Polka-dot strawberry cake

Polka-dot strawberry cake

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(11 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 30 mins Cook: 25 mins plus overnight chilling

A challenge

Cuts into 12 slices
Feeling ambitious enough to take on this showstopping bake? With its decorative sponge and fruit topping, it has real wow factor

Nutrition and extra info

  • sponge only

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal605
  • fat40g
  • saturates24g
  • carbs51g
  • sugars38g
  • fibre2g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.5g


  • 1kg strawberry, hulled, except for 8 berries



    Once available in Britain for just a brief period during the summer, strawberries are now a year…

  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • juice ½ lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • butter, for greasing



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

For the polka dots

  • 1 large egg
  • 25g golden caster sugar
  • 25g plain flour
  • few drops pink food colouring
  • few drops red food colouring

For the cakes

  • 8 large eggs
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 50g butter, melted



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling

  • 500g mascarpone
  • 5 tbsp icing sugar
  • 300ml double cream

To finish

  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  • icing sugar, for dusting


  1. Slice 300g of the strawberries. Put in a pan with the icing sugar and lemon juice. Gently heat until the juices start to run, then cook, uncovered, for 2 mins. Tip into a food processor or mini blender and whizz to a purée, then press through a sieve to remove the seeds.

  2. Grease and line the base and sides of a 23 x 33cm Swiss roll tin. Grease and line the base of a deep 20-21cm round cake tin. (You will also need a deep 23cm round cake tin for later.) To make the polka dots, whisk the egg and sugar using a hand-held electric whisk until thick, pale and the mixture leaves a trail when the whisk blade is lifted. Sift in the flour and fold in using a spatula until well mixed, then fold in 1 tbsp of the strawberry purée and a few drops each of the pink and red food colouring.

  3. Spoon small dots of the mixture randomly over the base of the Swiss roll tin, leaving a little space between each dot. Place in the freezer for 20 mins until the pink dots are firm to the touch.

  4. To make the cakes, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. If you have a tabletop mixer, you can make the whole quantity in 1 batch. If using a handheld electric whisk, it will be easier to make the cakes in 2 batches of 4 eggs each. Whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture is light and pale, and the whisk blades leave a trail when they are lifted – this will take 5-8 mins. Sift in the flour and baking powder, drizzle in the butter and vanilla, and fold everything together using a spatula until all the flour is incorporated.

  5. Pour half the mixture into the prepared cake tin and the other half over the Swiss roll tin, spreading it out evenly. Bake the rectangular cake for 15 mins and the round cake for 25 mins. Turn out each cake onto a tea towel, then remove the paper and invert onto a wire rack to cool.

  6. To make the filling, beat together the mascarpone, icing sugar and remaining strawberry purée. Chop 200g of the remaining strawberries into small pieces. Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold into the mascarpone with the chopped strawberries.

  7. Line the base and sides of the 23cm round cake tin with cling film. Trim the edges of the rectangular cake, then cut into 2 x 9cm-wide strips lengthwise. Fit around the sides of the tin, trimming to fit if necessary. The cake should butt together fairly tightly.

  8. Cut the round cake into 3 layers (you could cut it into 2 layers if you find it easier, and divide the following filling accordingly). Place the bottom layer in the base of the cling film-lined tin. Reserve 3 rounded tbsp of the filling in a small bowl, then spoon half the remainder over the cake, smoothing it flat. Place a second cake layer on top and add the remaining filling, smoothing it flat. Top with the last cake layer. Cover the cake with cling film and chill for 24-48 hrs, along with the small bowl of reserved filling.

  9. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and peel off the cling film. Slide the cake onto a serving plate. Slice the remaining hulled strawberries. Spread the reserved filling over the top of the cake and fill with sliced berries, adding in the 8 whole ones.

  10. Warm the apricot jam with 2 tbsp water in a small pan, then press through a sieve. Brush liberally over all the strawberries. Dust the top edge of the cake with icing sugar. Chill until ready to serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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20th Jun, 2017
I just made this for a party and what a lovely cake - delicious. I used the small tubes of gel colouring about 8 good drops of each colour should give you a good red polka dot. The receipe states to use a 20cm swiss roll tin. The method (point 7) states to cut the rectangular sponge into 2x9cm strips, if you do this then you should have a 2cm width of sponge leftover this can then be used to fill in the gap along the outer edge of the 23cm tin.
5th Aug, 2016
Don't know where the star rating is on this, but would give **** as the only failing seems to be the measurement. .....is this me!!!?!
6th May, 2019
No not only you. I did too. Ended up doing the last bit in a 20cm tin. It was lovely though
5th Aug, 2016
Second time in one week I've done this, because it looks lovely, and two besties have had birthdays! Both times I would say give yourself time. It's fun, but trying to do this whilst juggling meals, animals, etc has taken 5 to 6 hours each. Both times the blooming cake didn't fit, so certainly don't trim the shorter ends of the cake, and keep the trimmings from sides to fill in the gap. The first cake someone said it looked like pleats!! Usual stuff about overwhipping cream....just don't! Keep it a bit sloppy because as you know it thickens whilst folding into marscapone. Once completed it is very impressive, cuts into many pieces (first one fed 18 people!!) and tastes absolutely delicious. Well worth the effort. PS, first time I blobbed pink spots onto paper with a spoon as instructed and got just that....blobs. It didn't matter, it's still great, but second time I piped the mixture and had so many more equally sized 'spots' I would recommend, just treat carefully as you don't want to squish out the air from the mixture. Also, I saved more than 3 tbsp for the top as that would have been a thin spreading instead of a decent layer. Choice is yours!! Great cake I am intent on perfecting as it really is impressive and very tasty.
27th Jul, 2015
This took a long time to make due to all the different components, but the end result looks fantastic - really effective. My tips would be to make sure your pink dots mixture is VERY pink - my mixture looked neon, and the results after baking were only a little bit brighter than the photo to this recipe. Finally, I had bought a 23cm cake pan especially (as advised in the recipe), and this was too large, so the swiss roll didn't meet around the edges, and I had to stuff the pan with a tea towel to make it stick together. I will try again with a 20cm cake pan next time.
5th Jul, 2015
Surprisingly easy and the result was near perfection! Made the spotty cake slightly too thick that's all! Looks delicious, can't wait to eat it later! Must remember to make it the day before next time as I didn't leave mine for 24-48 hours but it still kept its shape well.
15th Sep, 2014
I made this for a baking competition at work and adapted it to a wheat/gluten free version using Doves Farm flour. Took quite a long time to complete but the end result was amazing. My most favourite cake ever and if I get the time, I will definitely be making this again. (I won the competition13 votes to 2 so others obviously agreed!) :)
mother_ship's picture
28th Jun, 2014
Made this for a retirement party and it went down a treat! I did have to tie a ribbon around it as the middle started to bow!
30th Apr, 2014
Not quite sure what I did wrong, but the pink dots didn't really show up. I have a slightly discoloured sponge.
20th Jan, 2014
Love this amazingly scrumptious cake... Please find one of my recipes on my blog for Eggless cherry cake http://www.deepsrecipes.com/2013/12/butterscotch-cherry-cake-egg-less.html


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davel64's picture
28th Jun, 2016
Maked it in two batches 1 for the tray (sides) and 1 for the 3 cakes.
davel64's picture
28th Jun, 2016
maked 3 21cm cakes and used an iceing bag for the polka dots, had lots of polka dot mixture left so used it in the base of 2 of the cakes.
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