Is there anything more summery than a delicious strawberry cake? Dreamt up by GBBO finalist, Laura Adlington (@laura.adlington), this Strawberry Frasier Cake will transport you to Wimbledon from the very first bite.
“This centrepiece sponge cake showcases the best of British strawberries and cream, making it the perfect accompaniment to the quintessentially British Wimbledon! It takes a little time to make, but don’t be daunted by it. After one bite of the light genoise sponge, decadent crème diplomat and beautifully sweet strawberries, you’ll realise it’s worth the effort. You can even assemble your Frasier cake a day ahead.”
Love, Laura x
2 x 8 inch cake tins
8in spring form tin OR cake ring
For the genoise sponges
160g eggs (roughly 3 eggs)
90g caster sugar
90g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla paste
20g butter, plus extra for greasing
For the crème diplomat
4 egg yolks
35g corn flour
30g caster sugar
500ml full fat milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
250ml whipping/heavy cream
2 tsp gelatin powder OR 3 sheets gelatin leaf
For the cake filling
450g fresh strawberries
For the sugar syrup
40g caster sugar
To make the genoise sponges:
Step 1. Pre-heat your oven to 160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.
Step 2. Grease two 8in cake tins with a generous amount of butter.
Step 3. Melt 20g butter in the microwave and leave to one side.
Step 4. Add the eggs, caster sugar, vanilla bean paste and salt to a stand mixer (or a large bowl if using an electric whisk). Beat on high for about 5-7 minutes until the mixture is four times its original size.
Step 5. Gently fold in the flour. Be very careful at this stage as you don’t want to knock the air out.
Step 6. Lastly, fold in the melted butter until fully combined, again being very careful not to knock the air out of the batter.
Step 7. Divide the mixture into both cake tins (weighing them helps if you want to be precise). Level them off with a spatula then bake for 10-12 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Step 1. If you’re using gelatin leaf, add it to a small bowl of cold water to allow it to bloom. If not skip to step 2.
Step 2. To a medium sized pan, add the milk and vanilla bean paste. You want a medium heat for this so the milk just simmers, not boils.
Step 3. While the milk is warming up, in a small bowl combine the egg yolks, sugar and corn flour. Whisk until you form a smooth paste.
Step 4. When the milk is simmering, add a small splash to the egg yolk mixture and combine, then a little bit more. Then tip everything back into the pan and whisk continuously on a medium heat until the custard thickens.
Step 5. Once it’s lovely and thick, take it off the heat and leave to cool at room temperature. If it’s looking a bit lumpy, pass it through a sieve.
Step 6. After a few minutes, add the gelatin (whatever form you’re using) and stir thoroughly until combined. Pop some cling film directly on the top of the custard so it doesn’t form a skin then leave to cool completely.
Step 7. Once the custard is at room temperature, in a separate bowl whisk the cream to stiff peaks.
Step 8. Gradually add the cream to the custard (or vice versa) in three stages, until it’s all combined. Try not to over mix it. Leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it
Add the sugar and water to a small pan. Simmer on a medium-high heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before brushing it onto your sponges (a pastry brush is ideal for this but you can just drizzle it on with a spoon if you don’t have one).
Step 1. Place your cake ring or spring form tin on a flat plate or cake stand, then add a ring of acetate (if using) to the inside.
Step 2. Cut off the stalks of a handful of strawberries and then slice them in half.
Step 3. Place one of the sponge layers at the bottom, then coat the top of the sponge in the sugar syrup.
Step 4. Arrange the strawberry halves around the outside of the sponge, with the flat surface directly touching the acetate or cake ring.
Step 5. Place whole strawberries all around the rest of the inside of the cake, then cover with the crème diplomat, smoothing it off with a spatula.
Step 6. Finally, add the last layer of sponge and brush this with the sugar syrup again. Top tip: for a neater finish I place the top cake layer upside down.
Step 7. Cover the cake with cling film and pop it in the fridge for at least four hours until fully set (it can be stored in the fridge for up to two days).
Step 8. Serve straight from the fridge when you’re ready, and finish with a dusting of icing sugar on top and some more fresh fruit. Enjoy!