Minimum effort, maximum effect. That’s the mantra behind Basic Bakes because baking should be easy and pleasurable. These words also describe this simple recipe for a 2-layer sponge cake. Even though this cake requires very little effort to put together, it never fails to impress with its layers of tender sponge, billowing cream and brightly-coloured fruits.
For the cakes:
180g butter, softened
180g caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
180g all-purpose flour
2 cups whipping cream
Serves 8 generously.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Grease and line 2 8-inch round cake tins.
Step 2: Cream the butter and sugar together.
Step 3: Beat in the eggs one at a time. If your batter begins to separate, add in a tablespoon of flour. (Don’t worry if it does separate. Just continue with the recipe; your cakes will be a little flatter but still decent.)
Step 4: Sift in the flour and baking powder. Fold to combine.
Step 5: Divide the batter equally between the two cake tins. Use a spoon or a spatula to spread the batter evenly in the tins. Bake for 25 minutes.
Step 6: Allow the cakes to cool for about 30 minutes in their tins. In the meanwhile, whip the cream until stiff. Hull and slice half the strawberries; leave the other half whole for the top of the cake.
Step 7: When the cakes are completely cool, remove them from their tins. Set one cake on your serving platter and slather the top with half the cream and line it with the sliced strawberries. Gently place the other cake on top and decorate with the remaining cream and strawberries.
This sponge cake makes a posh centrepiece for tea or luncheon. Or stick some candles on it for a no-fuss birthday cake!
If you’re not very partial to the flavours of strawberries and cream, feel free to tweak the recipe to your liking. Use your favourite fruits or whatever’s in season. Flavour the cream with vanilla extract or stir in your favourite jam. The possibilities are endless!
A variation which I like a lot is raspberries and chocolate. In a saucepan over low heat, melt 200g of dark chocolate (70% cocoa) into the 2 cups of cream to form a basic ganache. Let the ganache cool to room temperature, then whip it until slightly lightened in colour and thick enough to spread. Spread the whipped ganache over the first cake, cover with raspberries, and repeat with the second layer of cake. Sift some icing sugar over the top for a stunning finish.
Baking Adventures is a collaboration between Basic Bakes and QuirkyChic. QuirkyChic is a Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle blog by Caroline & Ruth. To find out more about them, click here. Expect a new Baking Adventure every second Friday of the month!