Bake Her Day: Strawberry Ombre Cake Recipe
This gorgeous cake simply shouts celebration – and is the ultimate treat to bake at home for Mother’s Day! It is a delicious showstopper that you are going to love to make – and serve
For the sponge
• 225g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
• 225g unrefined golden caster sugar
• 4 free-range eggs, beaten
• 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
• 2 tbsp whole milk
• 225g self-raising flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
For the filling
• 425ml whipping cream
• 70g unrefined golden caster sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Strawberry conserve
For the frosting
• 100g cream cheese
• 100g unsalted butter, softened
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 400g icing sugar
• Red food colouring
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4. Lightly grease 2 x 20cm diameter sandwich cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter until pale and light. Add the sugar then cream together until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs a spoonful at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla paste and milk and stir in. Sift the flour and baking powder together then fold in.
3. Divide the mixture equally between the prepared cake tins. Gently tap the tins on the work surface to expel any large air pockets and level the tops. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
4. When the cakes are completely cold, slice each in half horizontally. Whip the cream until it holds its shape, then fold in the sugar and vanilla extract. Spread a layer of strawberry preserve over the 2 bases, then spread a layer of cream over each. Spread a layer of cream only over the remaining 2 cake halves. Sandwich 2 halves together on a serving plate, starting with a jam and cream layer, followed by a cream-only layer. Repeat the layers. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours before decorating.
5. Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until soft and creamy. Stir in the vanilla extract, then sift the icing sugar and gradually mix in. Divide the frosting between 4 small bowls. Leaving one bowl of frosting uncoloured, add different amounts of red food colouring to the other 3 bowls to form different shades of frosting (see picture). Transfer each to a separate piping bag fitted with a large star-shaped piping nozzle.
6. To decorate, use a palette knife to cover the cake all over with a thin layer of the uncoloured frosting, saving some for the final decoration. Starting with the darkest-coloured frosting, pipe large circular rosettes around the base of the cake. Take the next darkest frosting and pipe another row of rosettes above the first row. Use the palest-coloured frosting to pipe a final row of rosettes to cover the top of the cake. Use the remaining uncoloured frosting to add a few smaller rosettes on the top and edges of the cake. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.
7. Tip: Make sure that the eggs, butter and cream cheese are at room temperature before you begin.
Let them eat cake!
Our recipe is taken from Eric Lanlard’s Afternoon Tea (Mitchell Beazley RRP £20, with photography by Kate Whitaker). Eric is a master patissier and creates dazzling afternoon teas for his London-based patisserie, Cake Boy as well as P&O Cruises and Virgin Atlantic. Visit cake-boy.com