“When you make a cake, you truly express your desire to please the people you love, and show them how much you care.”
Roland Meisner
Time flies, and how! It’s was the daughter’s 14th birthday and as busy as every 2nd January has been since the day she was born. We barely recover from the kids New Year eve excitement, and there it is, her big day staring us in the face. What cake are you making for me she  religiously asks the day before? This year the situation was different. There was a huge power grid failure and our entire region was gripped with dense fog. My cake plans underwent many changes as time progressed. No power meant that filling couldn’t be whipped, and neither could frosting. Thankfully I had baked the sponge a day before!

This year I was spoilt for choice since I had 2 boxes of delicious strawberries on hand as they are just showing up in the market. Also have been fortunate enough to receive many new baking books I was itching to try out, and exciting dessert ideas off blogs and web sites. This is what the holiday season does to you; spoils you with so much visible eye candy, that you want to try everything at once. Strawberries in the market doesn’t seem to make it simpler, just widens the horizon!

I grabbed 2 books of my shelf for inspiration. One the Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Cakes’, and the other Roland Meisner’sBasic to Beautiful Cakes’. The latter is a beautiful cake decoration book that I won at a cake decoration competition run by Lis and Ivonne at the Daring Kitchen for this Cinnamon Buttercream Autmn Cake. Both books are bursting with great cake ideas, and I eventually zeroed on the second one. Basic to Beautiful Cakes shows how to create desserts that can be beautifully embellished to serve any occasion by using a small set of foolproof cake recipes.

Roland Mesnier is a French-American Pastry chef and culinary writer. Basic to Beautiful Cakes is a book by this legendary White House pastry chef, and Lauren Chattman. It is inspirational in every way, and the narrative before each recipe is very engaging. The author adds a little trivia about who and why he made that particular cake for, and in some cases the reactions to it! It’s lovely!!
The book includes an enviable array of fruit cakes, dairy and wheat free cakes, nut, chocolate and coffee cakes amongst still many others! There is also a section dedicated to decoration basics, and basic filling, frosting,glazes and syrups etc, as also one on basic recipes at the very end which spans everything from pastry creams, whipped creams, sauces, to fillings.

I saw the Summertime Strawberry Cake in his book (yes I am aware this is the peak of winter, LOL), and that inspired my Bavarian cream cake. My cake is similar in essence and would have made the base cake from the book, had it not been for the added 1 stick of butter. Decided to fall back on my Swiss roll cake recipe, an airy and light fatless option, I wasn’t sure it would work well as a cake base, but it certainly did.

For the filling I decided on a Bavarian cream for many reasons. Primarily because of the power failure. Also because the kids loved it when I had made it earlier from Tartlettes for this Peaches and Cream Cake, and finally, because I needed to collect whites for making macarons for MacTweets! Three birds with one stone …yes!

The Bavarian cream is inspired by this recipe by Michale Symon on Food Network. Not sure if it was supposed to be firmer, but worked fine for me even though I used 25% low fat cream. I think you could decrease the gelatin by a 1/4 tbsp if you use whipping cream.

I did initially want to leave the strawberries peeking out of the sides of the cake, but was inspired by Ria‘s post to try making a different border. I had already topped the cake with a dark chocolate ganache, as we can’t have a birthday cake sans chocolate, so I tried a white chocolate piped border. The white chocolate we get here doesn’t melt as easily and smoothly as the dark chocolate, so it wasn’t a very easy task. I managed something anyway, and here’s what it looks like…

To make a border for the cake, measure the height of the border that you would like, and the circumference of the cake. Cut our parchment paper to this measure and squiggle patterns or doodle with melted chocolate on it. (If you are unsure, keep a pattern under the parchment and trace out with melted chocolate). Wait for it to almost set, where the paper is still flexible and the chocolate is not set hard. Wrap it around the cake and press gently to the frosted sides so that the pattern sticks to the sides. Mine didn’t hold a 100% because I didn’t frost the sides, but it was fine anyway. Gently peel off the parchment.

