A moist vanilla sponge layered with strawberry conserve and creamy frosting. A delicious showstopper that you are going to love to make and serve.
Strawberry Ombré Cake
Recipe type: Cake
- FOR THE CAKE
- 225g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus
- extra for greasing
- 225g (8oz) golden caster sugar
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 tbsp milk
- 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- FOR THE FILLING
- 425ml (15fl oz) whipping cream
- 70g (2 ½ oz) vanilla sugar
- strawberry preserve
- FOR THE FROSTING
- 100g (3 ½ oz) cream cheese (the drier, the
- better – I use Philadelphia)
- 100g (3 ½ oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 400g (14oz) icing sugar
- red food colouring
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C)/350°F/gas mark 4.
- Grease 2 x 20cm (8in) diameter sandwich cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until pale and light. Add the sugar and cream together until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs a spoonful at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla paste and milk and stir in. Sift the flour and baking powder together, then fold in.
- Divide the mixture equally between the prepared tins. Gently tap the tins on the work surface to expel any large air pockets and level the tops. Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn out on to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
- When the cakes are completely cold, slice each in half horizontally. Whip the cream until it holds its shape, then fold in the vanilla sugar. Spread a layer of strawberry preserve over the bases, then spread a layer of cream over each. Spread a layer of cream only over the remaining 2 cake halves. Sandwich 2 halves together on a serving plate, starting with a jam and cream layer, followed by a cream-only layer. Repeat the layers. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours before decorating.
- Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until soft and creamy. Stir in the vanilla extract, then sift the icing sugar and gradually mix in. Divide the frosting between 4 small bowls. Leaving one bowl of frosting uncoloured, add different amounts of red food colouring to the other 3 bowls to form different shades of frosting (see picture). Transfer each to a separate piping bag fitted with a large star-shaped piping nozzle.
- To decorate, use a palette knife to cover the cake all over with a thin layer of the uncoloured frosting, saving some for the final decoration. Starting with the darkest-coloured frosting, pipe large circular rosettes around the base of the cake. Take the next darkest frosting and pipe another row of rosettes above the first row. Use the palest-coloured frosting to pipe a final row of rosettes to cover the top of the cake. Use the remaining uncoloured frosting to add a few smaller rosettes on the top and edges of the cake. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.
- Tip ~Make sure that the eggs, butter and cream cheese are at room temperature before you begin.