Strawberry Sunburst Cake

This is an ideal hot-weather cake because it contains neither whipped cream nor buttercream. Also the fruit filing and the meringue covering are light.

One 9-inch cake, 12 to 15 servings

2 9-inch round plain génoise, baked and cooled (see below)



2 pints strawberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon kirsch

2 tablespoons cornstarch



2/3 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons kirsch



3/4 cup (about 6 large) egg whites

1 cup sugar



1 pint strawberries

  1. To make the filling, rinse, hull, and slice the 2 pints strawberries Place a quarter of the berries in a saucepan with the sugar and bring to a boil. In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, kirsch, and cornstarch, and off the heat stir into the strawberry mixture. Return to a boil, stirring, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, and stir in the remaining sliced berries.
  2. To make the syrup, combine the water and sugar in a small pan, bring to a boil, and cool. Stir in the lemon juice and kirsch.
  3. To make the meringue, combine the egg whites and sugar in a medium-sized, heatproof bowl. Whisk over simmering water until the egg whites are hot and the sugar is dissolved. Off the heat, beat at medium speed until the meringue is cold and risen in volume, but not dry.
  4. Place one of the cake layers on a cardboard and brush with half of the syrup. Spread with the filling. Repeat with the second layer and remaining syrup. Spread the cake with the meringue and pipe a boarder of meringue on the cake, using a 1/2-inch star tube, such as Ateco #4.
  5. Place the cake, still on the cardboard, on a cookie sheet. Place in a preheated 400-degree oven for 3 to 4 minutes just to color the meringue. Remove from the oven and cool.
  6. To decorate the cake, rinse, hull, and slice the berries. Arrange the slices in concentric circles from the outside in.



1/2 cup cake flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

3 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

One 9 x 2-inch-deep round layer

  1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the cake flour and cornstarch and stir well to mix. Sift once and set aside. Whisk the eggs and yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk in the sugar in a stream, then the salt.
  3. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and gently whisk until the egg mixture is lukewarm. Whip by machine on high speed until the egg mixture is cold and increased in volume.
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift the cake flour mixture over the egg mixture, in 3 or 4 additions, folding it in with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top evenly with a spatula.
  5. Bake the layer for about 25 minutes, until well risen and firm to the touch.
  6. Loosen the layer from the sides of the pan and invert to a rack; immediately re-invert to a rack so that the cake layer cools on the paper.