Summer Strawberry Cake

by cakeduchess on September 7, 2012 · 21 comments


I know some of you may be experiencing lovely cooler temperatures. I am happy for you. I really am. I’m also extremely envious of you.

It’s not often that I find the right moment to bake with my mom. She is an amazing baker and inspires me with her creativity and talent. My sweet friend Lizzy asked the both of us to create a recipe for her blog this summer when she was on vacation. It was end of school year time for me and we were also planning a big trip to Italy. I couldn’t say no to Lizzy and I also couldn’t say no for a chance to bake with my mom.
Baking with my mom (the other Lizzie) is sometimes quite the adventure. Usually, it gets a little loud. We argue and boss each other around. We can’t cook or bake together when my husband is home. He thinks we are fighting with each other when actually, we’re just passionately discussing why we think the other person is wrong with their idea. I’m always right. She’ll say she’s always right. But through all the silliness, we do sometimes come up with some wonderful creations, like this lovely cake.
I almost let the whole summer slip by without sharing the recipe here for my own memory and also for any of you that may want to try it one day. It’s a sweet way to salute the impending end of summer. 


It’s a beautiful cake and it is really not that difficult to make. The pan di spagna (sponge cake)is light as air and really versatile. It is my mother-in-law Teresa’s recipe. She makes her cake for every birthday. She sometimes fills it with pudding or crema pasticciera (pastry cream). My mom was thinking of a way to showcase the gorgeous strawberries we were enjoying at the height of the season. Her strawberry filling with stabilized whipped cream is a filling I remember her making when I was a little girl. It’s not too heavy. Not too sweet. And is absolutely delicious. Mom did the pretty decoration with the strawberries. Really, she was the brainchild behind this recipe. All I did was bake the cake and drive her crazy in the kitchen. (If you want to see some photos on how Teresa (my mother-in-law)makes the pan di spagna cake, it’s over here.

Summer Strawberry Cake
Pan di Spagna ingredients:
5 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions to make Pan di Spagna

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (or use baking spray) two 9-inch round cake pans. Beat the eggs all at one time with the sugar on high speed until it is nice and frothy. Beat in the vanilla.

Sift the flour and baking powder.

Beat in the sifted flour on medium speed in small doses.

Bake the Pan di Spagna for 30 to 40 minutes, until it is well risen and feels firm when pressed gently with the palm of the hand. Check the cake after the first 20minutes to make sure it isn’t getting too brown. Every oven is different. If needed, lower the temperature to 325 for the rest of the baking time.
Set on wire rack to cool.

Strawberry Filling with Stabilized Whipped Cream

To make the stabilized whipped cream:


1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 Tablespoon cold water
1 cup cold heavy or whipping cream
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a small bowl, add gelatin to cold water. Let it dissolve.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat the cream for about 1 minute.Add the gelatin and the confectioner’s sugar. Beat until it gets thick and starts to form peaks.

To prepare the strawberries:

2-lbs of fresh strawberries (1 ½ box for filling. Other ½ is for decorating)
1 cup granulated sugar
Juice and zest of one lemon

Hull and slice 1 ½ box (reserve the other ½for decoration) of strawberries. In a medium saucepan, add the sugar, strawberries, juice and zest of one lemon.

Cook until strawberries get soft and macerated over medium heat. As soon as they get thickened, add the slices from the additional ½ box of strawberries. Fold and incorporate with the macerated strawberries in the thickened sauce.

To assemble the cake:

Let the strawberries cool down for a few minutes and spread on one portion of cake.Spread on top of the strawberries with a spatula the stabilized whipped cream,ending with the second layer of cake. With the spatula, spread the remaining whipped cream on the sides and decorate with the additional strawberries leaving stems on and cut into half. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy the Summer Strawberry Cake.:)

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura (Tutti Dolci) September 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Gorgeous cake, Lora!! Happy birthday to you :).


Annapet S. Isidoro September 7, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Happy Birthday, Lora! I know I have not been around much, but your treats and tweets always make me smile.


Gina September 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I’m so glad I’m not the only one who isn’t arguing when I’m talking loudly. I’m just speaking loudly so they are sure and get the point, I tell everyone, lol. I’m glad you and your mom got to bake together, that makes for the best memories. A perfect birthday cake indeed, I see why your mother-in-law makes it. Happy Birthday.


Sandra M. September 7, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Happy Birthday!!!! You are and your mom are the best, but I know what you mean…you argue with love!:)
Beautiful cake!!!


Kate@Diethood September 7, 2012 at 5:57 pm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! This cake is making me drool a bit… Mouthwatering! I am very familiar with pan di spagna. I loooove it! I make it for special occasions and then fill it with all sorts of puddings, creams, or fruits.


Swathi Iyer September 7, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Love this strawberry cake, I was drooling when I saw in Lizzy’s blog, I know you and mom are awesome cooks. Here strawberries season is coming to end.


Lisa September 7, 2012 at 7:10 pm

First off..HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my friend! Secondly – what a gorgeous cake..perfect for your birthday! If my mouth wasn’t numb, I’d bake and eat it now! :)


Lana September 8, 2012 at 4:33 am

Buon compleanno, bella e tanti auguri! Summer strawberry and pastry cream cake has a special place in my heart, too:) Light, fresh, filled with hints of vanilla and aroma of ripe strawberries, it is the epitome of summer:) Lovely!


Munatycooking September 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Happy Birthday!!! May God bless you and your family. The cake looks beautiful :)


Deborah September 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm

My daughter is a strawberry fanatic and would LOVE this cake!! And arguing or not, baking with your mom is a priceless experience! :)


Paula September 8, 2012 at 2:26 pm

You and your Mom are so fortunate to be living close to one another and to have the opportunities to share your love of cooking and baking together in the same kitchen from time to time. This is a beautiful summer cake!
Hope your birthday celebration was magical ;)


Bunkycooks September 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm

This cake is lovely! I think it would be fun to cook or bake with you and your mother. :-) I hope you had a wonderful birthday with your family.


Maureen | Orgasmic Chef September 10, 2012 at 12:57 am

Beautiful cake. This is definitely a perfect celebration cake!


Shulie September 10, 2012 at 1:03 am

It’s funny how Israelis bake more like the Europeans. With whipped cream, I baked something similar, a strawberries and cream cake. Your MIL’s recipe looks delicious!


Kiran @ September 10, 2012 at 8:26 am

Beautiful and yummy cake!! A very happy belated birthday, Lora!!


Amy September 10, 2012 at 11:09 am

This is lovely Lora! It sounds delicious as well, as nothing beats fresh berries in the summer! Yum! Love the filling :)!


SprinkleBakes September 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Absolutely delicious!


Jamie September 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm

So beautiful! You know, I’ve wanted to make two different desserts, both pretty similar to this – and now you have me wanting to make them with strawberries before the season is over. Stunning! And I so want to try your pan di spagna recipe!


Lorraine Joy Alegria-Vizcarra September 12, 2012 at 2:40 am

The cake looks wonderful. I like how you used the strawberries for the sides.


Amelia September 12, 2012 at 7:04 am

Hi Cake Duchess, this strawberry look gorgeous and delicious.
Love the decoration, simple but beautiful.

Have a nice day, regards.


Baker Street September 12, 2012 at 7:05 am

Your MIL’s recipe sounds fantastic! I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Lora!

Much love,


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: