Two of my good friends are getting married to each other this month – and what a beautiful month to get married. We threw her a bridal shower in April, and although it was a DIY affair, it turned out beautifully because a) we all had the same vision for the shower and b) the bridesmaids were so easy to get along with.
When the bride-to-be asked me to bake a cake for the shower, I automatically got a vision of what I wanted to make. Layers of sponge with whipped cream and seasonal fruit. Topped with fresh flowers and powdered sugar of course.
But alas, things never go according to plan. The powdered sugar (forgotten) and fresh flowers (crazy prep time = do the best you can) never happened, but still – I was able to pull of this: my first four-layered cake.
Now, there were two things going against me for this cake:
1. The time: I was going to be exhausted since I would have been working all week. The cake would need to be cooled – yet not dry.
2. The sun: The cake would need to be sitting out for a minimum of 2-3 hours… so how to use whipped cream when it was a gorgeous 18 Celsius outside?
But I wasn’t going to let those things stop me. I found the cake and the cream that would beat those two roadblocks.
Tip #1. Work with a cake that has a minimal amount of ingredients and DO NOT OVERBEAT. Overbeating a cake means a tough cake, and no one likes tough cake. Keep layers wrapped individually until it’s time for icing/cream
Tip #2. Use a stabilized whipped cream so that it doesn’t melt. Stabilized cream can be made with gelatin or in my case, a small amount of cornstarch.
Tip #3. If possible, ice at the very last minute when working with whipped cream. You come out with a much smoother finish and even when you’re working with stabilized cream, you just NEVER KNOW. Better safe than sorry.
Tip #4. Try something different. I had a hard time decorating because I had an image of what I wanted. But when flowers didn’t work out, I decided to go with strawberries in between layers as well as around my cake stand. And you know what? It worked!
So without further ado, the recipe for the cake / cream.
Victorian Sponge Layer Cake
(creates 2 layers, so multiple x 2 for a four layer cake)
- 3 eggs (weigh them in grams)
- the same amount of butter, flour, and sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- a splash of milk
- Beat together the eggs, butter, and sugar
- Stir / Beat in all other ingredients except for milk.
- Don’t over-beat, and once it’s well mixed, add in some milk to get to a softer consistency.
- Bake at 175 Celsius for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool completely before layering. Wrap in saran wrap to keep moist.
Stabilized Whipped Cream
- 2 cups cream (cold)
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, combine the corn starch, sugar, and 1/2 cup of the cream and stir until boiling. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Put in a shallow dish (it cools faster) and cool completely.
After it’s cooled completely, whip the remaining cream and start spooning in the cornstarch mixture slowly. Whip to preferred consistency (I went for stiff peaks).
Whipped cream will be good for a few hours at room temperature!
Overall, we all had a wonderful time and at the end of the day, it was all about the bride – clearly.
All kidding aside, it was a beautiful shower and the ladies that attended to support the bride-to-be made it all that much more special.