Strawberry and black pepper cake

Add black pepper to the classic strawberry and cream mix for an unconventional twist
By Rachel Khoo
Strawberry and black pepper cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the strawberries:

  • 150 g sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 800 g strawberries, halved and leaves removed, plus extra for decorating

For the cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 75 g butter, melted
  • 150 g plain yogurt
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder

For the cream:

  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 750 ml whipping cream
  • 100 g icing sugar

Tips and Suggestions

The strawberries in syrup can be made in advance and the sponge can be made a day ahead and wrapped well in cling film once cool.


1. For the strawberries: Place 150ml water, the sugar and black pepper in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Take off the heat, then add the halved strawberries and chill in the fridge until needed.

2. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and grease and line a 19cm springform cake tin.

3. Whisk the eggs with the sugar until thick, pale and fluffy then pour in the melted butter and yoghurt.

4. In a separate bowl mix together the flour and baking powder with a pinch of salt before mixing into the rest of the ingredients. Dont over mix or youll end up with a heavy cake.

5. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. If the cake is browning too fast, cover it with aluminum foil. When cooked, remove from the tin and place on cake rack to cool. When cool, slice into 3 horizontally discs.

6. For the cream: Run your knife along the vanilla pod, slice through the middle and scoop out the seeds with the back of the spoon. Add to the cream then whip together with the sugar, until firm enough to ice the cake.

7. Assemble the cake starting with the top part as the bottom, that way the bottom will be on top leaving a smooth finish. Using a pastry brush, dab the cake crumb generously with the sugar syrup from the strawberries.

8. Spread a layer of the cream on top of the crumb, add a third of the macerated strawberries then add the next layer of cake, repeat once more.

9. Pipe or spread, using a palette knife, the rest of the cream around the sides and top of the cake then top with the remaining strawberries.

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