This strawberry sponge cake with it’s billowy Chantilly cream and syrupy macerated strawberries was on my list the moment I created my passionfruit sponge cake.

  • It’s easy to make – each of the 3 components being very quick and simple.
  • The cake is super light and airy and just sweet enough.
  • The Chantilly cream adds the perfect creamy texture.
  • Macerated strawberries add so much flavour and natural sweetness.

The perfect combination of textures and flavours, we have two layers of basic vanilla sponge cake – tall, fluffy, light and not overly sweet. It plays the perfect base for the most beautiful creamy filling that will melt on your tongue and gloriously juicy and sweet fresh strawberries.

A two layer sponge cake topped with cream and strawberries.

This truly is a stunning taste of summer and in the words of my mum – it’s superb! With a vibrant, fresh flavour the 3 components create a perfect sweetness. It would be wonderful as a birthday cake, easter cake or to spoil mum on mother’s day.

My strawberry sponge is similar to a classic Victoria sponge cake, except that the sponge itself is closer to a genoise sponge. Victoria sponge cakes are generally made with a buttery sponge, in contrast to this one which has none at all, and are spread with a strawberry jam. It actually reminds me of my mums simple strawberry flan.

Ingredients you’ll need

For something so elegant, there really aren’t too many ingredients.

Ingredients for strawberry sponge cake on a baking tray.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • Flour: Just plain flour / all purpose flour.
  • Cornflour: Cornflour (aka US cornstarch) adds a tenderness to the cake.
  • Baking powder: Baking powder is a leavener, so it adds lift.
  • Vanilla: Please use pure vanilla extract. It adds to best flavour and is natural.
  • Eggs: Use fresh large eggs.
  • Sugar: Caster sugar (aka superfine sugar) is slightly more finely ground granulated sugar. You can grind up the same quantity of granulated sugar to slightly finer crystals, if you like.
  • Strawberries: Fresh strawberries are needed for this recipe. They add texture and sweetness.
  • Maple syrup: Maple syrup adds a lovely flavour to the strawberries.
  • Balsamic vinegar: Also added to the strawberries, balsamic vinegar adds flavour and piquancy.
  • Whipping cream: You can use any cream with 35% milk fat or more, though it’s generally labelled as thickened cream, whipping cream or heavy cream depending on where you are.

How to make strawberry sponge cake (step-by-step)

While it may have 3 separate components, each one is simple and this strawberry sponge cake recipe couldn’t be easier. While some sponges separate the egg whites and yolks, in this one they are all beaten together keeping things very simple.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

The macerated strawberries

A collage showing how to make the macerated strawberries.
  1. Combine the dressing ingredients – sugar, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar – then simply add chopped strawberries and mix them up.
  2. Let it sit for 45 minutes to 1 hour and they’ll create a gorgeous syrupy sauce and will have tenderised.

The easy sponge cake

A collage showing how to make the sponge cake batter.
  1. Dry ingredients: Start by sifting the dry ingredients – flour, cornflour and baking powder (photo 3) – and then whisk to combine.
  2. Wet ingredients: Combine water and vanilla then set aside.
  3. Eggs: Beat the eggs in a large bowl for a full 8 minutes until it gets to ribbon stage (photo 4) – this is where a figure 8 drawn on the top with the batter won’t sink away. Slowly beat in the sugar (photo 5) until it’s all combined.
  4. Combine it all: Now sift over the flour mixture (yes, you need a second sift) in two parts, folding it gently in after each addition. Add the vanilla water and gently fold that through too (photo 6).
  5. Bake: Divide the batter between 2 greased and floured 8 inch cake tins (sandwich tins) (photo 7) then bake for around 20 minutes.

The cream

Whipped cream in a mixing bowl.
  1. Beat the cream, vanilla and sugar together in a mixing bowl to firm peaks. I prefer firm peaks to soft peaks as it holds it’s shape better but do be careful not to over-whip the cream.

Assemble the cake

A collage showing the assembly steps of the cake.
  1. Place one layer of the cake onto a cake platter bottom side down (aka the same way up that it was baked in the tin).
  2. Spread over a layer of cream then top with some macerated strawberries. Don’t add too much of the syrup and keep this layer of strawberries fairly thin.
  3. Place the second layer of cake on top – upside down (aka the top of the cake the way it was baked is now sitting on top of the strawberries and the part that was the bottom is the top of the cake).
  4. Spread over more cream and more strawberries. I like to drizzle some of that syrup down the sides right at serving time too.

Tips and tricks

  • Ribbon stage: Beating eggs to ribbon stage means to beat them with an electric beater or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment until they are thick, fluffy and pale. When you lift the whisk out, you can use the dripping batter to draw an 8 on the surface of the batter without it sinking away. 
  • Using a metal spoon (not a spatula) is very important to this recipe as it allows you to cut cleanly through the batter without breaking up too much of the air that you’ve beaten in.
  • Folding: Make sure to use a folding action – again this serves to help retain as much of the air bubbles in the batter as possible (where stirring would knock it out). To fold batter you want to dig from the bottom edge of the bowl, then bring the spoon towards you, lifting and folding the batter over itself. Repeat this until your ingredients are just incorporated. Don’t overmix.
  • The bottom becomes the top: For the top layer of the cake, make sure to turn the baked sponge layer upside down. It will give a lovely neat edge on top.
A strawberry sponge cake on a cake platter.

