How to Make Mimosa Cake: The Italian Celebratory Sponge
Ever heard of the Mimosa cake? The cheerful, tactile, creamy sponge cake decorated with yellow flower-like crumbs is the sweet symbol of International Women's Day or Festa della Donna in Italy, when women are celebrated on 8 March.
The Mimosa Cake takes its name from its uncanny resemblance to the Mimosa flower, also given to women to celebrate women's day. In the classic recipe, the popular cake is made from sponge cake or Pan di spagna and a creamy custard mixed with whipped cream with a soft covering of sponge squares, although there are plenty of riffs on the recipe.
The mimosa cake was first invented by the pastry chef Adelmo Renzi who, in 1962, presented the cake during a confectionery contest in San Remo to pay homage to the "City of Flowers."
Here's how to make your very own Italian mimosa cake in an easy mimosa cake recipe from Giallo Zafferano.
How to make a mimosa cake
Watch how this authentic cake is made in Italy in the recipe below:
How to make the sponge for a Mimosa cake
- 4 whole eggs
- 8 egg yolks
- 20 grams of flour
- 40g potato starch
- 220 grams of sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly butter and flour a two springform cake pans with a diameter of about 22 centimetres.
- Combine eggs and sugar and beat for 10 to 15 minutes until seated and firm, then add the egg yolks and run for another 5 minutes.
- Then add sifted flour and potato starch gently folding in with a spatula to retain and incorporate the air in the mixture.
- Divide the mixture between two pre-prepared tins.
- Bake for about 30 minutes until lightly golden.
- Once cooked, turn out on a wire rack and leave to cool.
How to make the Chantilly Cream
While the sponge is cooking, get to work on the filling.
200ml of heavy cream
20g of icing sugar
Whip the cream until stiff and then add the sugar.
How to make the Creme Patissier
- 300ml heavy cream
- 300ml of whole milk
- 8 egg yolks
- 55g of flour
- 200g of sugar
- half a pod of vanilla
- Heat the cream, milk and vanilla pod, sliced into two to remove seeds. Once warm remove pod.
- Mix egg yolks, sugar and flour then add vanilla flavoured milk and bring slowly to the boil while stirring.
- Once the milk is thoroughly mixed let it thicken and remove from heat and let cool.
- Cover with cling film touching the surface to present a skin forming.
How to make the syrup
- 50g of sugar
- 100ml water
- 50ml of liqueur
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water and liqueur. Bring to boil. Stir until the sugar melts, set aside to cool.
How to assemble the mimosa cake
- Once the cakes have cooled remove the golden crust on top.
- Divide one cake into three discs about 2.5cm thick. Cut the second cake into slices about 1.5cm thick.
- Cut each slice into strips and then into cubes - to look like mimosa flowers.
- Brush the first sponge dish with cooled syrup, add a thin layer of whipped cream then cover with the creme patissier, about 1cm thick. Then cover with the next sponge cake disc and repeat.
- Cover the top and sides of the tiered cake with the rest of the creme patissier, then decorate with the cubed pieces of sponge cake, over the entire cake, including the sides and top.
- Leave the Mimosa cake in the fridge for at least an hour before serving it, both for Women's Day and on any other occasion.
The cake is best if eaten a day or two after its made but it keeps nicely for up to a week and also freezes well.