Strawberry Bavarian Cream Cake
Inspired by Summertime Strawberry Cake by Roland Meisner
6 eggs, separated
1 cup flour
1 cup vanilla sugar, divided into 2 bowls
Separate the yolks and whites.

With clean beaters, whip the whites with 1/2 cup sugar until firm. Keep aside
Add the remaining sugar to the yolks and beat until tripled in volume or all the sugar has dissolved and the yolks are pale and creamy, about 8-10 minutes
Now add 1/3 of the beaten egg whites and fold in gently so as not to release any beaten in air. Sift in half the flour and fold in gently, followed by 1/3 beaten whites, then remaining flour, and finally remaining beaten whites. Gently turn into prepared tin, and bake at 180C for 25-30 minutes until a tester comes out clean.
Remove from tin immediately, peel off parchment and cool completely on rack.


as adapted from this recipe here
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup vanilla sugar
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup + 3 tbsps milk
1 1/4 tbsps gelatin (reduce to 1 tbsp if you use high fat cream)

400m cream (25% fat)

400gms strawberries (Reserve some for garnishing) 
Whisk the egg yolks with a balloon whisk with 1/3 cup of vanilla sugar until smooth.
Simmer 1/2 cup of milk and 200ml cream with 1 scraped vanilla bean, bean included. Turn off heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes.
Bloom gelatin in 3 tbsps of cold milk
Put the pan back on simmer. Once the milk mixture comes to a boil, take it off the heat and whisk into the yolk mix, somewhat like in French pastry cream.
Return to a heavy bottom pan, and place on medium heat until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly.
Take off and whisk in bloomed gelatin. Strain and leave to cool. (You can quicken the cooling by stirring the bowl held over a bowl of ice.)
Once it is completely cooled, whip 200ml of cream with 1-2 tbsps of Castor sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and fold it into the custard gently but thoroughly. You will notice the Bavarian thickening.
While the custard is cooling, slice the sponge into two, and gently paint with some sugar syrup with a little lime juice added. (like in this pineapple sponge here, note at the bottom). This moistens the sponge a bit.
Place the lower layer on your serving platter within a cake/dessert ring. Arrange chopped strawberriesand top with the cooled Bavarian cream. Place the top layer over it, and gently push over topping to level it. Cling wrap entire thing, and chill for 8 hours, preferably overnight for the Bavarian to set.

Unmold gently.


Make a dark chocolate ganache with 150gms dark chocolate and 2-3 tbsps cream. I eyeball the amounts. We just need enough for the top.
Whisk with a spoon till smooth and shiny. Leave to cool. It will thicken as it cools.
Spread over the top layer, allowing some to drizzle over the sides. Use it before it becomes too firm or it will be difficult to spread smoothly.
Top with chocolate shavings and reserved strawberries.

Border with chocolate lace if desired.

♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

The kids enjoyed the cake A LOT, as we did, and had a great time yesterday!

Don’t miss a post


  • Happy cook
    7 years ago

    Happy New year Deeba and a very happy b'day to your lovely teenage daughter. When i saw the first pick i thought she had cut her hair short, but then second batch she has long hair 🙂
    Cake looks so beautiful, i love that whit chocolate deco.
    Was on a break will be back blogging tommorow.

  • meeso
    7 years ago

    Omg, so, so tempting and beautiful!

  • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
    7 years ago

    Happy birthday to your daughter! What a gorgeous cake — that beautiful side detailing just takes it over the edge!! Lovely!!

  • Rosa's Yummy Yums
    7 years ago

    Happy Birthday to your lovely daughter!

    That cake is magnificent!



  • Swapna
    7 years ago

    Happy Birthday to your daughter! Gorgeous cake…white chocolate deco is really beautiful!!!

  • Poornima Nair
    7 years ago

    Beautiful cake Deeba, love the white chocolate border. Belated wishes to ur daughter and wish you all a happy new year.

  • The Cooking Ninja
    7 years ago

    Happy Birthday to your daughter! I see that same look on her face – matching my nephew's when he was that age. lol!

