Strawberry sponge cake

Strawberry sponge cake

By
From
How I cook
Makes
8–10 slices
Photographer
Jason Lowe

Somehow this cake manages to be timeless yet charmingly old fashioned at the same time. With its delicate pink icing, it is beautiful to behold on a table laden with other teatime treats.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
10g butter, melted, plus extra to grease
240g self-raising flour, plus extra to dust
5 organic free-range large eggs, separated
275g caster sugar, plus extra to dust
5 tablespoons warm water
small pinch sea salt

Icing

Quantity Ingredient
100g perfectly ripe english strawberries, hulled
120g icing sugar
25g unsalted butter, softened
1 orange, finely grated zest

Filling

Quantity Ingredient
250g strawberries, hulled (except for a few, to finish)
200ml double cream, at room temperature

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line two 23cm round cake tins with baking parchment, brush the parchment and sides of the tins lightly with melted butter, then dust with a little flour.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and almost doubled in volume; this may take around 10 minutes, so be patient. Fold in the warm water. Sift the flour over the mixture and gradually fold in, using a large metal spoon or spatula.
  3. Now whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl with the pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Carefully fold into the sponge mixture, a third at a time. Finally, gently fold in the melted butter.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes, or until each cake has slightly shrunk away from the edge of the tin and it springs back when lightly pressed in the centre. Turn out carefully and cool on a wire rack.
  5. To make the icing, purée the strawberries in a blender until smooth, then strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add the icing sugar, butter and orange zest to the blender (there’s no need to rinse it first) and blend until pale and creamy. Now add the puréed strawberries and process briefly to a beautifully coloured icing. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  6. For the filling, slice the strawberries lengthways. Whip the cream until thick, then spread over one sponge cake. Layer the strawberries on top, then cover with the second sponge. Spread the pale pink icing over the surface of the cake, using a palette knife. Halve the reserved strawberries, arrange on top of the cake and dust lightly with caster sugar to finish.

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