This gorgeous Strawberry Ombré Cake recipe by Eric Lanlard shouts celebration.
With its delicate pastel frosting that hints at the hidden treasures within, this cake is more than just a treat for the taste buds; it’s a visual and culinary spectacle.
Beneath the layers of ethereal strawberry-hued frosting lies a moist and tender vanilla sponge, adorned with luscious layers of strawberry conserve and billows of creamy frosting. It’s a showstopper that’s not only a joy to create but a delight to serve to your guests. Whether you’re hosting an elegant afternoon (or high) tea or simply craving a slice of sheer indulgence, this Strawberry Ombré Cake is destined to become the star of your tea-time gatherings. So, tie on your apron and prepare to embark on a journey of baking bliss!
Images and text from Afternoon Tea by Eric Lanlard.
- 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
- 70g (2 ½ oz) vanilla sugar
- 425ml (15fl oz) whipping cream
- strawberry preserve
- 100g (3 ½ oz) cream cheese
- 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.
- 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 jame over the 2 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.
- 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.
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