Summer party cake 2016

Summer party cake

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(8 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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  • 300g salted butter, at room temperature



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

  • 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



    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)



    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)


  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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15th Jun, 2019
Made this cake yesterday - must admit it took a while and two days but the result was totally worthwhile everyone loved it. I did make only a 20cm cake and reduced the quantities but it still cut into about 18 slices which was great. I only used 600ml of cream and it was plenty. Would recommend anyone to make this. I mainly use recipes from her to create cakes and am now getting commision because they are so good
Cassie Wigoder
13th Apr, 2019
Loved it!! This turned out great. I made three separate layers and did strawberry buttercream instead of cream which turned out more stable. Would definetely recommend. Also on the top I didn’t dip the strawberries in chocolate to cut down on the sweetness.
3rd Sep, 2017
I was so pleased with the way this cake turned out, well worth the effort! I made it for my Dad's 70th birthday party, and everyone loved it. I made the sponges, chocolate bark and chocolate covered strawberries the night before (didn't bother with meringues), so the cake was easier to cut the next day. It took about 1 hour to make the cream and assemble the cake the next day, and I used shop bought "Scottie dog" shaped shortbread also. It tasted delicious, this is the first time I have used vanilla bean paste in cakes, but this together with the golden caster sugar make it so much more tastier than a normal sponge cake. Definitely make this again!
4th Mar, 2017
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.
14th Jun, 2016
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!
2nd Jun, 2016
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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3rd Sep, 2017
When cutting the sponges in half, measure the side of the cake, and insert a cocktail stick in the side halfway between the top and bottom. Do this every quarter of cake, so when you come to cut it, they act as a guide so you don't cut it wonky.
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