When you love puddings and adore cake what could be better than blending them together. This Eton Mess Strawberry Sponge Cake is exactly that. The luscious strawberry, cream and meringue of the classic Eton Mess dessert combined with light and moist Victoria sponge cake flavoured with yet more strawberries.
It should’ve been Wimbledon tennis tournament just now. All sunshine and strawberries and cream. Andy Murray and the UK all becoming tennis mad for two weeks of glorious fun. Well while we have lost Wimbledon this year there is no need for us to lose the traditional strawberries and cream.
However, let’s try serving them in a slightly different way. In cake form of course with this delicious Eton Mess strawberry sponge cake!
For those who maybe don’t know about the famous dessert Eton Mess here’s a bit of background. The dessert is made up of broken meringues, whipped cream and strawberries. It was first served at Eton College in England and was first written about back in 1893. It is traditionally served at the annual cricket match between Eton College and Harrow School.
How to make meringues
So this recipe starts with the meringues you’ll need to make the Eton Mess. Now don’t panic, meringues are dead easy to make. They are just egg whites and sugar with a pinch of salt. Whip up those egg whites like mad till they are firm peaks. You should be able to hold the bowl above your head without anything untoward happening to your hair-do.
Now add in the salt and the sugar just a little at a time and keep up the whisking. I use my hand held blender with whisk attachment for this.
Bake your meringues in a moderate oven (140C) for about 1 hour till they are just coloured and are crisp on the outside but still have a bit of chew in the middle. Some folks like their meringues to be crisp the whole way through like the store bought type. It’s completely up to you.
Meringue making – Pro tips
- The bowl must be spotlessly clean with no grease in it. Plastic bowls are more difficult to remove grease from completely. Use glass or metal instead if possible.
- No egg yolk at all!
- Eggs must be at room temperature
- If your egg white deflate when you add the sugar you can always add a little cream of tarter or lemon juice. Or you can whisk up another egg white in a separate bowl and then when firm add spoonfuls of the other meringue mix to this one and keep whisking.
How long will meringues keep?
They will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. And yes you can freeze them too for up to a month.
buy meringues to make this Eton Mess if you can’t be bothered making them. They won’t be as good as homemade but at least you will be making the whole Eton mess strawberry sponge cake recipe so cut yourself some slack.
Strawberry sponge cake
This is the base of the whole cake. It is my usual Victoria sponge cake but with a luxurious and oh so rich and fruity strawberry syrup actually inside the cake batter itself and then drizzled over the baked cake when it has cooled a bit.
Yes, I know, I do tend to do a lot of cakes with drizzles. Why? Because I love the way this adds extra flavour to my sponge cakes and also makes them more moist. Not only that, these drizzle style cakes last longer. Well, that’s if they aren’t gobbled up right away!
This all-important drizzle syrup is made up of just 3 ingredients; Strawberries, sugar and my infamous strawberry and lavender gin. Now the last ingredient in purely optional, but hell, if you’ve made this gorgeous gin liqueur then you’ll be wanting to make the most of it. If you don’t have it no worries, you can add a dash or normal gin or leave the whole booze element out.
This syrup goes into the cake batter before you bake the cake. Then it’s drizzled over the naked cake and then it comes into play a third time when you have added all that luxurious and delicious Eton Mess topping to your cake.
There are no calories whatsoever in this cake!!!!!
Before you even get to the Eton Mess part of the cake topping you want to add some jam. A Victoria Sponge would never be seen without a layer of good old strawberry jam. I have a variety of strawberry jam recipes you can use here;
I am of course opting for the strawberry gin jam because I’ve already used my strawberry and lavender gin in the syrup and it would now be rude not to use the jam too.
How to make Eton Mess
Whip up the Eton Mess as if you were making the pudding itself. As I’ve already said, it’s just a mix of whipped cream, strawberries and broken meringue. However for this cake topping we are making this a Chantilly Cream by adding vanilla extract and a little icing sugar for sweetness. Actually I have also used a little Greek yogurt in my Chantilly cream recipe. I like that tiny bit of sharpness it brings.
Make sure you break the meringue up into small pieces and chop the strawberries up small as well. Add the vanilla and icing sugar to the cream and whip it till it forms peaks. Then carefully fold in the little pieces of meringue and the strawberries.
Back tracking a wee bit here, this Eton mess strawberry sponge cake is of course topped with lots of lovely juicy strawberry slices. Now let’s get one thing straight here, this cake is pretty damn delicious and one might actually call it a fully loaded cake. There is just more and more gorgeous goodness involved.
