Recipe may contain gluten, milk, soy, sesame and egg.
Featuring strawberries and margarita syrup made from tequila, this adults-only layered number is the perfect birthday cake for adults.
300g (2 cups) plain flour
13/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt
250g fresh strawberries, plus extra, halved, to decorate
315g (11/2 cups) caster sugar
250ml (1 cup) milk
185ml (3/4 cup) vegetable oil
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp finely grated lime rind
3 limes, thinly sliced
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
60ml (1/4 cup) tequila
5 egg whites
270g (1 1/4 cups) caster sugar
340g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Green and yellow gel food colouring, to tint
7 Method Steps
Step 1Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan forced. Grease three 15cm (base measurement) round cake pans. Line base and side with baking paper. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Reserve 3 strawberries. Hull and cut remaining into 1-2cm pieces.
Step 2Use electric beaters on medium to beat sugar and eggs in a bowl for 3 minutes or until thick and creamy. Beat in milk, oil, juice and rind until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Divide among prepared pans. Smooth surface. Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centres comes out clean. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Turn onto a sheet of baking paper.
Step 3To make syrup, stir sugar, juice and 60ml (1 ⁄4 cup) water in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Stir in tequila. Prick warm cakes all over with a skewer. Drizzle over syrup.
Step 4To make buttercream, combine egg whites and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Place over a pan of simmering water (make sure bowl doesn’t touch water). Whisk until sugar dissolves and reaches 70°C on a cook’s thermometer. Use electric beaters on high to whisk for 10 minutes or until almost at room temp. On low speed gradually add butter, beating well after each addition, until smooth. Add tequila, juice and a pinch of salt. Beat until combined. Use colouring to tint a lime colour. Transfer 1 ⁄2 cupful to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm-wide nozzle.
Step 5Line a baking tray with paper towel. Thinly slice reserved berries. Arrange on tray with lime slices. Gently press to remove moisture.
Step 6Use a serrated knife to trim and level top of each cake. Pipe a little buttercream in centre of a serving plate. Place 1 cake, base-side down, on top. Spread a layer of buttercream over top of cake. Pipe a ring of buttercream around edge to create a dam. Fill with half the chopped strawberries. Top with second cake. Repeat to make another buttercream layer and dam, and fill with remaining chopped berries. Top with remaining cake. Thinly spread buttercream over top and side to create a crumb coat. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill.
Step 7Use a palette knife to spread buttercream around middle of cake. Leave top and bottom thirds exposed. Reserve a few lime slices. Press remaining sliced fruit onto this buttercream layer. Spread remaining buttercream above and below fruit. Use palette knife or cake scraper to smooth buttercream. Top with reserved lime and extra berries.