Vanilla and Strawberry Cake

Vanilla and Strawberry Cake

I have always loved the idea of making a wedding cake and even thought about making my own. In the end my husband-to-be talked sense into me (thank you!) and pointed out that I would have other things to do in the days before the wedding and it would be unnecessarily stressful to make my own wedding cake! A wonderful friend stepped in and made us a beautiful and delicious cake.

A 4 tier wedding cake with coloured lantern decorations surrounded by old photographs
Our beautiful lantern themed wedding cake (complete with light up lanterns) Photo Credit: Emma Moore/Emma Moore Photography – Emma did an amazing job with all of our wedding photos – thank you (if you’re in Hampshire and getting married look her up!)

When my sister got engaged this year and said nobody had volunteered to make the cake, my chance came! So I now have until May 2018 to perfect the flavours, recipes, style and techniques needed to make the perfect cake for my sister and her fiance. Project Wedding Cake was born and I will be taking every opportunity to make practice cakes to test recipes, flavour combinations and decoration every time I have an occasion with enough people to help me eat a large cake. After all, I have a bridesmaids dress to wear on the day so I can’t indulge too much in the practice bakes!!

The requested cake for the wedding will be three tiers, each with different flavours of sponge cake, and all decorated in a rustic style with buttercream. The first test cake is a vanilla and strawberry cake which was made for dessert for a family lunch with the in-laws.

Having done some research online I found the cake recipe I wanted to test which was by Eileen Gray at the Baking Sense blog. You can find the recipe I used in her Cake 101 – Vanilla Butter Cake post. I found the recipe easy to follow and thought the reverse creaming method with whipped egg whites worked really well and made a light sponge which was still sturdy enough to use in a layered cake.

I used a traditional buttercream (butter and icing sugar) on the cake and for the filling between the layers I added some home made strawberry puree which made the icing delicious! I also used some jam between the layers to give some tangy fruit flavour.

I decorated the cake with strawberries, strawberry chocolate buttons and freeze dried strawberry powder. This was a excuse to use the buttons and strawberry powder that my husband bought me as a birthday treat from the Sous Chef website – something we just discovered but will definitely use again!

A layer cake with vanilla buttercream with a horizontal stripe pattern and topped with strawberries and pink chocolate buttons
Strawberry Topped Vanilla Cake
A layer cake with vanilla buttercream with a horizontal stripe pattern and topped with strawberries and pink chocolate buttons
Close up of the side of the cake

All in all I was really pleased with how the cake turned out. I didn’t have a buttercream smoother when I made this cake (I do now!) so it was difficult to get the sides and top really smooth. I only used the strawberry buttercream between the layers as my sister doesn’t want a pink cake! However it was delicious and the jam added extra tang. The only downside was that the buttercream was incredibly sweet so next time I will try an Italian meringue buttercream and see whether that works better.

The first bake for Project Wedding Cake was considered a success, as evidenced by how quickly the family managed to demolish it!

A cut away picture of a vanilla layer cake with strawberry filling and fresh strawberries on top
After being served to about 10 people! You can see the strawberry buttercream layers and jam inside.