When I was a kid, I’d ask for a “Fraisier” (Strawberry Cake) for every birthday. It was one of my favorite cakes, along with the Chocolate Royal and the Raspberry Tart. My mom would always go to the same little bakery to order it. I was almost more interested in the cake than in the presents. I would just dive into it and get at least 2 big servings. The Strawberry Cake is made of a sponge cake, mousseline cream (pastry cream with butter), fresh strawberries and almond paste. The one I got as a kid was usually a big rectangle. I lightened up a bit the recipe by using a diplomat cream (pastry cream + whipped cream), and I skipped the almond paste (even if it was my fav as a kid) to make it more modern and decorate it with cream and fresh strawberries.
The Strawberry Cake is one of those cake that seems hard to make but are actually quite easy.
Steps to make the Strawberry Cake
You will need to make a sponge cake, a mousseline cream and a sirop.
If you want to have it ready for lunch, you can prepare the sponge cake, the cream and the sirop the day before.
For the cream, we will prepare the pastry cream, add the gelatin and refrigerate. On D-Day, we will add the whipped cream and assemble the cake.
Wrap your sponge cake to make sure it doesn’t dry out. You can keep it room temperature, no need to refrigerate.
The syrop and the pastry cream needs to be refrigerated.
On D-Day, whipped your cream, whisk the pastry cream and combine them. That is your Diplomat cream. Assemble the cake and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to make sure the cream sets. Start early enough to make sure your cake is ready by the time you want to eat it.
This is especially true if you have to travel with the cake. Once I made it last minute and it did not like the 30 minutes’ drive in the summer heat and started being a bit runny. The taste was there, but it wasn’t looking as good as it should have.
The Sponge Cake
It is one of the basics in French Pastry.
Use warm temperature egg white. Do not overmix them with sugar, the texture should not be too stiff. When you lift the whisk out of the bowl, the egg whites should for a peak and shouldn’t drool. Don’t go beyond this point, or the whites will become dry and lumpy.
Use a bit of your preparation to stick your parchment paper to your baking sheet. You can also lightly grease the baking sheet with an oil in spray. This will avoid having the parchment paper move if you have a ventilated (fan) oven.
The Diplomate Cream consists of a pastry cream to which we add gelatin and whipped cream. It is also a French pastry basic.
Make sure to soften the gelatine sheets in cold water before making the pastry cream.
To avoid having a dry skin forming on top of the pastry cream, put plastic wrap directly on top of it.
It gives a fruity note to the cake and ensure the cake stays moist. You also don’t want the cake to absorb the cream, adding syrop on the cake will help with that,
We brush the sirop over the cake before the assembly. To make strawberry puree, simply blend fresh strawberries.
What you’ll need to make the Strawberry Cake
- Stand mixer with whisk attachment
- Entremets ring 20cm x 4.5cm (about 8” x 2”)
- Cake collar (acetate strip / rhodoid)
- Pipping bag and start tip
- Small offset spatula
Make sure to tag me on Instagram (@eat.and.live.happy) if you make this Strawberry Cake so I can check it ! Any questions? Leave a comment below!
Strawberry Cake (Fraisier)
- Stand mixer, whisk attachment
- Baking ring 8" x 2"
- Acetate Liner
- Offset spatula
- Pipping bag + star tip
- 125 g flour
- 100 g egg yolk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 150 g egg white room temp
- 125 g sugar
- 6 g gelatin sheets
- 350 g whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 50 g sugar
- 60 g egg yolk
- 35 g corn starch
- 380 g whipping cream
- 30 g water
- 30 g sugar
- 60 g strawberry purée
- fresh strawberries
- Sift the flour, whisk together the egg yolks and grated vanilla bean.
- Whipped the white eggs until it gets frothy. Slowly add the sugar and beat until you get a stiff peak.
- Add the egg yolks and gently incorporate with a spatula.
- Gently add the flour in three time with the spatula. Mix delicately to not break the egg white.
- Place the gelatin in a bowl with cold water. Set aside.
- Prepare the pastry cream. Bring to boil the milk with half sugar and grated vanilla bean.
- In a bowl, whisk well the yolks, remaining sugar and corn starch.
- Pour one third of the milk on top of the yolk mixture. Mix well and pour back to the saucepan.
- Cook stirring all the time, until it thickens. Make sure to whisk all the time so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from heat, add the gelatin and mix well. Transfer into a clean dish and refrigerate (make sure to place a plastic wrap directly on top of it).
- Bring water and sugar to a boil. Pour on top of the strawberry puree, mix well. Set aside.
- Once the pastry cream is cold, whip the whipping cream until you reach a soft peak.
- Whisk the pastry cream to loosen it, then gently fold in the whipped cream in three times.
- Surround the interior of your ring with acetate liner.
- Pick strawberries that have the same height, cut them in half and place them all around the ring, sliced side facing out.
- Add the cream on top of the strawberry going all the way to the top of the pastry ring. Using a spatula, push the cream well in between all around the strawberries to make sure you don’t have air bubble.
- Brush the first sponge cake with your strawberry sirup and place it in the center of your ring.
- Cover with cream. Cut in 4 strawberries and fill the cake with it. Add another layer of cream, use the offset spatula to spread evenly.
- Brush the second disk of cake with strawberry sirop and cover the cream with it.
- Add a last layer of cream. Smooth it off with the offset spatula.
- Use the rest of cream to pipe some decoration on top of the cake with a star tip.
- Refrigerate for an hour and decorate the way you want, adding fresh strawberries, flowers etc.