Mimosa cake

Mimosa cake

Torta mimosa

The Italian Baker

I was born in the Eternal City of Rome. Every year for my birthday, my mother used to buy a mimosa cake from Euclide, one of the best pastry shops in the city. Their cake was a little different from the traditional recipe that involves pineapple chunks and orange blossom syrup – they made it with chopped strawberries and chocolate chips or shavings, which is how I still prefer it. Mimosa cake, so called as it is made to resemble the tropical mimosa flower, is famous in Italy for being the cake dedicated to women on International Women’s Day on 8 March. I have fond memories of this cake and, even now, it is still my birthday cake of choice.


Quantity Ingredient

For the chantilly cream

Quantity Ingredient
240ml milk
1/2 vanilla pod, seeds only
115g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons plain flour, sifted
180ml double cream

For the sponge

Quantity Ingredient
4 whole eggs
8 egg yolks
200g caster sugar
200g plain flour
30g cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

For the syrup

Quantity Ingredient
180ml water
180ml caster sugar
1 tablespoon kirsch liqueur

To assemble

Quantity Ingredient
340g strawberries
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon caster sugar
250g chocolate chips


  1. First, prepare the chantilly cream. Pour the milk into a pan over a medium heat and add the vanilla seeds (scraped from the pod). Heat gently until it comes to a slow boil, then remove from the heat. Meanwhile, put the sugar and egg yolks in a bowl and, using an electric whisk, whisk until pale and light. Add the flour and whisk. Add some of the just-boiled milk to the yolk mixture, whisking on a low speed. Add the remaining warm milk and pour the mixture back into the pan. Cook over a gentle heat, whisking constantly with a balloon whisk until it thickens, about 3 minutes. Pour into a bowl, cover with cling film and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, fold the whipped cream into the cold crème pâtissière until fully incorporated. Refrigerate. For the sponge cakes, preheat the oven to 180°C. Line two 23 cm cake tins with baking parchment. Put the whole eggs and sugar into the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or in a mixing bowl and use a hand-held electric whisk, and start whisking on a low speed, increasing the speed to high for at least 10–15 minutes or until pale, creamy and quadrupled in volume. Add the egg yolks and continue whisking.
  3. Double sift the flour with the cornflour and, using a spatula, fold gently into the egg mixture, taking care not to knock any air out. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and bake for 30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool slightly before inverting on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the syrup, put the water, sugar and kirsch into a pan over a medium heat. Let the sugar dissolve without stirring, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  5. Finely chop the strawberries, add the lemon juice and sugar, stir and set aside. To assemble, take one of the cooled sponge cakes, trim any dark area from the top and sides using a serrated knife, then cut the circle of cake into 1.5 cm cubes. Cut the other sponge in half horizontally, to give 2 thin sponges. Place one on a cake stand and brush the base generously with the syrup. Spread a layer of chilled chantilly cream over the sponge, top with the strawberries and chocolate chips and place the second thin sponge on top. Cover the entire cake with the remaining chantilly cream. If it is still soft, refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes. Finish by covering the entire surface with the sponge cubes, concentrating on the top to give it a slightly domed shape.
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