Sunday, 17 June 2012


Traditional sponge cake is light and fluffy, with a fine texture, small bubbles. Tales abound about the best method to get the right result. Fillings in WI style versions include jam, or jam and cream. I recently savoured a family version made by Layla which had chocolate buttercream as well as cream teamed with strawberries in the sandwich, with cream and strawberries on top, together with shavings of white chocolate. That was very acceptable... I'll check if she took any pix before the ravening hoards disposed of it.

Cake-meets-trifle is a lemon sponge sandwich, filled with raspberry jam, whipped cream and strawberries. I sometimes use raspberries inside too, but they are very juicy and squash easily. The lemon sponge has lemon zest and lemon juice in it, which gives a wonderful tang that contrasts wonderfully with the soft and sweet filling. Sometimes I just dust the top with icing sugar, and sometimes I put more cream on top with some more fruit. If the cake is chilled it holds together better when it is cut. All in all, this is my most requested cake.

The original recipe I used was an all in one sponge, ideal for a food processor. I don't use one at the moment, so I have gone back to following the traditional approach, creaming the butter and sugar together, then adding the eggs and beating them in one by one, followed by the flour. I used self-raising flour, and add a little more baking powder to add a bit more lift. The zest is added to the butter, and the lemon juice is added right at the end.


zest of 1 lemon
200g  sr flour
200g fat (butter or margarine)
200g sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
juice of 1 lemon

raspberry jam
double or whipping cream
punnet of strawberries


Heat oven to 160 degrees

grease and line 2x8" cake tins 
  • cream sugar and fat with zest
  • add eggs blending one by one (add spoonful of flour if mixture splits)
  • add sifted sr flour blend, adding lemon juice as you go
  • spoon mixture dividing evenly between two lined tins 
  • bake for 20m and check by inserting a skewer, cake is ready when skewer comes out cleanly and the cake is drawing away from the sides
  • whip cream, cut strawberries in half, removing leaves
  • when the cakes are cool, remove from tin, peel off lining paper, spread jam over base sponge, spoon cream on and lay cut strawberries on top, lay top sponge on top
  • sprinkle with icing sugar if you fancy it
this quantity makes a good size cake, if you want a monster cake use 8" tins and double the quantities

1 comment:

  1. I think Barney took some video - I'll see if I can get a still from that!