Strawberry and Elderflower Cake

Strawberry and Elderflower Cake

This summer I’ve been having fun creating recipes using elderflower and there’s still time for one more! I made this cake for a college baking competition in lockdown where we were challenged to make a classic cake with a summer twist and decorate it with a range of soft fruit and fresh herbs. For me nothing is more classic than a jam sponge, and nothing’s more summer-y than elderflower and strawberries so along came an elderflower and strawberry jam sponge!

You can make this look really pretty by piping the butter cream and decorating the top with fresh flowers and fruit. I’ve gotten really into foraging recently so I found some fresh mint, wild strawberries, strawberry flowers and elderflowers to decorate this one. However, if you don’t have access to these you could use shop-bought mint and a selection of soft fruit (e.g strawberries, raspberries and blueberries) and if you’re not a fan of piping you could spoon the butter cream onto the cakes for an equally beautiful result!

Recipe

Serves 12

Time: 2-3 hours

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 200g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial

For the strawberry buttercream

  • 400g icing sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 25ml strawberry puree (you can make this by boiling up 50g of frozen strawberries until they’re soft and then hand blending the mixture to make a puree)

For the decoration (optional)

  • 4 elderflower heads
  • A few fresh wild strawberries
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh edible flowers (e.g strawberry flowers)

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease and line 3, 19cm round cake tins with butter and baking paper.
  2. To make the cakes put the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one by one, whisking well after each addition.
  3. Add the flour and baking powder to the mixture and whisk again to combine.
  4. Add the elderflower cordial to the cake mixture and whisk again until smooth. Pour the mixture into the 3 tins (I like to weigh how much I’m putting into each to make it equal) and use a spoon to level out the tops if need be so the batter is in an even layer in each tin.
  5. Bake the cakes in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown and so that a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto wire racks and leave them to cool completely.
  7. Meanwhile make the butter cream. Put the icing sugar and butter into a bowl and beat until smooth. Slowly add the strawberry puree (about 1tbsp at a time) until the mixture is an even colour and just holds its shape.
  8. Spoon the icing into a piping bag with a round nozzle and leave in the fridge until needed.
  9. Once the cakes are completely cool place one on a cake stand or plate and pipe a layer of the icing on top. (I like to pipe blobs in concentric circles working from the outside to the middle).
  10. Place another one of the cakes ontop and repeat the icing, another layer of cake and then a final layer of the icing.
  11. To decorate take your chosen flowers, garnishes and so on and arrange them across the top. (If you’re using elderflower heads or any other self-picked topping a) make sure you’ve picked something that’s edible and b) make sure you give it a good shake, wash and dry before using it to get out any little bugs!). Enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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