Make-ahead Simple Strawberry and Vanilla Layer Cake
Ahh June – when Wimbledon stomps all over our TV schedules, Andy Murray sends us on our annual rollercoaster of emotions and we yearn for strawberries, barbeques and long evenings sipping Pimms as the sun goes down.
We took advantage of the few days of sun a while back to try to tame our garden (see end of the post). We got all excited and decided to throw a garden party ….and then the weather went rubbish again. Not to be deterred and with something specific to bake for I went arguably OTT on the sweet treats (is that possible?). I made macarons, gluten free brownies, krispie cake, salted chocolate cookies and this layer cake. I’ll be writing about some of those over the next weeks.
I know that I can be a bit of a stress-monster on the day of a party so I wanted something I could make ahead and just assemble on the day. This sponge is perfect as it’s quite moist and dense anyway. It will defrost as you assemble it.
Easy Vanilla Cake
from BBC Good Food
250g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla bean paste – I use Nielsen Massey
5 eggs – recipe says large I used medium and it seems fine
85g plain flour
100g Greek yogurt – recipe says full fat but I used o% as that’s what I had
250g self-raising flour
3 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
1 Punnet of strawberries, washed and hulled
500g icing sugar
1 or 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tsp milk
Cream the sugar, butter, vanilla and a pinch of salt together until really
Continue mixing slowly whilst adding the eggs one at a time. Apparently if it starts to separate you can stop it my adding a tablespoon of plain flour, but it never works for me. I just plough on regardless and it seems to come out fine.
Beat in the yoghurt.
Mix the flours together and fold into the batter using a big metal spoon.
Lastly fold in milk.
Put batter into an 8 inch springform cake tin.
Bake at 160C/140C fan/gas 3 for 1 hr 20mins
For the buttercream
Beat the butter, beat in the icing sugar and vanilla bean paste (to taste).
If making ahead
Wait until the cake is cool, then spilt into 3 layers, wrap in clingfilm and freeze.
Put the buttercream in a tuppaware and freeze.
Take the buttercream out of the freezer for 10mins or so and beat to fluff it up and defrost it. You may need to add a little milk to help it along.
Take the frozen layers of cake and spread with buttercream on each layer.
Put halved strawberries around the edges of each layer and fill the middle with slices of strawberry, leaving some halves for the top layer.
If you want to make the bunting I used cake pop sticks, butchers twine and gummy paper (cut into diamonds, lick the back and fold over the twine)
I am entering this cake into Tea Time Treats which is all about layer cakes this month. It is run by Lavender and Lovage & What Kate Baked. A particular congratulations to Kate, who is getting married very soon.
The garden over the last year has gradually gone from this: