Sister Dearest/-/ Tierd Macaron, honey and strawberry cake


My sister’s birthday was this past weekend and of course I made the cake. I would never describe my relationship with my sisters has close. I am not being my negative self but it is reality. The age gap between me and sisters is about 10 years. As you can see 10 years difference does mean I have lot of catching up to do.


My two older sisters have always been close while I drifted off into the background. Left often to entertain myself with make believe stories I acted out with winnie the pooh figurines and play sets. Sad yes, but this story does not end on a low note. This is why I love my sister more than anything is her ability to make the best out of nothing and the effort she puts into little things


While I admit it does make forming a close relationship difficult but she has always made me feel involved even though she does not have to.

I remember she always used to take me out during summer school holidays when I was in primary school. If you are unfamiliar with the Australian school system, the summer holidays are longest and often the most boring one for me as a small child. I never had anyone to play with. No younger or close to sibling to pick fights with, no pets as my father despised them (fortunately that has now changed) and my parents both work full time, so family day was something of fantasy.


Even though she was only a teenager at the time, she would make what ever we had. Whether it is playing along with my make believe games or a simple movie rental she always made it fun. 

Now she has her own family and me being able to adventure, we sometimes do not talk as much as we used to but like my childhood we still make the best it. 

So thank you, for bringing a bit of hope to my days.


Now I am photo bombing you guys but with good reason! If you saw my post on instatgram, I made tons of macarons. This is where they all went! She loves these little cookies more than anything else. She would of have requested a macaron tower but I already made one for her the year before. Inspired by the ever wonderful Donna hay I used the tied layer cake in her 10th birthday magazine as my inspiration for this cake.


I don’t think I need to explain how delicious this cake was. Strawberry and honey is an unlikely flavour but it does work! Creamy and dreamy buttercream using French and swiss method provide contrast to this cake. One devilishly rich, the other subtle but smooth as silk layered between a strawberry infused sponge. Of course the star is the macarons; I really do not have to do anything to them to make them any better. This is a long recipe but it is well worth to make something like this once in a while. Go on spoil someone you love with this cake. They will love you for it!


Honey and vanilla macaron layer cake with strawberry sponge.

Inspired by Donna Hay and Cake recipe from this post

3 batches of Plain colour macaron shells (recipe follows)

1 recipe of honey swiss butter cream

2 recipe of vanilla swiss butter cream

1 recipe of vanilla French butter cream

3 batches of strawberry sponge cake

2 Cake tins in 22cm, 18cm and 12cm (lined and greased)


Macaron shells

Macaron recipe from Tartelette

90g egg whites

110grams almond meal

200g icing sugar

25g caster sugar

Food colouring of any colour; I used yellow, purple and pink gels here.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, (think bubble bath foam) gradually add the sugar and milk powder until you obtain a glossy meringue (think shaving cream

Place the powdered sugar and almonds in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets.

Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 280F/150C. When ready, bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture.

Don’t let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer.

Vanilla swiss butter cream

From brave tart’s swiss butter cream recipe

140g egg whites

140g caster sugar

3g sea salt flakes

1 teaspoon of clear vanilla extract

210g unsalted, cubed, softish butter.

In medium bowl whisk together your egg whites and caster sugar.

Place bowl over a saucepan of simmer water. Whisk continuously until the sugar is fully dissolved. Rub a bit of mix between your fingers to test.

Transfer mix to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat until it becomes a big fluffy and white. At this point it should take about 8 minutes for the meringue to come to room temperature.

Change to paddle mix. While beating the mix on medium with the paddle add the butter a cube at a time until it fully combined. GO slowly here and scrape down the bowl frequently. Once butter is all added, beat on medium high till it is fluffy and pale.

Add vanilla and beat again.

Set aside for later use

Honey swiss butter cream

140g egg whites

140g caster sugar

3g sea salt flakes

1 teaspoon of clear vanilla extract

210g unsalted, cubed, soft butter.

200g runny honey.

Follow same instructions as the Vanilla swiss butter cream. In order to incorporate honey use the final vanilla. While beating on low, pour in the honey into the vanilla swiss butter cream until combined.

Set aside for later use

Vanilla French butter cream

6 yolks

250g caster sugar

30ml water

450g butter

2 tsp clear vanilla extract.

In a stand mixer beat egg yolks until pale yellow and fluffy. This takes about 7 minutes.

At the same time, in a sauce pan combined sugar and water. Place on stove on medium heat. You are making sugar syrup.

