Pimm's cake

Pimm's cake

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(12 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 30 mins

More effort

Serves 18 - 20

Yes, you read right, Pimm's in cake form. Smooth strawberry and lemon buttercream coupled with cucumber essence make this the ultimate taste of summer

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving (20)

  • kcal600
  • fat30g
  • saturates19g
  • carbs76g
  • sugars61g
  • fibre1g
  • protein4g
  • salt1g
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Ingredients

    For the cake

    • 1 cucumber
    • zest and juice 1 lemon
      Lemon

      Lemon

      le-mon

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

    • 300g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
      Butter

      Butter

      butt-err

      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 300g golden caster sugar
    • 4 large eggs
      Eggs

      Egg

      egg

      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 400g self raising flour
    • 1 ½ 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…

    For the strawberry buttercream

    • 200g butter, softened
      Butter

      Butter

      butt-err

      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 500g icing sugar
    • 80g strawberries, hulled
      Strawberries

      Strawberry

      straw-bare-ee

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

    For the lemon buttercream

    • 200g butter, softened
      Butter

      Butter

      butt-err

      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 400g icing sugar
    • juice & zest 1 lemon
      Lemon

      Lemon

      le-mon

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

    For the strawberry filling & decoration

    • 100g strawberries, hulled and sliced plus 3 strawberries, halved, (stalks on)
      Strawberries

      Strawberry

      straw-bare-ee

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

    • 3 tbsp Pimm's
    • ¼ cucumber, sliced

    Method

    1. Put the sliced and halved strawberries for the filling and decoration into a small bowl and pour over the Pimm's. Leave to soak in for at least one hour or overnight. Heat oven to 190C /170C fan/gas 5. Line 3 x 20cm sandwich tins with baking parchment and grease with butter.

    2. Cut the whole cucumber in half lengthways and using a teaspoon scrape out and discard the seeds. Roughly chop the rest of the cucumber and puree in a blender with the lemon juice.

    3. In a large bowl and using electric beaters whisk up the softened butter with the sugar until pale and light. Continue whisking as you add the eggs, one at a time, whisking in between additions. Once all the eggs have been added pour in the cucumber purée, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Don’t worry if the mixture splits - it will come back together when you add the flour.

    4. Fold in the flour and baking powder and whisk once again briefly until there are no lumps of flour remaining then divide the mixture between the three tins. Bake in the oven for 30-35mins or until a skewer pushed into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Take the cakes out of the oven and leave to cool in their tins for five minutes then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

    5. While the cakes are cooking and cooling make the buttercreams. To make the strawberry buttercream, mash the strawberries in a small bowl with a fork until mushy. In a larger bowl whisk up the butter and half the icing sugar until smooth, then whisk in the mashed strawberries followed by the remaining icing sugar. Whisk until smooth and pale pink and place in the fridge until needed. Repeat the process with the lemon buttercream.

    6. Once the cakes are completely cold, put one of the cakes onto a cake turntable and add about one third of the lemon buttercream, spread over the surface evenly then top with half of the soaked strawberry slices. Next, spread one third of the strawberry buttercream onto another of the cakes and top with the remaining strawberry slices. Carefully stack the two filled layers with the final cake on top.

    7. Transfer the remaining buttercreams to disposable piping bags and snip off the ends. Pipe the strawberry buttercream in rings around the outside of the cake, starting at the base. Once you reach three quarters of the way up, switch to the lemon buttercream and continue piping onto the top of the cake. Smooth over the top using a palette knife then smooth the sides with either a large palette knife or, better still a pastry scraper. Use long sweeping movements and gently turn the cake turntable so that you get a smooth finish but a subtle gradient effect where the two colours meet. Scrape any excess icing into a bowl.

