When it comes to baking, I like to keep it simple, preferring presentations that are not too fussy, but fresh and light. This especially applies to cake.
It was my daughter’s birthday recently, and her favorite cake is a Danish lagkage (layer cake), which is the traditional birthday cake served at celebrations. In refreshing Danish fashion, the cake is simple and minimal, with thin layers of vanilla sponge, whipped cream and fresh fruit.
In the summer, we pluck raspberries and strawberries for decoration and to layer between the cake. In the winter, we smear preserves (made from berries we picked the previous summer) over each cake layer before adding the cream. Sometimes we combine both the whole fruit and the preserves.
It’s flexible and beautiful, no piping, no bling. The only decorations are a pile of fresh berries on top and pretty snipped edible flowers from the garden. It’s perfect.
I have messed around with different vanilla-cake recipes over the years, and this is the one I currently favor. This sponge cake recipe is adapted from Cooks Illustrated. Make sure that all of the sponge cake ingredients are at room temperature before you begin.