Strawberry sponge cake

Strawberry sponge cake

Gâteau fraisier

Taste le Tour

From the Languedoc-Roussillon region by Pierrick Boyer

Many of the sweetest French strawberries are grown in the sunny region of Languedoc-Roussillon, and this gâteau is popular in the pâtisseries of the region and, naturellement, in the top pastry shops in Paris.

To make this exquisite cake you will need to be an experienced pastry cook and for perfect presentation you will need a few pieces of special equipment, such as a cake ring and acetate plastic. Both are available from specialist food stores.



Quantity Ingredient
30g caster sugar
30ml water

Custard Filling

Quantity Ingredient
3 gelatine leaves
400ml milk
1 vanila pod, split open lengthwise
50g caster sugar
50g cornflour
2 whole eggs
100g butter, cut into cubes
400ml whipped cream


Quantity Ingredient
1 22 cm plain sponge cake
500g medium–large strawberries, halved
a littl icing sugar, for dusting
250g marzipan
raspberries and strawberries, to serve
150ml whipped cream, to serve


  1. To make the syrup, combine the water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes to make a syrup. Set aside to cool.
  2. To make the custard, first soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5–10 minutes.
  3. Combine the milk and vanilla pod in a saucepan and bring almost to the boil.
  4. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and cornflour until well blended. Pour on the hot milk and whisk well until smooth. Return the mixture to the rinsedout saucepan and cook over a medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens. Tip the mixture into a bowl, whisk briefly and leave to cool a little.
  5. Squeeze the gelatine leaves to remove excess water then stir into the custard to dissolve. Whisk in the butter cubes until melted and smooth. Pour the custard into a tray so that it can cool quickly, but don’t allow it to set firm. When the custard is cold, fold in the whipped cream. Transfer the custard to a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm round nozzle.
  6. When ready to assemble the cake, line the base and sides of a 22 cm cake ring with plastic acetate, which stops the cake sticking. Place the cake ring on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
  7. Cut the sponge cake horizontally to create 2 x 1 ½ cm layers. Trim 1 cm from the edge of each, so they are smaller than the cake ring. Place one of the sponge layers in the base of the cake ring. Pipe custard into the space between the sponge and the sides of the ring. Stick strawberry halves into the custard around the edge of the ring, with the flat edges facing outwards.
  8. Pipe a layer of custard on top of the sponge and in-between the strawberries. Use a small palette knife to spread the custard up the sides of the cake ring to the top. Arrange a layer of strawberry halves on top of the custard then sit the second layer of sponge cake on top. Brush with the flavoured sugar syrup. Finish with a layer of custard, smooth the surface and refrigerate for 2 hours to set.
  9. Dust your work surface with a little icing sugar. Roll the marzipan out thinly and cut out a 22 cm circle. Lift it carefully onto the top of the set cake.
  10. Transfer the cake to a cake stand and very carefully lift away the cake ring. Decorate the cake with a few strawberries or raspberries and dust with icing sugar. Just before serving, remove the strip of acetate from the side of the cake. Cut into slices and serve with whipped cream.
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