Key Lime and Berry Sponge Cake

Recently on a trip to a local book shop I stumble across this wonderful book called ‘Bake it like you mean it’ by Gesine Bullock Prado. I did not know who she is however I liked her fresh approach to baking cakes, especially her original design and creativity. I bought the book immediately and went home to Google her! Famous she is! In America tough. Now in my household too. And within all my baking buddies. I love the woman! I already tried several of her cakes, easy they are not. But they look and taste amazing.

My local Camden Clandestine Cake Club set up a theme for June’s meeting: Celebrating June Seasonal Food. I was so excited as I could make Gesine’s Key Lime and Berry Sponge cake! The recipe is not from above mentioned book. I used fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. The taste is very fresh and light yet extremely delicious.

You can see the original recipe on Gesine’s website, however I ‘translate’ it into English measurements and also amend it slightly. Less sugar for sure as always in my cakes!  Here you go:


For the sponges:

  • 6 eggs, room temperature and separated
  • 220gr sugar
  • 160gr plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 50ml key lime juice
  • 50ml vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

For the filling:

  • 400  whipping cream, cold
  • 200gr  mascarpone cheese, cold
  • 100gr icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon gelatin
  • 50ml water
  • 250gr mixed berries (blueberries and raspberries)
  • 350 gr strawberries, medium to small in size
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • juice 1 lemon
  • zest 1 lemon


1. Preheat oven to 180C.  Butter  three 8″ cake pans and line the bottom of the pans with a round of parchment.
2. In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, half of the sugar, key lime juice, and oil.  Whisk to combine.


3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder for 30 seconds.  Sift the flour mixture over the egg yolk mixture and then stir the two together until smooth.
Mix eggs mixture with flour

Mix eggs mixture with flour

4. Combine the egg whites and salt with electric mixer.  Whisk on high until the egg whites just start to get foamy.  Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and whisk for 10 seconds.  Slowly add the remaining  sugar, continue whisking on high until stiff peaks form but the egg yolks aren’t dry.
Whisk egg whites

Whisk egg whites

5. Transfer a 1/4 of the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and whisk to combine and lighten.
2014-06-22 10.41.08
6. Transfer the remaining egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and fold them in with a large rubber spatula until no white streaks remain.
7. Divide the batter between the three prepared pans and bake until the cake just springs back and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 20 – 25 minutes.
8. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then use a paring knife, run the knife along the edge of the pan to release the cakes  Turn the cakes out and remove the parchment round.  Allow the cakes to cool completely.
Leave sponges to cool

Leave sponges to cool

9. Hull all but 5 or 6 strawberries and cut in half. (Reserve the whole strawberries for the top of the cake). Place in a bowl and add the lemon juice, zest and sugar.  Stir to coat and leave for 20 minutes.
10. Place the water in a small microwave safe bowl.  Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in an even layer and set aside for 5 minutes, until the gelatin looks like wet sand.
11. Place the bowl with the gelatin in the microwave and nuke at 10 second intervals, swirling the gelatin in between blasts, until the gelatin is completely melted.  Set aside for 10 minutes (the gelatin should still be liquid but not hot before adding to the whipped cream)
12. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the whipping cream, mascarpone cheese and icing sugar.  Whisk until medium peaks form.  Add a tablespoon of the cream to the gelatin and stir to combine, this tempers the gelatin so it won’t seize when it hits the rest of the cream.  Slowly pour in the gelatin mixture into the whipped cream with the mixer on high and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
13. Place a layer of cake on a serving platter.  Using a pastry brush, brush half the juice form the macerated strawberries on the cake layer.
2014-06-22 15.15.55
14. Place half of the halved strawberries atop the first layer of cake, cut side down, and then, first reserving a few of the best looking mixed berries for the top, scatter half of the mixed berries amongst the strawberries.
15. Place the whipped cream into a large piping bag fitted with a large plain tip.  Pipe half the whipped cream in between and around the berries, making sure not to pipe any cream over the edge of the cake.  Use an offset spatula to even out the cream layer.  Place a second cake layer atop the cream and berries and gently press to adhere the top layer.  Brush with the remaining juice from the strawberries and top with the remaining halved strawberries and the mixed berries.  Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until set.
2014-06-22 15.39.04
16. Prepare buttercream. Use the following:
  • 100gr sugar
  • 5 egg whites
  • 250 – 300 gr unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • pinch salt
17. Place the sugar, egg whites, vanilla  and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Place the bowl into a simmering saucepan of water set over medium/low heat.  Whisk constantly until the sugar is completely melted and the mixture is hot to the touch.  The temperature of the egg mixture should reach at least 160º on a candy thermometer.
2014-06-22 17.05.21
18. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and whisk on high until you achieve stiff peaks and the bowl is cool to the touch.  Add the room temperature butter, a few small pieces at a time, whisking until the buttercream thickens and is smooth.  You may not need all of the butter, so be patient between each addition.  If the mixture looks as if it’s curdling and not smooth, you are very close.  Add another tablespoon or two of butter and whisk away.
19. Spread a smooth, even layer of buttercream over the top and sides of the cake and allow to set in the fridge, about 20 minutes.  Top with the remaining berries and a few springs of mint.
2014-06-23 17.41.51    2014-06-23 17.41.44 (1)

Enjoy MissJ x



One thought on “Key Lime and Berry Sponge Cake

  1. Pingback: Because you’re mine cake, I walk the line | MissJwonders

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