This naked strawberry honey sponge cake is moist, decadent and very versatile. It has the perfect balance of textures with spongy cake layers, smooth buttercream, sweet honey and fresh strawberries.
For all those fruit lovers, this one is for you! If you thought you would only find dulce de leche recipes here, you may be right haha. But I can make some exceptions every now and then…
This cake is a full celebration of Mother’s Day and spring. The combination of colours and textures make it perfect for any high tea or dessert table, don’t you think?
I feel everyone should have a bullet-proof sponge cake recipe up their sleeve. And this is the one! 😉 Not only it’s super easy to make, but you can also spice up the flavours with a homemade syrup like I’ve done here with the liquid honey (or honey syrup).
The sponge cake recipe is inspired by Philip Khoury’s, and the rest is all mine. So get ready for some awesomeness today!
Why you’ll love this strawberry and honey sponge cake recipe
- This sponge cake is a classic you should save in your recipe box.
- It has lots of textures within a simple cake: spongy layers, fluffly and smooth buttercream, sweet honey, fresh strawberries.
- You can make it in a naked two-layers cake, or you can create one big sheet cake with the same recipe.
- Not only it’s delicious, but it also looks amazing. You’ll enhance any tea or dessert table with this creation.
Ingredients you’ll need for this strawberry and honey cake
Don’t get intimidated by the long-looking list of ingredients. Honestly, this is fool-proof!
This recipe has three main components you need to prep: the vanilla sponge cake, the liquid honey (or honey syrup) and the honey Swiss meringue buttercream.
For the vanilla sponge cake, easy peasy, you’ll need:
- Caster (or granulated) sugar: I would use this type of sugar, and I wouldn’t replace it, as it can affect the chemistry and consistency of the cake.
- Plain flour + Baking powder: The baking powder will act as levening agent. You could eventually replace it with self-rising flour if you don’t have any plain one at hand.
- Eggs: Make sure to use room temperature eggs, and to weight them. For this recipe, it’s important to have the exact ratio of ingredients, so I would suggest to weight them. It’s not the same to use small, medium or large eggs, my friends 😂
- Vegetable oil: Please use a neutral oil without any flavour. Stay away from olive oil or any other kind. The oil will provide moisture to this delicious cake.
- Milk: Choose a full cream milk ideally. It’ll contribute to achieve a moist and fluffy cake.
- Butter: 1. Use unsalted butter. 2. Unlike other cake recipes, the butter in this recipe will be fully melted. This way, you’ll make sure the butter is fully incorporated in the mix, without leaving any clumps or chunks of butter.
- Vanilla: Try to use the best vanilla paste you can find. I’m not a fan of essence imitations, so if you can’t find or afford vanilla paste, always go for natural vanilla essence.
For the liquid honey (or honey syrup), you’ll need equal amounts of good quality honey and water.
I was lucky to have a neighbour bring some honey from her bees, and WOW! So smooth with the richest honey flavour. So I would recommend supporting a local business, neighbour or friend, and get yourself the best honey you can find. Considering it’s the queen of this sponge cake, try to make an effort!
For the honey Swiss meringue buttercream, you’ll need some basic ingredients: egg whites, caster sugar, unsalted butter (at room temperature and cut into small pieces) and the best quality honey you can find.
Tips to make the sponge cake from scratch
This cake recipe is so easy to make from scratch. I can guarantee you’ll be impressed! And you’ll never buy a store-bought cake mix ever again 😉
Here are some tips to make sure it comes out perfect:
- Room temperature ingredients: Always, unless the recipe states otherwise, make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before even getting started. This creates a super smooth batter and it allows the cake to bake evenly.
- Fully melted butter: This recipe doesn’t call for room temperature butter. You need to fully melt it (in the microwave or using the double boiler method). This will make sure the butter is spread equally throughtout the batter, without leaving any “butter clumps”.
- Cake strips: I would say this is optional, but it does make a difference to use some cake strips. They’ll help to achieve a super moist cake without burnt edges. Make sure you damped them in water first. If you don’t have any cake strips, you can use a damped tea towel rolled the height of the cake pan and tied with a metal pin or clip.
- Liquid honey: Once the cake is baked and it has cool down, time to soak it with the hot honey-based syrup. So you can make it one the cake is cooled down to use it right away. Use either a brush or a small pourer to fully soak the cake layer. Any left over? Don’t waste it! Add it to your next cup of tea ☕️.
How to assemble this strawberry and honey sponge cake
Once you fully soak the cake layers in the liquid honey, the fun part begins!
