This Simple Italian Margherita Cake is the perfect addition to your morning coffee or tea. With a layer of your favourite hazelnut filling it becomes the perfect snack or dessert cake!
I have eaten many Italian cakes in my time here, from a simple Ciambellone (bundt cake) to a fancier Layer Cake. Some were served in the afternoon with an espresso, during a friendly gossip session between friends. A fancier cake was served for a birthday or festive day.
How to make it
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In the mixing bowl beat the eggs, vanilla and sugar until light fluffy, gradually add the melted butter while beating. alternately add the dry ingredients and milk, beating until smooth.
Pour half the mixture in the prepared bundt pan, drizzle the Hazelnut Cream on top and cover with remaining batter. Bake in the pre-heated oven. Let cool before dusting with powdered sugar.
What does light and fluffy mean?
This is usually done combining the butter and sugar on moderate speed until they become well blended, and fluffy and light in colour, this should take about 3-4 minutes. Doing this will distribute the sugar helping to dissolve it into the butter. It helps make a cake lighter textured.
Why should ingredients be room temperature?
Room temperature ingredients, such as eggs, milk, butter etc will gain a lot more volume than cold ingredients, making for a fluffier cake.
Where is a Margherita Cake
It is a traditional holiday cake which was originally prepared in northern and central Italy. It probably gets its name because of the daisy shape it had when it was cut into wedges. It was also considered a peasant cake that was originally made with just a few ingredients, such as flour, cornstarch, sugar and eggs.
When do Italians eat cake?
Italians will eat cake any time of the day, from breakfast to snack to a festive occasion. Dessert is rarely served after dinner, unless it is a Fruit Salad or fresh fruit. When you go into a bar in Italy there will always be some sort of cake to purchase to eat along with your morning espresso or cappuccino.
How to tell when a cake is done
The best way to tell if a cake is done is by sticking a toothpick in the middle, if comes clean or with one or two crumbs stuck to it it’s definitely ready to be removed from the oven.
What is cake flour?
Cake flour is a specialty flour, it is finely ground and low in protein. It produces a cake that has a finer and softer texture than regular all purpose flour.
How to make homemade cake flour
For every cup of all purpose flour remove 2 tablespoons and replace with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Be sure to sift them together to remove any lumps.
How to store it
The cake is best kept in an airtight container or on a cake plate under glass, at room temperature. It should keep for about 4-5 days. It can also be frozen in a freezer safe container. It will be keep for up to a month in the freezer.
Different ways to serve it
You can actually serve it plain with no hazelnut filling. Or you can layer it after it’s baked. Fill it with your filling of choice or even a delicious Italian Pastry Cream.
So if you are looking for an Italian Cake why not try this Italian Margherita Cake and let me know what you think. Enjoy!
Italian Margherita Cake / Torta Margherita
- 2 cups cake flour (235 grams)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 large eggs*
- 1 large egg yolk*
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons butter (melted & cooled) (138 grams)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk* (I used 2%) (90 grams)
- 1/2-3/4 cup Hazelnut cream (Nutella) (148-222 grams)
*Room temperature, remove from the fridge 30-45 minutes before using.
- 2-3 tablespoons powdered/icing sugar
- Pre-heat oven 350F (180C). Grease and flour an 8 1/2 inch (20-22 cm) bundt pan.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In the mixing bowl beat the eggs, yolk, vanilla and sugar until light fluffy about 3-4 minutes, gradually add the melted cooled butter while beating. Then alternately add the dry ingredients and milk, beating until smooth.
- Pour half the mixture in the prepared bundt pan, drizzle the hazelnut cream on top and cover with remaining batter. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before dusting with powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!