My best birthday cake

Most years when I was younger my Mum would bake one of these, a fatless sponge filled with strawberries and cream, for my birthday. I love it. It is so light and fluffy and unique in it’s texture. Even though my birthday is a little early (March) for British strawberries, I will lower my standards for the imported ones each year, so that I can eat this cake!


  • 3 oz (75g) plain flour, sifted

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 3 large eggs

  • 3 oz (75g) caster sugar

Preheat oven to gas mark 4, 180C (160C Fan)

Two 7 inch sandwich tins, liberally brushed with melted butter and bases lined with greaseproof paper (also greased).


  1. First separate the eggs, placing the whites in a very large grease-free bowl and the yolks in a separate bowl.

  2. Now add the sugar to the yolks and whisk, either with an electric hand-whisk or by hand, until the mixture is very pale and fluffy and has thickened, about 5 minutes with an electric whisk.

  3. Now wash and dry the whisk very thoroughly and use it to beat the whites until stiff, but not dry.

  4. Next with the aid of a large metal spoon fold the egg whites into the yolk-and-sugar mixture alternately with the sifted flour and baking powder, starting and finishing with egg whites.

  5. Then spoon equal quantities into the prepared tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25mins. The sponges are cooked when they feel firm and springy in the centre and have begun to shrink slightly away from the sides.

  6. Leave to cool in the tins for 3 mins, then have a ready sheet of greaseproof paper sprinkled with caster sugar. Turn the cakes out onto this before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling (remove all greaseproof paper).

  7. Once cooled, sandwich together with, strawberry or raspberry jam, whipped cream and sliced strawberries. Dust the top with icing sugar.

This cake is best enjoyed fresh, but leftovers will keep in the fridge for 24 hours (if there are any!).

RecipesRuth Harvey