    8. To finish, top with the remaining soaked strawberry halves and the slices of cucumber.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Toshi
    7th Aug, 2019
    5.05
    This looked amazing, it was time consuming but simple to make and I enjoyed baking and decorating it. Because it was for a school bake sale I made a non alcoholic version by soaking the strawberries in a bowl of non alcoholic fruit cider, mixed with some cucumber tonic and mint and I think they tasted the part. Didn’t actually get to sample the finished cake as they decided to put it in a silent auction because it looked too good to slice up but I’ve been assured that it tasted good. Planning on an alcoholic version next time.
    Cinnamum
    20th May, 2019
    5.05
    Great recipe. All the flavours of Pimms! I halved the quantities and made a traybake - I striped the two flavours of buttercream over the top so each square had all the flavours. Made 16 generous sized portions. Everyone enjoyed!!! Don’t be put off by the cucumber in the sponge. It made it light and fresh.
    cyberpuzz
    25th Jul, 2018
    5.05
    I made this for a party last week and it was excellent!
    Emmamay84
    20th Oct, 2016
    5.05
    This is just fab! I followed the recipe except for the amount of strawberries, I used more for the filling and less buttercream which made it slightly less sweet. I baked this for a charity cake sale at work today and it was a real talking point. So pleased with the result. I have to say, the mixture was much thicker than I was expecting when I divided it into the tins - I re-read the recipe thinking I'd forgotten a wet ingredient! It turned out great.
    little_lady
    7th Oct, 2016
    5.05
    I actually used this recipe to make Pimms cupcakes. I followed it exactly (which makes a lot of cupcakes!) and then added the buttercream to the top with a slice of strawberry and a slice of cucumber. If only we could add photos to reviews as they worked really well - good if you shy away from making large cakes like me.
    suehorspole
    5th Oct, 2016
    5.05
    Made this for a Charity Bake Off event. It worked really well! Looked and tasted amazing! I decided not to make a buttercream for the filling, so instead used 500 grams of mascarpone, which only needed a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar to slightly sweeten it. Everyone who shared the cake seemed to enjoy it!!
    acjacobs
    5th Aug, 2016
    4.05
    Well, I gave this a bash and was really pleased with the outcome. When they say it serves 18 to 20, they're not wrong. One small slice and you'll feel like you never want to eat again! I've not been cooking long so there's things that I'd do differently next time. The sponges weren't perfectly level and I thought I could level it off by making the filling a bit thicker on one side. This resulted in a serious landslide on one side after about an hour. Make no mistake, this is sweet. I'd reduce the amount if icing used and hold back on the filling a bit. I'd also use far more strawberries for the filling. I reckon it would take double. Also, there's a bit of a mistake in the recipe. If you follow it step by step like I did then you'll run out of the soaked strawberries. It says use half for the first layer and the the remaining for the second layer. Then at the end it says to use the remaining strawberries for the top. If you use 2 halves then there won't be any left by the time you get to the top. Lastly, if like me you think that cucumber in a cake is a bit weird, don't worry. The taste of cucumber takes the edge off the sweetness of the sponge a bit - not a bad thing with all that icing - and the taste comes through very subtly.
    acjacobs
    3rd Aug, 2016
    4.05
    Going to give this a go today but just seen the nutritional info. 12,000 (yes, 12 THOUSAND) calories in the whole cake. If you make it in a 20cm tin then you're looking at each slice being about 3cm and that works out as: - 4 slices of bread worth of carbs - 12 teaspoons of sugar - One quarter to one third of your daily intake of calories depending on your gender PER SLICE!!! On the plus side, I guess with the lemon, strawberries and cucumber, you're getting 3 of your 5 a day ;)
    mscupcake
    14th Jul, 2018
    :O truly shocking! 61 g sugar per slice - when your recommended daily intake is 25 g!! Certainly a treat, but still. I'm looking forward to making for a birthday cake, but won't be using all that icing.
    beccapainter
    25th Jul, 2016
    Lovely summer cake
    Rhonda Handley's picture
    Rhonda Handley
    18th Aug, 2019
    4.05
    My cake was quite dense. Could this be a result of using 9 inch pans instead of 8 inch?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    20th Aug, 2019
    Sorry to hear your cakes turned out dense. If you used a larger cake tins, then then the cooking time would need to be reduced or the cake will have turned out dry. If you did reduce the time but the cakes were dense, this could be because not enough air was incorporated during the creaming and egg stage. Eggs should be room temperature and added gradually. It's also important not to overwork the flour. We hope this helps in future.
    jemmakwall
    8th Jul, 2019
    Hello, what size eggs do I use for this recipe? Thank you :)
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    11th Jul, 2019
    Thanks for your question - use large eggs for this recipe.
    Toshi
    23rd Jun, 2019
    5.05
    If you wanted to make this cake to be alcohol free is there anything else you would suggest soaking the strawberries and cucumber in to get the same flavour?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    25th Jun, 2019
    Thanks for your question. It won't be the same flavour but you can use diluted elderflower cordial as an altenrative.
    cyberpuzz
    25th Jul, 2018
    5.05
    Could this recipe be increased by half easily to make a bigger cake (need to feed 20-25)?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    26th Jul, 2018
    Thanks for your question. You might find it tricky to adjust the ingredients, tin sizes and cooking times so we'd recommend slicing into smaller pieces or adding an additional bake, perhaps some cupcakes: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/cupcakes
    nomio19
    9th Oct, 2016
    I have just made this cake and it didnt look like the picture! do you cut the cakes if they arent even? if not do you place them on top of each other flat bit up or down?Also, i couldnt get the icing as smooth as the picture, should the icing be fresh or from the fridge...lastly, i used more strawberries, however it wasnt as pink as it should be..
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    15th Oct, 2016
    Hi Nomio, we're sorry to hear your cake didn't turn out as pictured. Yes, you can trim the cakes if they are too domed or uneven. If you place the top cake upside-down that will also provide you with a flatter surface. The buttercream can be at room temperature but if it's too warm to hold its shape, then do pop it in the fridge until it's spreadable but no longer soft. As for the strawberries, we found ours made the icing sufficiently pink but if you wanted to add the smallest drop of pink or red food colouring you could do so to create a lovely contrast.
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