The Anne of Cleves cake

Since Lucy Worsley’s series on Henry VIII’s six wives aired, I’ve been inundated with emails asking me if I know anything about the Anne of Cleves cake, or Anna von Kleve Torte, that Lucy enjoyed in Kleve which she said was baked in honour of Anne of Cleves.

You can see a photo of Lucy and the cake at,670277.html.

I was just as intrigued about this cake as other viewers as I hadn’t heard of it and I even emailed the cafe concerned, but with no response.

However, I did keep digging and I found a discussion thread on Baking Forums about the cake. This was a Godsend as forum users had shared links about the cake. It turns out that it isn’t historical at all, it’s not something that has been baked for centuries in honour of Anne of Cleves. The recipe was actually created in 2015 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Anne of Cleves’ birth.

In an article about the cafe, cake and the 500th anniversary, Margareth Wanders from Stadt-Cafe Wanders explains that they wanted to combine craftsmanship with history and so they made this buttercream cake and also designed chocolates featuring Anne’s portrait and printed leaflets giving historical information (I think that’s what the articles says!). On the thread in Baking Forums, a user described the cake as “a buttercream cake consisting of a nut bottom, dark chocolate, a layer of cherries, a layer of buttercream (or cream in summer) and chocolate splitters on top.”. It sounds delcious even if it’s not at all historical.

It doesn’t feature on the cafe website or in their cake selection – see for some beautiful cakes – so I assume that they made it especially for that event and then for Lucy and the BBC crew. I don’t know.

If any of you try to recreate it from that description then do let me know, or invite me round so I can check just how close it is to the one Lucy tried!

Thank you to all those who emailed me or commented about the cake here on the Anne Boleyn Files or on our Facebook page.


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11 thoughts on “The Anne of Cleves cake”
  1. I remember watching Lucy Worsley when she was eating the cake, I found it interesting that they do bake this cake in honour of Anne Of Cleves, she was married so briefly that’s it’s nice she is commemorated in this way, albeit rather oddly.

  2. hi claire, it sounds similar to a cake my gran used to make many ,many years ago…..I’ll have a rummage in her old receipt books( as she used to call them) basically it was a hazelnut sponge bottom, then she used to layer, dark chocolate sponge/cream/cherries in the manner of black forest gateaux…but no kirsch unless it was a special occasion…it was so yummy! I’ll send you a recipie if I can find it.(plus my grans story if you are interested—she had a very eventful life)

      1. Somebody please send me the whole cake, it looked dreamy. What an honour to have a cake made specially for your 500 anniversary. Anne of Cleves must have been very well thought of back home.

  3. Just like to add I’m eating cake today as its my birthday, like Elizabeth 1st I was a September baby to, in the mail it says couples should stop having sex at Xmas as it leads to a lot of September births, now I know what my folks were upto when they slipped home early from the party.

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