English North Country Strawberries and Cream Courting Cake

READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by French Tart

A divine and decadent three tiered strawberries and cream gateau, enough to melt any man's heart! There is another recipe for this on Zaar, but this is the recipe that I know and love; this recipe has family connections; my mother has an old black and white photograph, taken in 1920, of my grandparents seated by my grandmother's courting Cake! The tradition is that the cake was baked by the young ladies for their betrothed, one would assume as some sort of culinary test maybe? The tradition was particularly prevalent in the north of England, hence the name of my cake. You can use bruised or very ripe strawberries for use in the filling, I buy mine at the end of the season when there is a glut - reserving the best ones for the top of the cake! The cake is also known as a Betrothal Cake in some parts of Great Britain.

Top Review by EmmyDuckie

This is such a pretty cake. And deceptively simple. I'm guessing the girls who made this had no trouble finding boys who wanted to court them! It's so fresh, and nice and lightly sweet. What a perfect summer dessert.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
  2. Grease and line with baking parchment, three 7" or 8" round Victoria sandwich tins.
  3. Cream the butter, vanilla extract and sugar together until pale and fluffy - this is very important, it captures air and keeps the cake light and moist!
  4. Add the beaten eggs gradually, mixing well each time. Lightly sieve in the flour - again gradually - and then add enough milk to make the cake mixture a dropping consistency.
  5. Divide the mixture between the three cake tins - giving them a gentle shake to level them, and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25 - 30 minutes, or until well risen and a pale golden brown. Turn the cakes out and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  6. Whip the cream until thick and holding soft peaks and add the vanilla extract if using.
  7. Sandwich the cakes together with the cream and sliced strawberries - reserving at least 8 for the top of the cake.
  8. Place the cake on an atractive cake or gateau serving platter/stand and sprinkle the icing sugar over the top of the cake.
  9. Decorate with the reserved whole strawberries.
  10. N.B. you can also decorate the top of the cake with the whipped cream - but this is not traditional!

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