Place one soaked layer on a serving platter or cake stand and spread 1/4 (approx.) of the buttercream. Add some chopped clean strawberries and push them a bit into the buttercream so they don’t stick out once we add the next layer.
Drizzle some honey to boost the flavours and then, spread another 1/4 of the buttercream to use as a seal to keep the pieces of fruit in their place.
Repeat the process: second cake layer + the remaining buttercream + fresh strawberries. Voilá! You just finished the cake and it’s ready to be enjoyed!
What cake pans can I use?
I used two 6″ (15cm) round cake pans and split the batter equally. You can use one, make a super high cake and torte it (cut it in half horizontally).
Alternatively, you could use whatever pans you have at hand. I would recommend using the most similar size to 6″. If you choose a bigger one, the cake may be a bit “shorter”, so you could eventually double the recipe.
Or if you feel intimidated by the layering, you could bake it in a sheet cake and serve it in a one-layer cake. It’ll taste fabulously either way!
I don’t have strawberries. Can I use other fruits?
Sure you can! I would choose any other berry (blueberries, raspberries could be fantastic), or even peaches, sweet pears or even pineapple. Make sure it’s a fruit that would pair well with honey 😉.
How many people does this strawberry + honey sponge cake serve?
Well, it really depends on how hungry you are! This small cake can serve 8 to 10 people if cutting it in wedge serves. You can also cut it into square-size portions (like I show in this video) and it would feed up to 14 people. Need to feed more? Cut each serving in half for coffee servings and you can double the quantity (28 servings).
How do I store this sponge cake? Can I freeze it?
I suggest you place it in an air-tight container and place it in the fridge for up to 4 days. I would recommend letting it come to room temperature before eating, as the buttercream will be rock solid in the fridge.
Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. I would remove the fresh strawberries on the top and add fresh ones at the time of serving.
More fruity recipes:
- Raspberries and Orange Cupcakes and Buttercream
- Strawberry and Fresh Cream Tart
- Whole Mandarin Muffins with Chocolate Ganache
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I hope you enjoyed this simple but delicious recipe with me. Please comment below if you made it, and feel free to share it with your family and friends on social media.
I’ll see you all in the next post. Happy baking!
Naked Strawberry Honey Sponge Cake
Vanilla Sponge Cake
- 190 g caster sugar
- 190 g plain flour
- 12.5 g baking powder
- 190 g eggs approx. 5/6 eggs
- 75 g vegetable oil
- 65 g full cream milk
- 110 g unsalted butter
- 10 g vanilla paste or vanilla essence
- 250 g fresh strawberries
- 75 g honey
- 75 g water
Honey Swiss Meringue Bettercream
- 100 g egg whites
- 200 g caster sugar
- 5 g vanilla paste or vanilla essence
- 300 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 25 g honey
Vanilla Sponge Cake
- Preheat your oven to 175 ℃ – 350F (fan-forced).
- Grease two 6" (15cm) cake pans with some non-stick spray and lay some parchment paper at the bottom.
- In a large bowl, sieve sugar, flour and baking powder.
- In a mid-size bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, milk and vanilla paste. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Melt the butter in the microwave, and add to the mix. Whisk well to combine everything without overmixing.
- Split the batter between the two cake pans (approx. 420 g in each). Pop in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center and if it comes out clean, it's ready!
- Let it cool for 20 minutes on a cool rack and then brush the hot honey syrup. Allow the cake layers to cool fully.
- In a small pot, mix the honey and the water and bring to a simmer for around 5 minutes.
Honey Swiss Meringue Bettercream
- In a large bowl, add the egg whites and sugar, and place on top of a saucepan with some water, making sure the water doesn't touch the bowl (bain–marie, or double boiler method). Whisk slowly until the sugar dissolves completely, at around 70 ℃ – 158F.
- Remove from the heat and, using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, begin to whip until it cools down completely.
- Change the whisk with a paddle attachment and add the butter (at room temperature) in pieces to the meringue, and the vanilla paste and honey.
- Continue whisking until it has a fluffy and smooth consistency (if it looks curdled, keep whisking).
- Place one cake layer soaked in the honey syrup.
- Top with the fresh buttercream and some chopped strawberries. Drizzle some honey and add a bit more buttercream to seal the strawberries.
- Place the other cake layer and repeat the process.
- Decorate with fresh strawberries and optional edible flowers.
- SUBSTITUTIONS: You can use different fruits or berries you have at hand (blueberries, raspberries, peaches, pear, even pineapple).
- STORAGE: Store in an air-tight container for up to 4 days in the fridge (but eat at room temperature). You can also freeze the cake for up to 3 months.