This is THE family classic for me! My mother invented this cake for my birthday, I cannot recall that she baked it for my brother, but I can remember it for as long as I can think for my birthdays. It is also in a lot of birthday photos.
I started baking it for myself a few years ago, because I missed it. And because I like a good tradition.
It is not a typical butter-cream cake, picture a fresh, fruity curd between sponge layers, topped with delicious vanilla whipped cream.
Ingredients „Wasserbiskuit“ (translates water sponge)
- 5 Tbsp water
- 5 eggs
- 300 g sugar
- 250 g flour
- grated zest of a lemon
- a pinch salt
This recipe is from a cookbook for cooking and domestic science schools from 1925 that my grandmother gave me. You can find recipes like „war biscuits“ and „bread water“ in there. Awesome.
Preheat the oven to 140 °C. Divide the egg yolks from the whites.
Mix the yolks with the water for 3 min, then add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form firm peaks.
Fold the (sieved) flour and lemon zest and the egg whites under the sugar-yolk mixture until well combined.
Pour into a greased 28 cm cake tin and bake for about 1 hour at 140 °C.
It took a little longer this time, so check with a wooden skewer, if the sponge is done. I think I will try 150°C next time.
Take the cake tin out of the oven and let it rest for about 10 min before removing the sponge carefully from the tin.
Slice it once horizontally and let cool completely.
This step can be made a day ahead.
ingredients filling & vanilla whipped cream
- 300 g mixed frozen berries (raspberries and blackberries with some red and black currants works best for me)
- 5–7 Tbsp raw cane sugar
- 400 g curd cheese (20% fat)
- 1 packet vanilla sugar
- 300 ml whipping cream
- 3 packets vanilla sugar or 3 Tbsp home-made vanilla icing sugar
- 1 packet jelly bears (I recommend the vegan ones, because they are softer) or fresh berries
Thaw the frozen berries for about one hour. If they produce very much juice, strain them. Mix with the curd in a bowl, and add enough sugar until you get a fruity but not to sweet filling. Your sponge ist quite sweet, and also the whipped cream, so be easy on the sugar.
Spoon half of the filling on the bottom half of the sponge and add enough to cover it, it can be about 1 cm thick, but shouldn’t run down the sides. There will be some filling left.
Top with the upper half of the sponge. If it get’s messy, like it happend with my sponge this time, everything broke in pieces. Don’t worry. It still tastes the same and after decorating with the cream, no one can tell a thing.
If you don’t want to eat the cake straight away, put it in the fridge, and proceed with the whipped cream right before serving.
Put the cream and the vanilla sugar in a mixing bowl and whip with medium speed with a handheld or stand mixer. I recently read an good article about whipping cream here: www.thekitchn.com.
Spread the whipped cream with a spatula carefully all over your sponge. I guess there will also be some whipped cream left, but no worries, it tastes very good all on it’s own, direktly from the spatula.
Finish with decorating with the jelly bears, fresh berries or whatever you like.
This year I had to buy jelly berries, because no bears were available, but it was still nice, but I guess I have to deliver a photo of the „original“ cake someday.