possible on a low speed of about 3 out of 10 where 10 is the fastest. About 5 minutes. Beat in sugar, water and vanilla in two batches. Beat and scrape for about 10 minutes until the buttercream no longer feels grainy (test it between your fingers). Divide the buttercream into bowls using half for baby pink and then the remaining half in 3 bowls with dusty pink, green and red.
Step 6 - Spread some of the baby pink buttercream around the cake and coat the top and sides. Use a long metal cake scraper to scrape the sides so that they are smooth. This takes a while (up to 20-30 minutes) of dabbing and filling any gaps and scraping to get it smooth. Keep adding until you get it very smooth. Place in the fridge.
Step 7 - This is the fun bit. If you have any baby pink leftover add it to the dusky pink and mix together. Place in a piping bag with a 867 star tip and pipe "shells" around the base of the cake. Pipe swirls on top of the cake using the same tip and colour. Then fill another bag with plain vanilla buttercream and a 104 petal tip and pipe ruffles around the cake. Use a 32 small star tip and red buttercream to pipe rope above this. Then use a 104 rosette tip to pipe red roses between each curve. Use dusty pink buttercream and a 32 small star tip to pipe a fleur de lis pattern and use a plain 3 round tip to pipe green ribbon between this. Add maraschino cherries on top of the cake and pearl cachous on the rosettes and above the fleur de lis. Place in the fridge to firm up for 60 minutes. Then once completely firm cover with cling film or place in a large box and store in the fridge.