I infused the strawberry slices in my strawberry and lavender gin before I baked the cake base. You could infuse them in any booze you like of course. Okay so you don’t have to do this but it does add an extra luxury element to this delightful dessert cake. Drink the strawberry gin once you’ve whipped out the strawberry slices. Waste not want not and all that!
What size is this cake
This is my standard 2 egg sponge cake recipe. I used an 18cm deep round cake tin. This gave me a cake approximately 4cm deep. It is a single layer cake as it has such a creamy rich topping. I got 8 good slices from this sponge cake. You could push it to 10 small slices.
Assembling the cake
Once you have the jam on the cake and are slathering on the creamy Eton mess topping make sure you have enough cream just to skim the edges of the cake all the way round. You don’t want a thick layer of cream round the cake. Just enough to cover the sides and hide the sponge itself.
Lay the strawberry slices in circles on the top of the creamy topping. Add a sprinkling of more meringue pieces. Some toasted almond flakes for extra crunch. Then drizzle on yet more of the strawberry syrup so it pools around and slithers down the sides of the cake here and there. Chuck on a few wee mint leaves and you’re done.
How long will this cake keep?
Because this cake uses fresh cream in the topping it will only last 2 days in the fridge.
Can you freeze this cake?
Yes, you can freeze the strawberry sponge cake before you add all the cream and extras. Just wrap the sponge carefully in cling film and pop into a freezer bag and it will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months., Defrost completely then do all the fun assembling and decorating.
This cake would make the perfect dessert for a summer supper party. Or serve it at an afternoon tea or garden party should you happen to be hosting such a thing. However you serve this luxurious cake I am sure it will go down a treat with your family and friends.
Looking for more fabulous cake ideas? Then check these out;
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Eton Mess Strawberry Sponge Cake
- 18cm round deep baking tin
- 2 egg whites
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 125 g caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 125 g self raising flour
- 2 tbsp strawberry syrup
- 150 g strawberries chopped
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp strawberry and lavender gin optional
- 150 ml double cream or whipping cream
- 50 ml Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 strawberries strawberries sliced and soaked for at least 20 minutes in strawberry and lavender gin or booze of choice
- 4 strawberries strawberries chopped to mix with the chantilly cream and some of the meringue for the Eton Mess topping
- 3 tbsp almonds flaked almonds toasted in a dry pan for just 1 minute till golden and aromatic then tipped into a saucer to cool
- 3 mint mint leaves to decorate
- Preheat oven to 140C and line a baking sheet with baking paper
make the meringues
- Whisk the egg whites in a glass or steel bowl that is spotlessly clean till peaks form then carefully add salt spoons of sugar and keep whisking
- You can either make one large meringue and use just a bit for this cake or make 4 individual meringues and use just one for this. Store the others
- Bake for 1 hour or till they are firm on top and slightly coloured
- Remove from oven and cool on wire rack
- preheat oven to 180C and grease and line 18cm deep round baking tin
- beat together the butter and sugar till light and fluffy
- add eggs one at a time and beat in
- now add the flour and beat and the syrup
- spoon into prepared baking tin and bake for approx 25 minutes till golden and a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean and sponge bounces back when lightly pressed.
- cool then remove from tin to a wire rack. when totally cool pierce all over top with cocktail stick and drizzle over some of the strawberry syrup
- Place chopped strawberries and sugar in a small pan and heat to dissolve sugar
- bring to boil then reduce heat and just simmer for about 10 minutes till strawberries all mushy and a syrup has formed
- cool and stir in the strawberry and lavender gin or other booze if using
- put the strawberry slices in a small bowl and pour over a little strawberry and lavender gin or booze of choice. Leave for 20 minutes to infuse.
Chantilly cream/Eton Mess
- Mix the Greek yogurt and double cream in a bowl and add the vanilla extract and sugar
- whip till you have peaks then fold in broken pieces of meringue and small pieces of strawberries
Assemble the cake
- Place the sponge base on a cake plate and spread the top with strawberry jam
- Dollop on the chantilly cream/eton mess mixture and lightly skim round the edges to cover them but not thickly
- Remove strawberry slices from booze (drink booze) and lay slices of strawberries in a circular pattern on top of the creamy cake topping
- Sprinkle over more pieces of broken meringue and the toasted flaked almonds and drizzle over more of the strawberry syrup, add a few mint leaves!