Photographs by Robin Pakes
This 2014 favourite is easy to make and perfect for an informal summer wedding. A classic combo of moist vanilla sponge and lashings of scrummy jam and buttercream is sandwiched into deep tiers and dusted with icing sugar before being decorated with delicious soft summer berries.

You will need:

  • 4 layers of 6 inch vanilla sponge cake and 4 layers of 8 inch vanilla sponge cake
  • 1 quantity of vanilla buttercream
  • 1 quantity of vanilla syrup
  • 1 jar of strawberry or seedless raspberry jam
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • fresh berries of your choice, washed and dried thoroughly on kitchen paper
  • 6 and 8 inch round hardboard
  • cake dowels
  • palette knife
  • serrated knife
  • 10 inch base drum board or cake stand

To make the vanilla sponge cakes you will need:

(6 inch round quantities to bake 4 layers)

  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 8oz stork
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 10 oz self raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract

(8 inch round quantities to bake 4 layers)

  • 16oz caster sugar
  • 16oz stork
  • 8 large free range eggs
  • 20 oz self raising flour
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla bean extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C fan, 180°C electric oven or gas mark 4.
  2. Grease and line the cake tins.
  3. Cream together the stork and caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the vanilla bean paste and beat in the eggs one at a time.
  5. Sieve and fold in the flour.
  6. Divide the mix equally between the prepared cake tins.
  7. Bake for between 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown and firm to touch.
  8. Carefully turn the cakes out of the tins onto wire racks, taking care not to damage the baked edges. 9. Allow to cool.

TIP - A non-stick baking spray will help ensure that your cakes will turn out easily and prevent damage to the baked sides.

To make the vanilla syrup you will need:

  • 1 mug of Granulated sugar
  • 1 mug of Water
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla bean paste


  1. Place the sugar and water into a heavy based saucepan.
  2. Bring to the boil, stirring until the mixture begins to boil.
  3. Stop stirring and allow to simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool and stir in the vanilla bean paste.

To make the buttercream you will need:

  • 500g softened butter
  • 1kg icing sugar
  • Splash of milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste


  1. Beat together the butter, vanilla bean paste and sieved icing sugar until and creamy
  2. If the buttercream feels too stiff, add a splash of milk to achieve a spreading consistency

How to assemble the tiers and cake


TIP - Naked cakes are best assembled on the morning of the event to keep them fresh. The sponge layers can be baked ahead of time and frozen until required. It is easier to work with semi-frozen or refrigerated layers as it helps keep the crumb intact when trimming and spreading.

It is advisable to set this style of cake up as close to the event as possible to prevent drying.

 About Sandra Monger

Sandra Monger is a multi-award-winning cake designer based in Bath. She is professionally trained in catering, advanced patisserie and sugarcraft and specialises in creating bespoke wedding, civil partnership and celebration cakes. Sandra’s work is much sought-after, due to her innovative designs as well as her attention to detail and customer care. Sandra has an enviable client list and is the recommended supplier to some of the finest venues in the south west. Sandra now teaches the very popular evening classes in cake decoration and sugarcraft at The City of Bath College.In September 2012 Sandra’s work was recognised at the prestigious Baking Industry Awards at London’s Park Lane Hilton, where she was named ’Celebration Cake Maker of the Year’.

>> Visit Sandra Monger’s website


Copyright 2014 Sandra Monger and Robin Pakes. All Rights Reserved.