Custard and cream layer cake with brandied cherries

This cake is a complete shortcut from beginning to end: anyone can make it! And yes, you can also go the long route and make all the different parts yourself, but sometimes we all need a little extra time on our hands. Using store-bought ready-made ingredients, this cake will still taste great and you’ll even be able to say: “I made it myself!” (there is quite enough assembling going into it to claim it.)

Another great aspect is that you can change up the fruit on top to create your own masterpiece. Use any canned (or fresh) fruit of your choice – the options are limitless. Canned or preserved fruit just works great because of the syrup that comes with it, which means that you have an instant drizzling sauce for the sponge cake layers. Adding a shot of brandy makes it even more delicious, but keep it optional according to the guests you’ll be serving it to.

Ingredients: (you can buy all of these ready-made at a good supermarket)

  • 1 x round plain sponge cake (ask your local supermarket’s bakery department for a plain one if you don’t see it on the shelf)
  • 1 and a half cups ready-made custard (cold or room temperature)
  • 1 cup fresh cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract
  • 2 heaped tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 can of tinned or jarred cherries in a brandy syrup (or cherries in plain syrup or any other fruit in syrup), pitted. I used a jar of brandied cherries that a friend gave me. Go hunting at your local market for an exciting selection of preserved fruit!
  • 30 ml brandy (optional)


  1. Cut the sponge cake into 3 or 4 thin layers. I use a smooth, unserrated knife for best results – it creates minimal crumbs.
  2. Whip the cream, vanilla and sugar together untill soft peaks form, then fold into the custard with a metal spoon.
  3. Separate the fruit from the syrup, and optionally add the brandy to the syrup.  Otherwise keep the syrup as is. Pit the fruit where applicable.
  4. Start assembling the cake, putting down the first layer of sponge cake on your cake cake stand. Drizzle lightly with a few spoons of syrup, then cover with a layer of custard cream. Repeat untill all the layers are assembled on top of each other.
  5. Arrange the fruit on top, in your desired pattern. Slice cake carefully and serve at room temperature.

Other usefull tips:

  • Don’t be scared to make your own sponge cake or custard if you have the time – it is really satisfying to make the whole cake yourself.
  • If you are making your own custard, make it a thick consistency and remember to cool it down completely (stir vigorously every now and then while cooling to prevent a tough layer from forming on the top) before folding with the whipped cream.
  • If you are using store-bought ready-made custard which is very runny, whip your cream to a slightly stiffer consistency before adding the 2 together. The mixture should be able to hold shape.
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  1. My mom made this often when we were kids, maybe I should remind her this weekend. I am not sure, I am up to this kind of standard!!

    1. Nina, I’m sure you would outdo all of us on a cake like this! Let me know what your mom’s recipe was like! X

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