You cannot go wrong with a nice big piece of vanilla sponge cake filled with strawberry jam and buttercream. The trick with this cake is the syrup. It leaves it moist and full of added flavour.
The syrup will ensure that the cake will last up to five days easy. This recipe has been adapted from years of baking and I have finally discovered the perfect combination of ingredients. The key to big sponges are the number of eggs and the extra creaming of the butter and sugar at the start. Once you have the basic recipe you can adapt it in so many ways. If you would like a lemon cake just add lemon zest and a tablespoon of lemon juice to the cake batter instead of the vanilla extract, and add the juice of a lemon to the syrup.
Strawberry Vanilla Sponge Cake (8 inch round)
Difficulty – Medium
300 grams butter at room temperature (or pop in microwave for 10 secs)
300 grams caster sugar
6 good size free range eggs
420 grams self raising flour
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
6 tablespoons milk
120 grams caster sugar
150 mls water
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
250g icing sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
Cream together and add the vanilla. If you find it a little stiff add a teaspoon of milk. this will make it more spreadable but I like working with a stiff buttercream and it’s perfect for piping with. The vanilla cream will keep happily for five days.
1. Get prepared by greasing two 8 inch round cake tins. Use a bit of grease proof paper and wipe a thin layer of softened butter all around the inside. Some people then dust a little flour all around the inside of the tin so it sticks to the butter. Some people swear by it.
2. Preheat your oven to 160C (140C FAN)
3. Pop your butter into the mixer for 1 minute until nice and soft and fluffy.
4. Add your sugar and continue mixing at a medium speed for up to five minutes. This makes it nice and fluffy which is a key to sponge success.
5. Lightly mix your eggs together and at the very slowest setting, gradually add them to your creamed butter and sugar mix. It’s taken me many years to learn that patience is needed here. Add your eggs a little at a time and mix well between each addition.
6. Add the vanilla to the mixture.
7. Now gradually fold in the flour and milk.
8. Divide your mixture between the two tins. Give the filled tins a hard tap on the work surface. This will even out the mixture and bring any air bubbles to the top.
9. Pop in the oven for 35mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
10. Syrup – While the cake is cooking gently simmer your sugar, water and vanilla in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved.
11. Leave the cakes in their tins and take a skewer or sharp knife and pierce the cake all over.
12. Pour the syrup all over the cakes and let it soak in.
13. Leave the cakes to cool completely before you fill with strawberry jam and buttercream.
14. Spread some buttercream on top of the cake. Decorate with strawberries dipped in chocolate. Drizzle some extra white chocolate over the cake for added decadence.
15. Make a cup of coffee and cut yourself a wedge and enjoy.
For a six inch sponge cake adapt the recipe as follows:
280 grams self raising flour
200 grams caster sugar
200 grams unsalted butter
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons fresh milk
TIP – If you have a deep 8 inch round cake tin you can bake the whole mixture for 1 hour 30 mins.
Ice Cream Sundae Cupcakes
Divide the mixture between 24 cupcake cases and bake for 25mins. Syrup in the same way as the cake.
Replace the butter in the buttercream with trex/shortening, as this will leave it pure white, just like ice-cream. Pipe or spoon the buttercream on top of the cupcake like an ice cream sundae. Top with a strawberry dipped in chocolate and pop half a flake into the buttercream. If you have some strawberry coulis of that syrup you pour on ice cream drizzle some on top. Yummy easy peasy ice cream sundae cupcakes.