Strawberry and elderflower cake

Strawberry and elderflower cake

By
From
The Birthday Cake Book
Serves
24
Photographer
Laura Edwards

As I write, the hedgerows are filled with creamy, lacy elderflower heads, crying out to be turned into a fragrant cordial. Elderflowers have an extraordinary affinity with strawberries, and make a perfect summer birthday cake. Assemble only a couple of hours before the event (and chill, if you can) as the cake won’t keep, especially in the heat. A summer celebration on a plate!

For the cake

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
450g unsalted butter, really soft and diced, plus more for the tins
450g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 eggs, lightly beaten
2 large unwaxed lemons, finely zested
450g golden caster sugar
4 tablespoons elderflower cordial

For the elderflower cream

Quantity Ingredient
1.2kg ripe, even-sized strawberries, cleaned, dried and hulled
2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
600ml double cream
8 tablespoons elderflower cordial

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 170°C. To make the three-tiered cake, take three 20 cm round sandwich tins. Butter the tins and line the bases with baking parchment. If you have only two tins, then make the cake mixture and divide it evenly into three batches, baking the third as soon as a tin becomes free.
  2. For this cake, I use an electric mixer and beater attachment, but you can use a food processor, or a bowl and electric whisk, if you prefer. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, add the butter, eggs, lemon zest and sugar, and beat well, adding the cordial towards the end. Be careful not to over-mix, as you want a light cake.
  3. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until a skewer emerges clean. (To halve the recipe, bake in two 20 cm tins for 20–25 minutes.) Remove from the oven, leave for a couple of minutes, run a knife around the rim to loosen the cakes from the tins and turn out on to a wire rack. Remove the papers and leave to cool completely. Trim the cakes flat.
  4. For the filling and decoration, slice 400 g of the strawberries and toss in a bowl with the sugar and vanilla. Leave all the flavours to mingle together for 30 minutes.
  5. Whip the cream until soft peaks form, adding the cordial slowly just as it begins to thicken. Place one cake on a cake stand and spread with a layer of cream and half the sliced strawberries. Repeat with another cake, a layer of cream and the remaining sliced strawberries. Top with the last cake. Spread the remaining cream all over the top and sides.
  6. Take the best-shaped 20 strawberries and cut 10–12 in half. Place the halved strawberries, cut side up, in a circle around the edge of the cake, and pile up the rest in the centre. Cut the remaining strawberries into slices – or in half – and press into the cream all around the sides.
Tags:
Baking
Cakes
Birthday
cake
sweets
dessert
sweet
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