Yield and storage

This strawberry sponge cake is a tall, 8 inch cake so will feed up to 12 however it’s a very light cake (airy and not sickeningly sweet) so 8 generous slices would also work.

The sponge cake layers (without the cream and strawberries) can be frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure to wrap them well in plastic wrap (2-3 times) first to make it as airtight as possible.

The macerated strawberries will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge, however they will soften more as time goes on. The Chantilly cream will keep overnight fine in the fridge covered with plastic wrap. You can give it a little whip with a balloon whisk if it’s lost any of it’s airiness.

The whole cake can be kept 1-2 days in the fridge, in an airtight container.

A slice of strawberry sponge cake on a dessert plate.

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A strawberry sponge cake on a cake platter.

Strawberry Sponge Cake

5 from 1 rating
This light and fluffy strawberry sponge cake is my favourite basic sponge cake recipe filled with vanilla whipped cream and macerated strawberries. It’s the perfect summertime dessert.

Ingredients

SPONGE CAKE

  • ¼ cup water, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cups plain flour (all purpose flour) (165g / 5.8oz)
  • ¼ cup cornflour (cornstarch) (35g / 1.2oz)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 whole large eggs, room temperature
  • 200 g caster sugar (superfine sugar) (1 cup / 7oz)

MACERATED STRAWBERRIES

  • 750 g strawberries (26oz)
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar (superfine sugar) (notes 1)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (notes 1)
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

CHANTILLY CREAM

  • 1 ½ cups fluid whipping cream (375ml)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar (superfine sugar) (notes 1)

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • FOR THE MACERATED STRAWBERRIES
    Place the sugar, maple syrup and vinegar into a mixing bowl and stir together.
  • Wash, hull then slice the strawberries into 4-5 slices. Add them to the dressing and gently stir to combine.
  • Let them sit at room temperature for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
  • FOR THE SPONGE CAKE
    Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan) / 350F.
  • Grease two 8 inch round cake pans (or sandwich tins) with softened butter. Line the base with baking paper then roll flour around the inside to coat the sides of the tin before tapping out the excess.
  • In a cup, combine the water and vanilla. Set aside.
  • Into a medium bowl, sift together the plain flour, cornflour and baking powder then use a whisk to whisk them together well.
  • Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until they get to ribbon stage – about 8 minutes. Test ribbon stage by lifting the beaters out and letting it run off the beaters in a figure 8 – if the 8 doesn’t sink away, it’s ready. They will be very thick, pale and fluffy at this point.
  • While beating on low, gradually add the sugar. Once all the sugar is added, beat for another 1 minute on medium.
  • Sift half the flour mixture directly over the egg mixture (this second sift is important) then use a metal spoon to very gently fold them together. Once it’s about 90% incorporated, repeat with the remaining half of the flour mixture.
  • Fold it through with a metal spoon again until 90% combined.
  • Add the water mixture and carefully fold it through with the metal spoon until fully incorporated.
  • Tip the cake batter evenly into the two baking tins and bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the sponges cool in the tins for 5 mins before turning out onto wire racks, with the tops so they are touching the racks and the bottoms now facing up. Let the cool completely.
  • THE CHANTILLY CREAM
    In a medium bowl, using an electric beater on low-medium speed, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla to firm peaks – careful not to overwhip or it will turn grainy.
  • ASSEMBLING THE CAKE
    Place one layer onto a cake plate, right way up (flipped again, so the bottom is the bottom again).
  • Spread half the chantilly cream over the top, then add some of the strawberries in an even layer on top. Try not to add too much of the syrup and don’t make the layer too thick.
  • Place the other layer on top, bottom side up so you have a neat top edge. Add more cream and more strawberries again. Let some of the strawberry juice drizzle down the side.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.

Notes

  1. Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons worldwide).
  2. Keep in mind, a sponge cake is typically not a moist cake. It has a drier texture and is often drizzled with a syrup of some kind or loaded up with cream for moisture.
  3. For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
  4. All ovens vary – always test for doneness 3-5 minutes before the recipe suggests.
  5. Flours: You can swap both the plain flour and the cornflour (cornstarch) for cake flour (but not one or the other).
  6. Ribbon stage: Beating eggs to ribbon stage means to beat them with an electric beater or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment until they are thick, fluffy and pale. When you lift the whisk out, you can use the dripping batter to draw an 8 on the surface of the batter without it sinking away.
  7. Metal spoon: Folding using a metal spoon is very important – it cuts cleanly through the batter without destroying all the air you’ve beaten into the eggs.
  8. Sifting: Sifting the flour twice is also important as it aerates and lightens the flour (many recipes do it three times and you are more than welcome to do this, though I don’t find it makes a huge difference in this recipe).
  9. Folding: The folding motion is also very important – this again stops the air you’ve created from being destroyed.
  10.  
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