Heat the syrup, swirling to evenly distribute heat. Bring the mix to 118C.

Once it reaches this temperature, drizzle the syrup into the beating bowl of egg yolks. Make sure to pour down the side to avoid the beaters.

Continue to beat until this mix is room temperature. It will not be as big as the normal egg white mixes but it should be pale and creamy.

Change to paddle.

Add the butter slowly on medium speed. Scrape the bowl often. Continue this process until all butter is added.

Add vanilla and beat on high medium until fluffy.

Set aside.


Strawberry sponge

6 eggs

150g caster sugar

180g plain flour

20g butter melted

40g Strawberry milk powder

Optional; pink food colour

Preheat oven to 185c. Grease and line your spring form tins with baking paper.

Prepare a saucepan with simmering water.

Break eggs into your mixing bowl of a stand mixer and beat until it has triple in volume,

While whisking add the sugar, milk powder and food gel slowly once it is at the foam stage. Keep whisking to it is thick and glossy but it will very wet like (not like normal meringue).

Remove bowl from electric mixer and place over the simmering water.

With a large whisk, beat the mixture until it reaches a temperature of 40C. Use a thermometer for this part as you need to stabilise the egg yolks before adding flour.

Return to stand mixer and whisk until it forms soft peaks.

Remove bowl from mixer and shiver in your flour.

Fold the flour into the egg mix. DO not over work!

Add melted butter and fold in just till it is incorporated

Bake at 180C for 20-25 until the top is golden brown, and the skewer is inserted and comes out cleanly.


For each cake layer you will need to trim and crumb ice each one using vanilla swiss butter cream. Fridge for 1 hour.

Do a final coating for each layer in French butter cream.

Layer cakes from largest to smallest.

Place a small amount of butter cream on the backs of each macaron and push in around each cake layer.

'Sister Dearest/-/ Tierd Macaron, honey and strawberry cake' have 12 comments

  1. August 12, 2013 @ 12:46 pm Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    This cake looks absolutely gorgeous — I can’t even imagine how good the buttercream tastes with the strawberry (and the macarons — so much yum!). Happy belated birthday to your sister!


    • August 12, 2013 @ 12:58 pm Belinda Lo

      Thank you Stephanie! I definitely give her message.


  2. August 14, 2013 @ 12:59 pm Averie @ Averie Cooks

    The combo of Strawberry and honey is an excellent one and I am just blown away by this cake! The macarons themselves, TWO kinds of buttercream, the layers, the strawberry sponginess – I can just see it from the pics. Oh so good! And beautiful! Pinned!


    • August 14, 2013 @ 2:13 pm Belinda Lo

      You are too nice! Thanks for pinning it! Strawberry and honey great combo, almost as good as bananas and honey. I do it because it my sister. for all she has done, she is worth at at least three layers of cake.


  3. August 18, 2013 @ 9:49 am Nami | Just One Cookbook

    I wish you are my neighbor. I will totally order this cake for my birthday. 🙂 Literally, perfection Belinda!


    • August 18, 2013 @ 1:29 pm Belinda Lo

      I would gladly make one for you Nami!
      Everyone need a macaron cake once in their life.


  4. August 19, 2013 @ 1:53 pm kellypea

    What a lovely cake! The macarons really send it over the top. As for sisters, mine is much closer to my age, but we’ve never really been close. And she doesn’t like cake, so I couldn’t even bribe her with something as wonderful as this. Your sister is one lucky gal!


    • August 19, 2013 @ 2:28 pm Belinda Lo

      Oh Kelly I guess not all sister relationships work out to be close. *hugs*
      However I am sure if you made this for her she would still lvoe you for it! Who can say no to macaron?


  5. August 19, 2013 @ 8:34 pm Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    So, so pretty, I love the macaron toppers!


    • August 20, 2013 @ 3:55 pm Belinda Lo

      my sisters fave part was the mascarons too! Thanks for dropping by and commenting Laura!


  6. September 22, 2013 @ 1:01 pm Monica

    Belinda – such a sweet story about your sisters. My brother is 10 years older than I am and my sister, 7 years older. We are pretty close considering the age “gap”. I love this cake and macarons – I also use the Tartlette recipe when I attempt my own. Great job! I’m glad I swung by here.


    • September 23, 2013 @ 12:31 pm Belinda Lo

      Thank you Monica. It must bring back good memories, You are so lucky to have siblings like that.
      I hope you stay! I have more goodness to upload every week


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