Vanilla Buttercream Cake topped with strawberries and blueberries, a decadent cake that screams perfection. The vanilla sponge is moist and light, and the vanilla buttercream frosting is rich and smooth, giving the cake a perfect texture.
Summer is upon us, and with gorgeous weather come BBQs, afternoon tea parties, picnics and loads of fun outside. And the highlight of this summer is The Queen's Platinum Jubilee to mark 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth.
And such a unprecedented anniversary calls for a proper celebration. Garden or street parties are the perfect opportunity for people to come together and enjoy amazing company and party food and drinks.
This vanilla sponge cake with vanilla buttercream frosting has been decorated with strawberries and blueberries to resemble the Union Jack flag in honour of her Majesty the Queen.
Decorating the cake is optional, but I find that the delicious ripe fruit add a fresh (and healthy) touch to a magnificent cake fit for a Queen.
And while this was intended to be a Union Jack cake, the red blue and white colours also remind me of the 4th of July celebrations, so the cake decoration can be changed to fit any celebration. One cake, so many possibilities!
And if you like this vanilla buttercream cake, how about my vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing? They are so good! For a low-carb version, the sponge can be made with ground almonds like my Flourless Almond Cake.
Ingredients needed for the vanilla sponge
The sponge is super easy to make with only 5 ingredients:
- sugar - I used granulated sugar, but caster sugar is also a good choice - the cake has not been tested with brown sugar, so I'm afraid I can't advise here
- butter - unsalted butter is preferable, but I used salted butter before and I had great results too
- eggs - I used large eggs for this recipe, if you use small eggs it might be best to add one more
- flour - self-raising flour works the best to get a light sponge
- vanilla extract - good quality vanilla extract is crucial to get that amazing flavour we all love
How to make the vanilla sponge cake
Make sure the ingredients are at room temperature, this ensures an even baking and a good rise.
- in a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the soft (but not melted or oily) butter with the sugar until you get a creamy texture and a pale colour
- add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition
- sift in the flour, add the vanilla extract and beat again to get a thick batter
- grease and flour 2 round cake tins ( mine are 7.5 inches or 19 cm in diameter)
- divide the batter evenly between the tins, and bake in the preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) for 25 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean
- leave the sponges to cool down completely
How to make vanilla buttercream frosting
Once the sponges have cooled down, we can get on with the buttercream - it comes together in a matter of minutes, so we don't need it to prepare it in advance.
- add the sifted icing sugar, soften butter, vanilla extract and milk to a food processor, and blitz until smooth - alternatively, you can use a hand mixer to make it if you don't have a food processor
How to assemble the cake
The sponges tend to get a bit of a dome shape, it you want a perfectly flat cake, you can use a sharp knife to cut the top off each sponge - don't worry about it not looking great, it will be covered with buttercream anyway.
Plate the first sponge on a large plate or cake stand, spread over a third of the buttercream, place the second sponge, spread more buttercream, then use the remaining cream to decorate the sides for a nice finishing touch.
Decorating the cake
Berries are a fantastic addition to any cake, and they are at their best at this time of the year. Strawberries can be replaced with raspberries if you still want to keep a Union Flag cake look (or a 4th of July Cake).
If the strawberries are too big, you can slice them to fit better on the cake, otherwise, if you are not looking to recreate any flag, you can add them randomly.
There isn't much that good go wrong with the cake, it's a super easy and quick recipe that even absolute beginners could smash it.
Make sure the batter is divided evenly between the cake tins, otherwise you will get different heights which will result in uneven layers of cake.
If you don't have self-raising flour, you can use plain flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder to give the sponges that lift for a light texture.
The butter for the sponges and cream has to be at soft, a cold and barely soft butter will prevent the sponges from rising well and the buttercream will split - not good.
But otherwise, it's such a simple cake, and it works amazingly well with any other flavours too. My Lemon Buttercream Cake is based on this recipe and it's absolutely amazing.
The cake is a perfect addition to your Afternoon Tea Menu where you can find more ideas for the perfect party food.Do give it a go!
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Vanilla Buttercream Cake
For the sponge
- 225 g butter, soften
- 225 g granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 225 g self-raising flour
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the buttercream
- 400 g icing sugar
- 200 g butter, soften
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon full-fat milk
- 300 g fresh strawberries
- 200 g fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit).
- To make the sponge, use a hand mixer to beat together the sugar and butter until you get a creamy texture.
- Add the eggs one by one beating well after each addition.
- Sift in the flour, add the vanilla extract and mix well to get a thick batter.
- Grease and flour 2 round cake tins ( mine are 7.5 inches or 19 cm in diameter), and divide the batter evenly between the 2 tins.
- Bake for 25 minutes until the sponges are golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove the sponges from the oven and leave them to cool down completely.
- To make the buttercream, add the sifted icing sugar, vanilla extract, soften butter and milk to a food processor, and whizz until smooth.
- If the sponges have a slight dome, you can use a sharp knife to cut off the top and have a flat sponge, which will help with even layers.
- Place the first sponge on a plate or cake stand, spread a third of the cream over, top with the second sponge, spread another third of buttercream, then use the remaining cream to add the finishing touches to the sides.
- Decorate the cake with strawberries and blueberries.
- Click on the US Customary link to see the measurements displayed in cups and ounces.
- The servings can be adjusted by clicking the number next to Servings.
- Make sure the batter is divided evenly between the cake tins, otherwise you will get different heights which will result in uneven layers of cake.
- If you don't have self-raising flour, you can use plain flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder to give the sponges that lift for a light texture.
- The butter for the sponges and cream has to be at soft, a cold and barely soft butter will prevent the sponges from rising well and the buttercream will split - not good.