    What a beauty! She's going to break lots of heart and I'm sure she is already breaking some right now.

    Love your cake and the beautiful border. Now you inspires me to try making one like this for poppet's birthday in June.

  • Priya
    7 years ago

    Happy b'day to ur daug…Cake looks luvly like mother's love..

  • Trissa
    7 years ago

    Your daughter is beautiful – she must get it from you! Did she also get your wonderful baking skills as the cake looks delightful!

  • Manasi
    7 years ago

    A Happy (belated) Birthday to ur Girl!
    LOVED the cake ! She is one lucky gal!
    Happy new year to u all.

  • Judy@nofearentertaining
    7 years ago

    Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter Deeba! She is absolutely gorgeous!

    Love your cake. I can't believe the challenges you had to deal with while making this and still it turned out amazing!

  • Snooky doodle
    7 years ago

    happy birthday to your daughter. Hope she had a nice day . This cake looks absolutely spectacular. I like the decoration on the side. fantastic

  • Sarah, Maison Cupcake
    7 years ago

    Deeba, that chocolate border around the cake is stunning, I really love it. Your children look gorgeous, I hope your daughter had a wonderful birthday and appreciates her mums hard work!

  • foodie ffanatic
    7 years ago

    Your daughter is as beautiful as you! And your son is a very handsome young man!

    Thank you so much for sharing the instructions for the cake border. I love how elegant it is.

    Hoping that 2010 is a fabulous year for you and your family. Dani

  • Y
    7 years ago

    Happy Birthday to your daughter! The cake looks fantastic 🙂

  • Madhuli
    7 years ago

    Lovely cake for a lovely daughter. Belated birthday wishes to her..The cake looks awesome

  • WizzyTheStick
    7 years ago

    Happy New Year to you and your family and a belated b'day greeting to your princess. Once again you have outdone yourself. This cake is amazing.

  • Megan
    7 years ago

    What a beautiful cake and with all the difficulies that arose. I love the chocolate border. I know what you mean about having a birthday so close to the holidays. My daughter turns 15 on the 10th of January. It's like bouncing from holiday to holiday and them throw in a special occasion. Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter!

  • lobstersandwich
    7 years ago

    Hi Deeba:

    The cake is gorgeous and so yummy looking. What an artist you are. Happy Birthday to your daughter.

  • Barbara Bakes
    7 years ago

    What a spectacular cake! Happy Birthday to your lovely daughter! She is blessed to have such a wonderful mum!

  • arundati
    7 years ago

    happy birthday to your daughter deeba…. i love the latticed border… lovely as always and here's wishing you and the family a lovely passionately baking filled year in 2010… hugs dear girl

  • Nachiketa
    7 years ago

    Happy Birthday Mehak……

    Wishing you all the joy n happiness in the world n more…. 🙂

    Loved the border, Deeba… Looks totally fabulous…
    It's gonna be my next try 🙂

  • zurin
    7 years ago

    Happy birthday to your daughter Deeba….what a lovely cake for a lovely daughter! Love the border…and I agree the white choc here is difficult to melt too and not as smooth as dark choc. The reason why i seldom work with it.But you did a great job nonetheless. :))

  • bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets)
    7 years ago

    Your daughter is a stunner!!! Happy Birthday to the daughter! The cake sounds delish and as always your attention to detail and intricate designs are unsurpassable! xx

  • MeetaK
    7 years ago

    oh deeba – time does fly! but you make each minute edible! give my very fondest wishes to your daughter! the cake looks incredible love the strawberry choc combo!

  • shaz
    7 years ago

    Best wishes for your daugther's birthday. What a beautiful cake Deeba – you pulled this off even with a power failure. You constantly amaze me!

  • sarah (syrupandhoney)
    7 years ago

    Your daughter is beautiful and so is the cake!

  • Donna-FFW
    7 years ago

    What a gorgeous cake. So much love went into it and what absolutely beautiful children.

  • Rajani
    7 years ago

    happy b'day to your daughter! the cake looks divine, though for some reason i could see only one image, maybe you are using flickr?? thats banned here in uae.

