Classic mimosa cake (Cake covered with sponge cake cubes)



Classic mimosa cake (Cake covered with sponge cake cubes)

March 8th is a special day. We pay homage to women with a flower the color of the sun and a sweet scent... or with a cake that preserves the same features: the mimosa cake! The name of this cake derives from being decorated with crumbled sponge cake: this recalls the bunches of the beautiful spring flower. For the mimosa cake you need to make two sponge cakes, one will be filled with a delicious custard mixed with whipped cream to make a soft diplomatic cream. The other sponge cake will be needed to cover the base: small cubes that will be used to cover the cake to create the "mimosa" effect. Make this cake for an evening with friends, for the women of the family or to enjoy whenever you feel like having this timeless cake!


Ingredients for two 8” (20 cm) diameter pans
Sugar 1 ¼ cup (250 g)
Flour 00 1 ¼ cup (140 g)
Potato starch ¾ cup (120 g)
Eggs 8 - at room temperature
Vanilla bean 2
Fine salt 1 pinch
For 30oz (850 g) pastry cream
Egg yolks 5
Sugar 1 cup (175 g)
Whole milk 2 cups (500 ml)
Heavy cream ½ cup (125 ml)
Cornstarch 7 tbsp (55 g)
Vanilla bean 1
For the chantilly cream
Heavy cream ½ cup (100 ml)
Powdered sugar 2 ½ tbsp (10 g)
For the liqueur syrup
Water 0.6 cup (130 g)
Sugar 0.3 cup (75 g)
Grand Marnier liqueur 0.3 cup (70 g)
To decorate
Powdered sugar to taste

Preparation of the 2 8" (20 cm) sponge cakes

To prepare the classic mimosa cake you first need to make the two sponge cakes. Make sure you have two 8" (20 cm) diameter pans and that both fit into the oven on the same shelf next to each other. If this is not the case, you will have to make one sponge cake at a time (just halve the indicated amounts). Preheat the oven to 325° F (160°) in static mode. Crack open the eggs, put them in a stand mixer and start whipping them at moderate speed 1. Cut both the vanilla pods, take out the seeds 2 and add them to the mixing bowl with a pinch of salt. At this point slowly add the sugar 3

Continue to whip for about 15 minutes until the eggs have tripled in volume and you have obtained a fluid and creamy mixture, slightly thickened 4. Stop the mixer and place a strainer directly over the bowl. Sift together the flour 5 and starch 6

and gently fold the powder in with upward movements from the bottom using a spatula 7, so as not to risk separating the mixture. When it is homogeneous 8, butter and flour the two 8" (20 cm) diameter cake pans. Divide the dough equally between the 2 cake pans 9.

Bake your sponge cake in a static oven preheated to 325° F (160° C), on the lower shelf, for about 50 minutes 10. Make sure they are baked by testing with a toothpick; if it emerges completely dry, you can take them out of the oven 11. Let them cool completely before you take them out of the pan 12. Then place them on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

To prepare the diplomatic cream

Now make the cream to fill the mimosa cake. Start with the pastry cream: cut the vanilla pod, take out the seeds 1 and set them aside. Pour the milk, cream and the empty pod 2 into a pan and heat it all on low until it is almost boiling. In the meantime, beat the yolks together with the sugar and vanilla seeds 3 in a bowl; it won't be necessary to whip them, just mix everything together. 

Sift the corn starch directly into the mixture 4 and stir again 5. As soon as the milk is hot, remove the pod using kitchen tongs 6.

and pour one ladle of it into the egg yolk mixture 7, stirring with a whisk to dissolve it. Pour everything into the pan with the hot milk 8 and, stirring constantly, let it thicken over low heat 9

Once ready, place it in a low and wide ovenproof dish and let it cool completely, covering it with transparent wrap when the cream is still hot 10. After it has cooled, pour the fresh cream into a bowl, add the powdered sugar and start whipping with the beaters 12

As soon as the cream is whipped well 13, take the cream and transfer it into another bowl. Whip lightly to soften it and start adding the cream. Add one spoonful 14 and stir vigorously to dilute the cream, then incorporate the remaining cream by moving the spatula very gently from the bottom to the top 15. Cover again with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to set for about 30 minutes. 

For the syrup

In the meantime, prepare the syrup for the cake too. Pour the water 1, liqueur 2 and sugar 3 into a saucepan. 

Turn on the burner and, while stirring, 4 heat the syrup until the sugar has melted 5, then pour it into another bowl 6 and let it cool. 

To assemble the dessert

As soon as everything is cool, you can assemble the dessert. First remove the outer crust from both sponge cakes, starting with the edges 1, then from the top 2 and finally from the bottom 3. At this stage try to remove only the darker part, so as to reduce waste. You can use the scraps as indicated at the bottom of the recipe.


Take one of the two sponge cakes and use a bread knife to cut 3 uniform layers. To cut the sponge cake as regularly as possible, you can cut laterally: make two notches with the bread knife to set the measure, then slowly sink the blade crosswise to obtain the first layer, helping the movement by turning the sponge cake as you cut to make it homogeneous and precise (4-5-6).

Place the first layer of sponge cake on a plate (we used a turntable, but a normal serving plate will do fine), then a pastry ring (you can also fill the cake without one): using a spoon, spread the previously prepared syrup over the whole surface of the disc and let it cool down 7. Now add about 1/4 of the cream 8 and level it with a spatula 9

Insert the second disc into the ring 10, bathe again 11 and cover with another layer of cream as previously described 12

Now insert the last disc and soak it again with the remaining syrup 13. Add one more layer of cream 14, saving some for the edges, and level evenly 15

Take the second sponge cake and cut it into vertical slices 16, then make some rather small cubes from each of them 17 and put them in a small bowl 18

Gently remove the ring from the mimosa cake 19 and use a spatula to add the remaining cream to the edges of the cake 20. Using a spoon, place the sponge cake cubes over the entire surface 21,

including the edges: the cubes will easily stick to the diplomatic cream 22. Once the whole surface 23 has been carefully covered, place the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours. When serving, dust your classic mimosa cake with powdered sugar 24!


The mimosa cake can be stored already assembled in the fridge for 3-4 days at most. The sponge cake alone can be stored for 2 days wrapped in plastic wrap, or frozen for a maximum of 1 month. The custard can also be stored for 2-3 days in the fridge, or frozen for 1 month.  


You can help yourself by making both the sponge cake and custard a day in advance. If you prefer you can flavor the cream with lemon peel or sweeten the cake by adding chocolate drops! For a non-alcoholic version, replace the Grand Marnier with orange juice. And in order not to throw away the sponge cake scraps, here are a couple of delicious recipes to reuse them: cake pops and chocolate truffles!

Interesting fact

In Italy, Women's Day was first celebrated on March 8, 1946, once the war was over to celebrate certain social, economic and political achievements of women. Immediately the mimosa cake became its symbol because the mimosa blooms in early March.