The Great Australian Bake Off

This lemon and poppyseed sponge topped with cream cheese and strawberries has an eye-catching Union Jack topper.


  • Jaconde almond sponge cake outer paste

  • 35g salted butter

  • 35g icing sugar

  • 1 large egg white

  • 30g cake flour

  • 10g cornflour

  • Americolor gel in white, red, royal blue and navy blue

  • Almond sponge

  • 60g almond meal

  • 60g icing sugar

  • 3 tbsp plain flour

  • 3 tbsp cornflour

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 tbsp white sugar

  • 2 tsp salted butter

  • Lemon and poppy seed sponge cake

  • 5 eggs

  • 2 cups castor sugar

  • 300ml oil

  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

  • 2 cups + 3 tablespoons sifted flour

  • 3 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp bicarb soda

  • 1 tsp cream of tartar

  • 200ml buttermilk

  • 4 lemons – for finely grated zest and juice

  • ¼ to ½ cup fine poppy seeds

  • 1 block (270grams) cream cheese

  • Lemon simple syrup

  • ¼ cup caster sugar

  • ½ cup lemon juice

  • Filling and Icing for cake

  • 250g salted butter

  • 250g cream cheese – room temperature

  • 700g icing mixture

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice and zest

  • Decorative

  • ¼ cup icing sugar

  • 3 punnets fresh strawberries – used in filling and for decor

  • Lemon zest- thick


  • For the lemon and poppy seed sponge cake:

  • 1.

    Using a stand mixer, whisk eggs and castor sugar very well till fluffy and white. Add lemon zest. Add oil and beat mixture for few more minutes, then add the vanilla. Sift flour, baking powder, cream of tartar and bicarb. Add lemon juice to warm milk.

  • 2.

    Alternatively, very gently, fold flour mixture and milk mixture into egg mixture using the figure 8 motion to incorporate air into mixture. Pour into 3 x 8-inch (20cm) round cake pans. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 30-35 minutes.

  • For the syrup:

  • 1.

    Place castor sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and boil together. Add a few tablespoons of water if necessary.

  • For the decorative paste for outer cake layer:

  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C, using a large baking tray (25cm x 38cm) grease with spray oil, then place template on tray and line with baking paper. Assemble all ingredients for decorative paste. Cream the butter and icing sugar with k-beater in a stand mixer. Add egg white and whisk until incorporated.

  • 2.

    Whisk in cake flour and cornflour until just combined.

  • 3.

    Divide mixture into half and colour one half red. Leave other half white. Spoon red mixture into a disposable piping bag with attached round small nozzle and pipe over design as per template below baking paper (double the recipe if more batter is required).

  • 4.

    Place in freezer for 10 minutes, then remove and pipe white pattern for flag over. Then place back in freezer while preparing the Jaconde sponge.

  • For the Jaconde almond sponge:

  • 1.

    Assemble ingredients and melt butter and keep aside to cool. Mix together the almond meal, icing sugar, plain flour and cornflour in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk in eggs one at a time. Beat on medium for 5 minutes to incorporate air into mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar until glossy and firm but not dry.

  • 2.

    Fold the egg white mixture into the almond mixture and then fold in cooled, melted butter and dark blue gel colour.

  • 3.

    Remove baking tray from freezer and pour blue almond batter over the decorative patterns, tilting the tray for the batter to spread evenly or use offset spatula to spread it. Tap tray a few times to remove air bubbles.

  • 4.

    Bake on 180°C for 7-8 minutes or until golden.

  • 5.

    Let the sponge cool for a few minutes and then invert it onto a baking paper or cling sprinkled with icing sugar. Pull off baking paper or silpat and trim any crispy edges.

  • 6.

    Cut sponge in half horizontally so each piece will be placed around cake, over icing.

  • For the cream cheese filling and icing:

  • 1.

    Using a stand mixer, cream butter well, then add cream cheese and lemon zest. Slowly add icing mixture and lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt and whip for a few minutes until creamy and ready to pipe. Remove 2 cups of icing and place in another bowl.

  • 2.

    Add chopped strawberries to icing to create filling between layers. Reserve remainder for top and sides of cake.

  • To assemble:

  • 1.

    Once cakes have been cooled in freezer, remove and start stacking on an 8-inch cake board. Place a little icing on base and place first layer of cake. Lightly brush cake with lemon syrup.

  • 2.

    Top with filling that has strawberry pieces, then top with another layer of cake and repeat. Cover sides of cake with icing and carefully place jaconde layer around cake like a collar. Pipe icing on top of cake to create a neat border.

  • 3.

    Cut whole strawberries with petal shape and place on piped rosettes.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (42 servings)

  • Energy 372kj
  • Fat Total 22g
  • Saturated Fat 7g
  • Protein 4g
  • Carbohydrate 40g
  • Sugar 30g
  • Sodium 180mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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This recipe has not been edited or tested by the Bake Off Food Department.

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