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You are here: Recipes > Tennis Ball Cake

Tennis Ball Cake

We’ll be enjoying Wimbledon and a summer of tennis with this tennis ball cake. This is a classic Princess Gateau recipe covered with marzipan.

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6 people

Baking ingredients

  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 125 g self-raising flour
  • 50 g butter, melted and slightly cooled plus extra for greasing
  • 1 lemon zest

Decorating ingredients

  • 600 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 100 g cornflour
  • 150 g butter, cut into cubes
  • 500 g Renshaw Original White Marzipan
  • Green food gel
  • 600 g medium sized strawberries
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam, boiled and cooled slightly


Baking the sponge:

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 3 and grease or line the cake tin with baking parchment.

Step 2

Place the sugar, eggs and lemon zest in a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

Step 3

Whisk over a medium heat until doubled in size and pale in colour. The mixture should form a trail when the whisk is lifted out.

Step 4

Sift in two-thirds of the flour and gently fold in with a metal spoon. Add the remaining flour and fold again until all the flour is mixed into the batter.

Step 5

Gently fold in the melted butter.

Step 6

Pour the mixture into a cake tin and bake for 25-30 mins or until the centre of the cake springs back to the touch.

Step 7

Turn out of the tin and cool on a cooling wire, taking care as it will be very fragile.

Crème pâtissière filling:

Step 8

Pour the milk into a heavy based pan along with the vanilla pod. Bring the milk to the boil then take off the heat.

Step 9

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar and cornflour until smooth.

Step 10

Remove the vanilla pod from the milk and then pour into the egg mixture and stir.

Step 11

Pour the milk mixture back into the pan and set over a medium heat to form a custard.

Step 12

Stir the custard constantly until it thickens.

Step 13

Continue to cook until the custard becomes very thick so it will hold its shape. Stir in the butter until thoroughly melted and thick.

Step 14

Allow to cool and then place in a dish and chill for approx. 1 hour.

Putting the cake together:

Step 15

Slice the sponge horizontally into two even slices, taking care to get them level.

Step 16

Place one of the sponges on to a serving plate or board and spread the top surface with the apricot jam.

Step 17

Place the crème pâtissière into a piping bag and pipe a thin layer onto the sponge, and then place the second sponge on top.

Step 18

With the remaining crème pâtissière build it into a dome shape on top of the sponge using a palette knife to smooth the crème into shape. Allow to set in the fridge for 2 hours.

Covering the cake:

Step 19

Knead the marzipan until soft and pliable and set a small amount aside to finish the decoration later.

Step 20

With the majority of the marzipan, blend in the green food colouring paste to achieve a consistent colour and then roll out a piece large enough to cover the entire cake.

Step 21

Remove the cake from the fridge and cover immediately with the green marzipan.

Step 22

Use the side of your finger or a modelling tool to gently indent a tennis ball pattern around the cake.

Step 23

Roll out your extra piece of white marzipan into a long rope, then place this into the indentation using a little water to stick in place.

Video Tutorial