Fresh Strawberry Cake
This delicious fresh strawberry cake is basically a Victoria sponge, with strawberries running through the sponge itself and then filled with more strawberries, whipped cream and decorated with fresh strawberries on the top. It's a very pretty cake!
Interestingly, it looks like a wholemeal cake, with the depth of colour in the sponge itself - but this colour comes solely from the addition of the strawberries.
Although fresh strawberry cake is certainly best eaten while strawberries are in season, I often use frozen strawberries for the inside of the cake in any case. Sometimes the ones from the shop are a little hard and it's difficult to get any juice out of them. The frozen strawberries reliably let out their juice which is best for the sponge.
However, I always use fresh strawberries for decoration because the frozen ones are too soggy. Certainly you can't dust them with icing sugar - they just absorb the sugar almost instantly.
Fresh Strawberry Cake
Time: 2 1/2 hours including cooling
Servings: 12 slices
225g (1 1/4 cups) plain flour
1 slightly rounded tsp baking soda
1 slightly rounded tsp baking powder
225g (1 1/4 cups) self-raising flour
225g (1 cup) softened butter
225g (1 1/4 cups) sugar (caster sugar)
4 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
300g (2 generous cups) of
fresh (already hulled) or frozen strawberries
Plus fresh strawberries for decorating
2 tbsp sugar
About a tbsp of icing (powdered) sugar
175ml (3/4 cup) whipping cream
Prepare the strawberries
- Cut the measured strawberries up into pieces and spread out on a plate.
- Sprinkle them with a teaspoon of icing sugar and leave for an hour or so to draw out the juices.
- After an hour, mash them quite thoroughly with a fork. Don't puree them as you want to retain some texture. You should end up with about 1 cup of mashed strawberries.
Make the sponge cake mixture
- Set the oven to 325F, gas mark 3.
- Prepare the tins. I use 7 inch sandwich tins which are greased thoroughly and lined on the bottom with baking parchment.
- Put the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat thoroughly until the mixture turns pale. You can do this with a hand held mixer.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. If it curdles - don't worry. It really doesn't make the slightest difference to your finished cake.
- Add the flour and fold in gently with a metal spoon.
- Scoop up half the strawberry mixture, leaving behind most of the juice, and add this to the cake mixture, along with the vanilla essence.
- Fold the mixture carefully through the cake mixture. The cake mixture should drop very easily from the spoon, but it won't be runny.
Bake the cake
- Divide the mixture equally between the tins and smooth the tops. They don't need to be completely smooth, but you do need the mixture to be reasonably level so that they rise evenly. If you don't do this, you get a slightly wonky cake. Sometimes this is actually rather sweet...
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Lightly press the cake in the centre and if it springs back, then the cake is ready.
- Remove it from the oven and as soon as it is cool enough, take the cakes out of the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack away from the oven. They should be cool in about 30 minutes.
Thicken the strawberries for the filling
- Whilst the cake is cooking, place the remaining strawberries, along with the juice into a small pan. Add 2tbsp of sugar and bring to a moderate simmer.
- Simmer and stir for 5 minutes. It will thicken and reduce somewhat. Pour into a bowl and set aside until the cake is properly cold.
Assemble the cake
- Once the cake is cold, you can assemble it. Choose the prettiest cake for the top layer. Place the bottom cake upside down on the cake stand or plate.
- Reserve around 1 tsp of the jam mixture in the bowl. Spread the rest on the bottom layer of the cake.
- Whip 3/4 cup of cream with 1/2 tbsp of icing (powdered) sugar.
- Swirl the reserved teaspoon of jam mixture through the cream.
- Pile the strawberry cream on to the bottom layer of the cake. Pile it mostly into the centre so that you can then press the top layer down onto it. The cream will naturally spread to the edges in a pleasing way.
Decorate the fresh strawberry cake
Decorate the top with the reserved strawberries in any way that you like. You can slice the strawberries thinly and make a pattern with them, or you can halve them and place them in a circle - the possibilities are endless. :-)
Finally, dust the whole cake with icing sugar and decorate with flowers if you so desire.
Fresh strawberry cake is itching to be served with English tea scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream, little strawberry tarts, cucumber sandwiches and English breakfast tea for a delicious strawberry cream tea!
It's very tasty just on its own with an iced mint tea in the summer.
And it looked very pretty on our Pink Roses table setting decorated with roses and rose petals.