  • Lien
    7 years ago

    Happy Birthday! a teenagers….
    A-M-A-ZING this cake. Love the border idea, very chic. Very happpy kids with such an inventive and creative baking mother!!

  • Dodol & Mochi
    7 years ago

    The cake is a feat!! Simply gorgeous!!

    I'll keep following your updates! Loving your blog!


  • Dragana
    7 years ago

    A stunning cake for a beautiful girl! You are an amazing and creative baker!

  • Bellini Valli
    7 years ago

    14..they grow up so quickly don't they? Happy birthday!!! This is a stunning cake as always Deeba for a special girl.

  • Alexandra
    7 years ago

    That cake is beautiful.

  • Barbara @ Vino Luci Style
    7 years ago


    You never disappoint. Amazing, and without power? My daughter would have had to make do with Nutella on a leftover Christmas cookie, so hope your beautiful daughter knows how lucky she is to have YOU!

  • noble pig
    7 years ago

    Wow, beautiful cake for a beautiful Birthday girl!!!

  • Su-yin
    7 years ago

    I think that border on the cake is amazing – the amount of work that went into it! I've wanted to try something like that but just have never gotten round to doing it… I'll have to use you as inspiration now. 🙂

  • Hanaâ
    7 years ago

    Deeba, Happy New Year to you and your family. I wish you all the best in 2010. And happy belated birthday to the bday girl. What a lovely cake! Everything about it sounds finger licking good. I made a similar lace border with dark chocolate a few years ago. I have pictures of it posted here:

  • maus
    7 years ago

    Happy Birthday to your daughter. She is indeed so lucky to have such a wonderful Strawberry Bavarian Cream Cake for her birthday. Thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe.

  • Dharm
    7 years ago

    Yowza! What a brilliant cake!! Just fantastic. You are such a fantastic baker Deebs and my cakes pale in comparison to yours. Happy Birthday to the lovely daughter – guess I know where she gets her good looks from!! Hugs!

  • Mowie @ Mowielicious
    7 years ago

    Happy Birthday to your daughter Deeba! What an amazing border on that cake – love, love, love it! I'm very inspired to try it out now – Wow!

  • Purnima
    7 years ago

    Deeba u r one awesome MOM..Belated belated wishes to lovely Meher! I loved ur lacey-white-choco border, brilliant, makes the cake look even richer! Been unable to comment though reading every post religiously-despite my kids!! 😀

  • Natashya KitchenPuppies
    7 years ago

    Wow, wow, wow! You are such an artist! Happy birthday to your little girl!
    Mine is in New York City with her friends, I am biting my nails..

  • Kate/Kajal
    7 years ago

    A beautiful cake for a beautiful girl 🙂 Hope she had a wonderful day. The cake is so decadent ! Love the detailing, i have the same book but have never baked anything from it. Think i should open it now 🙂

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Lovely cake — awesome! Happy Bday to your daughter! Jan 2 is a great day for a birthday! [It's mine too!]

    An Indian cook in NY

  • Mireya
    7 years ago

    This looks incredibly divine!!

  • Twinsy Rachel
    7 years ago

    Happy Bday Meher…. May God Bless U!!!

    Amazing cake Deeba.. it kept me drooling…. When I saw the chocolate lace border on Ria's cake, I was wondering on how to do it. Now thanks to u on how to do a border…

    Have a good year ahead.

  • Rita
    7 years ago

    It's gorgeous! Beautiful!
    Happy Birthday to your daughter Meher and Happy New Year to you and your family.

  • Nicisme
    7 years ago

    Many birthday congrats to your lovely daughter Deeba, great photos. Love her cake with your signature decoration curls!

  • Kitchen Butterfly
    7 years ago

    Many happy returns to your daughter, boy they grow up so fast, don't they!!!!! Lovely cake, I want some….please 🙂

  • pigpigscorner
    7 years ago

    Oh it's beautiful! Happy birthday to your daughter and happy new year!

