Black Pepper Sponge Cake with Strawberry Balsamic Whipped Cream

This delightful recipe for Black Pepper Sponge Cake with Strawberry Balsamic Whipped Cream, created by Running with Tweezers, is one of those must-bake strawberry layer cakes.

Not only is this naked cake beautiful, it’s a lot easier than covering the whole cake with traditional frosting. Also, the strawberry balsamic addition to the filling is a wonderful twist on classic whipped cream, pairing perfectly with sweet strawberries.

Black Pepper Sponge Cake with Strawberry Balsamic Whipped Cream

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 12 -16 slices
Calories: 343kcal

You can add this recipe to a collection to create a shopping list!

Print Recipe Add to Collection


Black Pepper Sponge Cake

  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup caster very fine sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 large vanilla bean split and seeds scraped from pod
  • 2 tsp finely ground black pepper

Strawberry Balsamic Whipped Cream

  • 2/3 pound fresh California strawberries
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • Tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar

To serve:

  • 1/3 pound fresh California strawberries


To make Black Pepper Sponge Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8" springform cake pans and line bottoms with circle of parchment paper.
  • Beat butter and sugar together with electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until just incorporated. Fold in flour gradually until smooth.
  • Stir in vanilla bean and black pepper and pour batter into prepared cake pans.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean from center of cake. Cool in baking pan for 8-10 minutes; remove and place on rack to cool before assembly.

To make Strawberry Balsamic Whipped Cream:

  • Rinse all whole strawberries and gently pat dry. Divide into thirds. Cut tops off of two-thirds of the strawberries and cut into 1/4"-1/2" slices. Reserve remaining third of whole strawberries to decorate top of cake.
  • In large mixing bowl, combine heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and balsamic vinegar. With electric mixer, whip until stiff peaks are formed.

To assemble:

  • Place one cooled cake layer on cake stand or serving plate. Spread sliced strawberries evenly across the cake.
  • Layer the strawberries with half the balsamic whipped cream. Top with the second cake layer. Repeat with whipped cream mixture and top with whole strawberries. For an interesting styling trick, leave some strawberries whole and cut some halves to add dimension to the garnish.


Nutrition information calculated based on a 16 slice yield.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 215mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g