This rustic homemade cake is filled to the brim with whipped double cream and strawberries, and topped with vanilla buttercream. Use good quality cream and ripe strawberries for a taste of an English summer at its best. Part of the appeal of this cake is that it can be piled high willy nilly with all the good stuff, and it doesn’t need to look perfect – the berries and cream speak for themselves. If it’s a hot day, you might need to work quickly to stop all the icing and cream oozing off it which was what happened with mine!
Our soft cake and pastry flour milled from English organic wheats creates a lovely light sponge here. I was inspired by Claire Ptak of Violet Bakery to add milk to the cake batter to lighten it rather than using the traditional Victoria sponge ratios, which create a denser sponge. The lighter cake crumb is the perfect counterfoil to the thick cream and berries.
You will need a 22cm springform cake tin.
Serves 8 – 10
Preheat your oven to 150°C. Grease a 22cm non-stick springform cake tin with butter, then line with baking parchment.
Beat the 165g butter and caster sugar using an electric hand whisk until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating as you go on a low setting. Add the seeds from one vanilla pod (save the other for the buttercream), plus the salt and combine.
Using a hand whisk, combine the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl, to ensure even distribution of raising agent.
Add the flour and the 210ml of milk gradually to the butter and sugar mix, alternating between them adding one then the other and beating with the electric whisk as you go, until they are thoroughly combined and you have the desired consistency.
Pour the batter into the tin, and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 1 – 1:15 hours, until a skewer comes out clean and the cake is cooked through.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
While the cake is baking, prepare the filling and icing.
Whip the 700ml of double cream using an electric whisk until thick and fluffy.
Slice the tops off the strawberries, and chop them into chunks for the filling. I use a mixture of halved strawberries for the inside of the cake, and quarters to decorate the cream on the outside.
To make your vanilla buttercream icing, place the 100g butter and 275g icing sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until thoroughly combined, for a few minutes. Add the milk slowly as you go, and scrape in the seeds from the remaining vanilla pod.
When the cake has cooled, slice it in half and fill the middle with the whipped cream and strawberries.
Using a palette knife, ice the top of the cake with the buttercream icing and decorate as you please (you may want to keep a few strawberries back for the top).
Best eaten on the day of making. This cake will keep for a day or so afterwards wrapped in the fridge (it needs to be kept chilled due to the fruit and cream).