  • Jeanne
    7 years ago

    Oh Deeba – that looks almost too beautiful to eat!! Although I'm sure you managed 😉 Love the piped chocolate surround – you are a real culinary artist. And such a gorgeous daughter – she obviously takes after her mom 🙂

  • Arwen from Hoglet K
    7 years ago

    I love your chocolate lace border! It's amazing that you can get it to bend like that without breaking.

  • Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog
    7 years ago

    What a marvelous cake for your daughter.. belated Happy Birthday for her!!!
    This is exactly the kind of cake for parties, succulent and wonderful for the eyes 🙂



  • Mer
    7 years ago

    I love the border you put on this cake! It is wonderful.

    Just wanted you to know I'm still lurking around your blog. 🙂

  • solid wood baby cribs
    7 years ago

    Happy Birthday to your daughter! I bet she will surely love this cake! It really is so beautiful and of course delicious!

  • Barbara
    7 years ago

    Fabulous job on the cake, Deeba! I am so impressed with your talent!
    And Happy Birthday to your daughter!

  • Ann
    7 years ago

    What an awesome cake. Happy Birthday to your daughter and Happy New Year to you. I love roaming around your blog. I had seen Ria's chocolate scrollwork too, both of you take the cake!!!!

  • Shabs..
    7 years ago

    Oh loved that cake deeba….especially that border…my sons birthday is just a couple of months away and Iam planning to bake something from ur blog…..This border thing is decided….will try a hand on that…..well, About cake, which one would you suggest?…Please let me know..i will be waiting….The one that ur family loved teh most (i know it will b difficult to choose) and the readers as well….Since you got soooooo many collections Iam just lost:)

    Your kids are cute…like the expressions on ur sons face:)…..looks like he is a bit naughty like my bro's:)

    BelATED b'day wishes to ur doter!


  • Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes]
    7 years ago

    A very belated Happy Birthday to your daughter, D! It's amazing that you did all this without power. I would have given up! You're a great mom 🙂 The cake looks great, love the border!

  • Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul
    7 years ago

    A special cake for a special girl! Happy belated Birthday! Gorgeous looking cake!

  • Nachiketa
    6 years ago

    yipppeee… tried the technique of making the border to make a bird on my cake…. came out nice… thanks 🙂

    Haroun n the Sea of Stories Inspires Vibha's Hoopoe Lemon Cake

    The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts – Nachiketa
    Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

  • Renata
    6 years ago

    Hi Deeba! I came across this post when looking for an idea of a cake for my husband's birthday. I couldn't make your bavarian filling because I wasn't sure I would have enough room in the fridge, but I used the decoration idea and also took a look at Ria's post that inspired you. I made it successfully and it was a hit at the party! I love the simple things that impress, and this one was one of them. I'll post it tonight on my blog. Thanks for sharing!

  • 6 years ago

    I stumbled upon your blog while searching for a “Fruit Bavarian Cake” recipe… wow you are just incredible!! The pictures, the stories… everything is beautiful. I look forward to follwing your posts. I recently started my own blog and and still adapting ot the blog world 🙂

  • karen conway
    5 years ago

    Hi I agree with your daughter if you make it from the heart people love it a lot more it is made from love, I have been working with chocolates this year I now make wonderful truffles and a lot of other goodies my son love boston cream pie so this christmas I am making him one, since I have been dealing with cancer and cant work anymore I bake and my friend and family are loving it and me thank you for your recipie i cant wait to make it on friday HAPPY HOLIDAYS !


  • Safa
    3 years ago

    Hi Deeba,
    I made this cake for my sister-in-law’s birthday and absolutely loved it. The Bavarian cream, though I was not sure how it would turn out till I sliced it after refrigerating it overnight, was beautiful. It reminded me of the pastry cream in the strawberry tarts I used to have from the Intercontinental as a rare treat when I was a child. My white lace collar fell apart, but that’s okay. It was my first attempt and I am ready to learn from my mistakes and give it another go. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • 3 years ago

      Thank you for those sweet words Safa. Happy it came out well. I was like that when I made it the first time too… it’s lovely to get feedback. Thank you again!!

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