Summer party cake 2016

Summer party cake

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(3 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 30 mins plus cooling and making the decorations

A challenge

Serves 20 - 25

This generous cake is big enough to feed a crowd and is a combination of all our favourite summer ingredients: strawberries, Victoria sponge, meringues, fresh cream, white chocolate and buttery shortbread

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving (25)

  • kcal540
  • fat36g
  • saturates22g
  • carbs47g
  • sugars33g
  • fibre2g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.5g
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Ingredients

  • 300g salted butter, at room temperature
    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
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste (or the seeds from 2 vanilla pods with 2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 6 medium eggs, lightly beaten
    Eggs

    Egg

    egg

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

  • 300g self-raising flour

To assemble

  • 900ml double cream
  • 1 heaped tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 300g good-quality or homemade strawberry jam (see tip)
  • 1kg strawberries, chopped into even slices for neat layers (save 8 to decorate)
    Strawberries

    Strawberry

    straw-bare-ee

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

  • pack of gold leaf (optional)
  • meringue kisses, chocolate bark & chocolate-coated strawberries (see recipes in 'goes well with')
  • shortbread biscuits (see recipe, or use shop-bought biscuits)

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line two x 23cm tins with baking parchment. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a tabletop mixer (or with a hand mixer or wooden spoon) until the mixture is very light, pale and fluffy. 

  2. Gradually mix in the beaten eggs, scraping down the side of the bowl after each addition, until fully combined. If using a mixer, on slow, add the flour until just combined - don't over-beat as it can make the sponge heavy. If you're not using a mixer, fold in the flour with a large metal spoon. 

  3. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake in the oven for 30 mins or until the cakes come away from the side and the skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove and cool in the tin for 5 mins. Turn out onto a wire rack and remove the parchment to allow the steam to escape and the cakes to cool. Meanwhile, make the decorations. 

  4. Now assemble your cake. Before you split the sponges, trim the domed tops off each cake with a bread knife. Use the same knife or a cake wire, to split each sponge horizontally, so you're left with four sponge layers. A good tip is to cut a marker line on each sponge using a bread knife, so that once you've cut the sponges and filled them, you can use the line to put them back together in the right place. That way, if your cutting was a little wonky, it won't make the cake uneven. 

  5. Whip the double cream with the icing sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, and just holding shape. Put the bottom layer on a cake stand or board. Spread with a thin layer of jam, then spread or pipe on a good layer of cream. Arrange an even layer of strawberries neatly round the edge, then dot the middle of the sponge with more fruit. Repeat with two more of the cake layers.

  6. For the top layer, add the sponge and jam, but neatly pipe the cream over. Gently press gold leaf onto the chocolate on the strawberries, a few meringues and some of the bark. 

  7. Arrange the chocolate-coated strawberries on top of the creamy sponge, then nestle in shards of bark, meringues and biscuit. Finish with a sprinkling of crushed meringue and a little more of the freeze-dried strawberries (from the chocolate bark recipe). Serve and eat within a few hours. 

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Comments, questions and tips

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cleo500
4th Mar, 2017
5.05
Fabulous cake! I made a smaller version for a family gathering - two layers of sponge sandwiched together plus the cream topping with chocolate coated strawberries and chocolate bark. It served 9 of us with a couple of pieces left over. All my relatives thought it looked and tasted great. Will definitely make again.
i05wahan
14th Jun, 2016
5.05
This cake is a real winner! Mine came first in our village bake off and Mary Berry said it looked lovely. I did 2/3 of the recipe and used blueberries, cherries and pansies instead of the chocolate bark and shortbread biscuits and it looked and tasted great. I found that the meringue recipe made a huge quantity (I'm not complaining!), but next time I would probably just use one or two egg whites. Thanks!
ChesK
2nd Jun, 2016
5.05
This cake was amazing! I baked it for my Mum's birthday, there were 14 of us and we only go through half so definitely best for a big occasion. It was also surprisingly easy to assemble, it did take a couple of hours by the the time the sponges had cooled and I'd chopped the strawberries, whipped the cream and layered each slice but it was totally worth it! Would absolutely recommend to anyone who wants a stunning cake to feed a large party especially as it actually tasted which can sometimes be lost with the most big celebration cakes. I didn't do the meringue pieces but melted white chocolate into a mold I already had (handbags,shoes) and placed those around the bottom of the cake which looked great as the top was pretty crowded!!
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