Prinzregententorte, or 'Prince Regent Cake'

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I've been wanting to make a Prinzregententorte for months. It's an elegant cake, a royal cake ... an epic cake. The kind of cake you get from Limnos or Cassis. It takes hours and hours and hours to make, and it's such a risk to invest that much time and energy (not to mention money!) into something you've never seen or tasted for yourself. But I made it anyway. And it was worth it.

It's a six-layer cake made up of six small sponges (individually baked) and a whole lot of chocolate. The sponges are delicious (they taste exactly like Boudoir Biscuits!) and they are joined together by layers of Buttercream in alternating flavours: Chocolate, Bailey's Irish Cream, Coffee, Bailey's, Chocolate. The whole cake is covered with a chocolate-Irish-cream glaze and finished with chocolate shavings.

As far as I know, the Prinzregententorte (shall we just call it 'Prince Regent Cake? It's awfully royal anyway) has its origins as a Bavarian treat, served for his Royal Highness Prince Regent Luitpold. For us, it's just extra-yummy cake which should be served at any special occasion or opportunity. With coffee. It's positively scrumptious.

Be prepared to set aside at least three hours for mixing, beating, battering, baking, icing, glazing, and decorating. It might take less (or more, if you have little people helping) but three hours is a good bench mark.

For the cake:

- 250g of butter, slightly softened
- 250g of caster sugar
- 50g of cornflour
- 200g of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200'C.
2. Cream the butter and the caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Then, slowly add the eggs.
3. Sift in the dry ingredients and fold in lightly.
4. Grease a loose-bottomed 25cm round baking tin. Line it with a circle of baking paper (I traced the bottom of the tin and cut out six circles).
5. Spoon 1/6th of the batter into the bottom of the tin. Make sure that the batter is spread evenly across the bottom of the tin. Bake for approximately ten minutes.
6. Turn out the baked sponge, remove the paper and let the sponge cool while you do the next layer.
7. The rest of the layers should be completed by using 1/5th of the batter, 1/4, 1/3 and so on until you have six very nice (and tempting!) sponge layers.

If you do six layers, you end up with a good thickness that is just short of 1cm. Here's a side view:

Don't throw away your baking paper! Use it to separate your layers if you're tempted to stack them (like I was). Otherwise, they stick together and you had better have a nice icing spatula to separate them.

For the fillings:

- 350g of icing sugar
- 4 tablespoons of cocoa (or more, if you like it extra chocolatey)
- 200g of unsalted butter
- Bailey's Irish Cream (or another creamy liqueur of your choice)
- 2 teaspoons of instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 tablespoons of boiling water

1. Cream the butter and the icing sugar together with the cocoa. I left mine mixing in my Kenwood for about four minutes until it was the perfect consistency.
2. Separate the icing in three parts: two of equal size and one half the size of the others. (With six alternating layers you'll need five 'portions' of filling.)
 3. Mix each batch of buttercream with one of the fillings. I opted for double quantities of Bailey's and Chocolate, and one quantity of coffee.
4. Put one sponge layer on your presentation plate, and cover it with the first buttercream filling. Top that with another sponge layer, and continue layering until you're left with a tower of sponges that have been joined with delicious buttercream. 
5. At this point, you can use a very sharp knife to slice off any irregular edges down the side of your cake. If you like. 

For the glaze:

- 150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- 50g butter
- 50ml Bailey's or other cream liqueur of your choice

1. Slowly melt the chocolate pieces and butter together in a bowl balanced over a pot of simmering water. (or, if you're lucky enough to have a double boiler, that'll do too)
2. Stir in the Bailey's.
3. Liberally apply delicious sticky chocolate glaze to the top and sides of the cake, making sure that you cover all the knobbly bits on the side if you didn't straighten them up earlier. 
4. Decorate with shaved chocolate bits.

Serve in generous slices with coffee after enjoying a very pleasant braai with good friends. 

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  1. Your skills really paid off on this one- loving the ingredients and luscious layers. Simply elegant-I saved this recipe. Great post.

  2. That is some serious dedication! It turned out beautifully. Nicely done!

  3. there is something for you on my blog!! xx

  4. Thanks Tina - it's a great cake, you should definitely make it!
    Juanita - *blush* thank you :) I saw this cake at Cassis in Claremont, Cape Town, and I thought - I've GOT TO MAKE IT! They cut it up into teeny tiny slices and sell it for about £2 an inch! Can you imagine?
    ANDREA! YOU'RE AMAZING! thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you :)

  5. Yay, I love all of your nice comments! Thanks for stopping by, ladies ;)

  6. hey...heard about the spectacularity of the prince regent cake...looks fairly simple....will try it out

  7. My dad's from Stuttgart, and just this week asked Mom to make this for him - it's been ages! She found her recipe, so we'll be baking on Sunday afternoon. Her version is different because Dad recalls eating this as a kid on special occasions in Germany; he thought it was 14 layers (crazy man!!!), and he remembers some of the filling being chocolate buttercream, some being vanilla buttercream, and some being raspberry preserves (and once or twice, apricot preserves were used instead of raspberry). So Mom and I will make it this weekend with raspberry as one of the fillings (we'll just stick to 8 layers though!)
    Diana Briegel

  8. Wow, that sounds amazing Diana! Raspberry is amazing with chocolate, what a great combo. I can't say I'd like to make 14 layers but I'd sure like to see it :)

  9. Lol, this is a nice cake, for sure, but not quite the original Prinzregententorte. In fact, it's as "original" as the American version of pizza!
    We don't use Bailey's or any other liqueur for it, for starters (Bailey's is not a German liqueur - why would we use it in a traditional cake recipe?!). It also has more layers than just six, usually at least 8, baked paper thin. The filling is a mix of vanilla custard (German "pudding"), dark chocolate, butter and powdered sugar. No coffee!!! The icing is just plain cooking chocolate, nothing else (German "Kouvertuere").

    1. Hi Pinkabell,

      Thanks for your comment!

      It is a lovely cake, but as you say – not very original. Still, this particular recipe was featured on a British cooking show and that’s the recipe I’ve used here as it was in great demand. Layered cakes are really decadent, aren’t they? It’s such a skill to bake the layers paper thin!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. This is the 4th time I am making this recipe..make one every few months! love it !


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