My Idea of Summer- Strawberry Cake from The Primrose Bakery Cookbook

I was itching to get started properly on my Primrose Bakery Recipe Book challenge and thought it is going to be a tough one to choose from all those delicious recipes.  I wanted something that was seasonal, would reflect this time of the year and be suitable for a Sunday lunch dessert.

The month of June, for me conjures up lots of sunny days, long evenings, Pimms, Ascot, Wimbledon, strawberries and eating salads.  This year nothing can be further from the truth!  I have never had chance to go to Ascot due to work commitments and having children of school age, the same goes for Wimbledon.  We have had just a little sun to remind us of what it can look like!  My flip flops and summer clothes have gone back in the wardrobe and out have come the wellies and the fleeces!  And who wants to eat salads when the weather is so cold and depressing?  Comfort food is in, salads are definitely out, out out!

Well, I didn’t want to entirely forget that we are in the month of June! Although as I type on this Sunday evening the sun is finally shining through my lounge window, I still wonder if it will still be there in the morning.

So, it had to be the Strawberry Cake from the second Primrose Bakery Book, a gorgeous pale pink buttercream topped layer cake finished off with whole strawberries.  It would be a lovely cake to serve at any occasion but I wanted a slice for us to have for our pudding after our roast chicken.

Here’s how I made it:

The ingredients: sifted self- raising flour, baking powder, cornflour, caster sugar, vanilla extract and free range eggs were mixed together as an all in one method in a mixing bowl with my electric whisk.  I then folded in the small pieces of strawberries.  

I greased and lined two sandwich tins (20cm or 8″ diameter) and divided the strawberry mixture between the two tins equally.

The cakes were baked in the oven for about 25 minutes.  I found mine needed slightly longer as they weren’t cooked in the middle.

 While the cakes were baking I made up the vanilla buttercream icing.  I personally thought the vanilla extract would make the icing very sweet and sickly.  My mum once told me that my Nana used to put lemon juice in her buttercream icing to tone down the sweetness, I decided to try this out.  Thankfully I wasn’t too heavy handed with the food paste colouring, I was worried my hand would slip and we would end up with Barbie shocking pink!

When the cakes had cooled I turned them out on the rack, they had ridges all over them from where the greaseproof paper circles had made patterns on the mixture.  Not a good look but it’s the taste that matters.

After sandwiching the cake together with Bonne Maman Strawberry Conserve, more sliced strawberries, a thin layer of buttercream, I was allowed to decorate the top.  I just couldn’t get the famous Primrose Bakery swirl right, the knife seemed to make the icing go the other way!  In the end it looked a bit untidy but once I’d put a few whole strawberries on it looked ready.  I was proud of my pretty cake.
Then my husband came back from going to the supermarket.  I showed him the cake and he said “Oooh. it’s a blancmange cake!”  Thanks, dear!  When we were eating our pudding he scraped off the icing and said it was too sweet, think I need to try out a less sweet version for my family for next time.  When  my 12 year old son saw the cake he said it was “gay”.  It didn’t stop him eating it though.  I liked it, the strawberries held their shape throughout the cooking and it was perfect for a summer lunch dessert or celebration.

Showing a view of the cake from the top.  I tried to find equal sized strawberries.

Showing a view of the cake cut into with the layers, by this time we had eaten our pudding and the remainder of the cake was ready to be put away in a tin for later on in the week.

If you have an IPhone you can download a Primrose Bakery App which has the Strawberry Cake recipe on it.  I followed the recipe from the book but I have just bought the App as it has some useful videos and a couple of recipe variations not in the books.

Happy Baking!

Sam xx

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