Summer berry cake

Summer berry cake

Boutique Baking
8–12 slices
one 15cm round cake
Georgia Glynn Smith

An utterly scrumptious recipe for the seriously sweet-toothed combining heavenly light buttercream, fluffy vanilla sponge and sweet summer berries.


Quantity Ingredient

For the sponge

Quantity Ingredient
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
pinch salt
1 vanilla pod, seeds only
4 medium eggs
200g self-raising flour

For the sugar syrup

Quantity Ingredient
150ml water
150g caster sugar
scraped vanilla pod

For the buttercream filling

Quantity Ingredient
250g unsalted butter, softened
250g icing sugar, sifted
pinch salt
3 tablespoons peggy’s summer berry jam or any other good-quality mixed berry jam

For the decoration

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon cocoa powder


Quantity Ingredient
Basic baking kit
3 15cm round sandwich tins
cake leveller or large serrated knife
non-slip turntable
flat disc to place on top of the turntable
metal side scraper
laser-cut damask cake stencil
Assembling layer cakes


  1. Bake the sponges one day ahead of serving. Make the sugar syrup whilst baking the sponges. Prepare the buttercream filling and assemble and decorate the cake on the day of serving. Dust the cake with the cocoa powder immediately before serving as, after a few hours, the cocoa powder may absorb moisture from the buttercream and appear wet.
  2. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  3. Prepare the sandwich tins by greasing the sides and lining the bases with greaseproof paper. Place the tin on top of the greaseproof paper, draw a line around the base with a pencil and use that as a guide to cut out a disc to line the base. Place the greasproof paper discs inside the tins.
  4. To make the sponge

    Place the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla seeds into a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy.
  5. Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl and slowly add to the butter mixture while whisking quickly. If the mixture starts to separate or curdle, stop adding the egg and beat in 2–3 tablespoons of the flour. This will rebind the batter. Once all the egg has been added and combined with the butter mixture, sift in the flour and fold through until the batter is just combined. This will ensure the sponges stay light and fluffy.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the cake tins. If you find it difficult to measure by eye, use your kitchen scales to weigh out the amount of sponge mixture for each tin.
  7. Bake for 15–20 minutes, depending on your oven. If you are using deeper cake tins, the sponges may take longer to cook. The sponges are cooked when the sides are beginning to shrink away from the edges of the tins and the tops are golden brown and spring back to the touch. If in doubt, insert a clean knife or wooden skewer into the centre of each sponge; it should come out clean.
  8. To make the sugar syrup

    While the sponges are baking, prepare the sugar syrup for soaking. Place the water, caster sugar and vanilla pod into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until all the sugar crystals have dissolved. Set aside to cool down slightly.
  9. Once the sponges are baked, let them rest for about 10 minutes outside of the oven. Using a pastry brush, soak the tops of the sponges with syrup while they are still warm; this allows the syrup to be absorbed faster.
  10. Once just warm, run a knife all the way round the sides of the tins, then remove the sponges from the tins and leave to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
  11. Once cool, wrap the sponges in cling film and then rest them overnight at room temperature. This will ensure that all the moisture is sealed in and the sponges firm up to the perfect texture for trimming and layering. When trimmed too soon after baking, the sponges tend to crumble and may even break into pieces.
  12. To make the buttercream filling

    Place the butter, icing sugar and salt into a mixing bowl and cream together until very pale and fluffy.
  13. Add the jam to the mixture and stir through until combined. If the jam is a little too firm or chunky to mix easily, warm it up in a microwave or pass it through a coarse sieve to remove any larger berries. Alternatively, blitz the jam in a blender.
  14. To assemble the cake

    Trim and sandwich together the three sponge layers using one-third of the buttercream filling. With the remaining buttercream filling, cover and mask the top and sides of the cake.
  15. To decorate

    Centre the damask cake stencil on the top of the masked cake. Dust the surface liberally with cocoa powder. Carefully lift the stencil off the cake to reveal the damask pattern.
  16. Serve the cake at room temperature. This cake is best enjoyed within 3 days of baking, but it can last for up to 1 week


  • When making the sponges, use three shallow sandwich tins rather than one deep cake tin as the sponges will rise better and bake more evenly.
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