Maple-strawberry cream cake: A perfect springtime dessert

I’m all for teamwork when it comes to a party: Everyone contributes something, so the host can also enjoy the event. So when our first BBQ invite of the season arrived, I found this cake to be the perfect al fresco dessert

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I’m all for teamwork when it comes to a party: Everyone contributes something, so the host can also enjoy the event. And while some may not agree, I personally believe a bottle of wine (while always appreciated) just doesn’t cut it. So when our first BBQ invite of the season arrived, I found a perfect Chatelaine recipe to bring to the al fresco affair: Maple-strawberry cream cake.

This is certainly a one-size fits all dessert: with ingredients like maple syrup, fresh whipped cream and strawberries, it’s a hard dessert not to like. The cake is made with eggs, pastry flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and vanilla, and the only real trick is the folding of the ingredients. The eggs are separated, then the whites are beaten with half the sugar until stiff, glossy peaks form, and the yolks and remaining sugar are also beaten until they’re thick and pale yellow. All this egg beating would have fun for mini sous chef (it’s cool to watch egg whites be transformed), and low risk from a recipe-ruining perspective, but an hour at the playground won out. So I (happily) had a quiet kitchen to tackle the recipe.

Once the eggs are done, you fold the yolk mixture into the whites (gently, gently), and then fold the dry flour mix into the eggs, being careful not to over mix. The cake batter is then spooned into the pan (I used a 9-inch springform pan, because I don’t own a tube pan) and baked for about 20 minutes (mine required an extra 5 minutes of baking). The cake is then placed upside down (pan and all) on a cooling rack for about an hour. Once cooled, you cut it in half horizontally and brush each cut side with warm maple syrup. Next comes a layer of whipped cream (with maple syrup whipped in) on the bottom, and half the sliced strawberries. Then the other half of the cake is placed on top, and you repeat the layers of whipped cream and strawberries.

I didn’t have maple sugar crystals, so I served it without a topping. It was reminiscent of a strawberry shortcake, a summer favourite, and the five adults and three kids at the party gobbled up their slices quite enthusiastically. The only addition I would make would be some extra maple syrup to boost that flavour – either brushed on the cake, in the whipped cream, or drizzled on top…or maybe all three, if you have sweet-toothed maple fans at your table.

Try this recipe: Maple-strawberry cream cake