A delightful moist vanilla layer cake loaded with sweet strawberries and lathered with a sweet mascarpone cream frosting. Not too sweet though, just right! Perfect for any celebration: birthdays, weddings, brunches, graduations, or just another glorious day of living!
For the Cake:
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. freshly-cracked sea salt (regular or Kosher salt is fine too)
- 3/4 cup (6 oz.) butter, softened
- 1/4 cup (2 oz) oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 drops almond extract (be very careful, this is VERY strong)
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 lbs. fresh strawberries (use more if you choose too)
- Enough whole strawberries to garnish the cake around the base and on the top
For the Mascarpone Cream Frosting:
- 6 cups heavy cream
- 2 – 3 cups powdered sugar (taste as you add to achieve your preferred level of sweetness)
- 24 oz. Mascarpone cheese
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- electric stand-up mixer with paddle and whisk attachments
- 1 large and 1 medium mixing bowl, several small bowls to hold ingredients
- 3 8″ baking pans
- 3 cake cooling racks
- parchment paper
- rubber spatula
- bench scraper
- cake decorating spatula/knife
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter (not grease) 3 8″ round cake baking pans, then line with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper and butter the sides of the cake pan, then dust each pan lightly with flour, shake or tap out any excess flour. Set pans aside while you prepare the cake.
To Prepare the Cake:
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into it.
- In the bowl of the standing mixer, fit on the paddle attachment. Whip the softened butter, oil, and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- One at a time, mix in the eggs. Add the vanilla and almond extracts after the last egg is added.
- On low speed, add ⅓ of the flour mixture at a time, alternating with ½ of the milk and cream until combined after each addition. Add the sour cream and mix for a minute or two until blended. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl and gently fold the batter several times.
- Divide the batter evenly among the 3 prepared baking pans.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes on the same rack. Check to see that a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake. * See notes below.
- Cool in the pan on the cooling rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to make sure that they are loosened. Flip the pans over and tap the bottom of the pan to release the cake layers. Remove the parchment paper and place a cake layer on each of the 3 cooling racks. Cool completely for 30 minutes.
- Once cooled, frost each cake layer with the mascarpone cream. Lay a generous amount of cut-up strawberries on top of each layer of the mascarpone cream.
- Insert 3 wooden skewers (broken off to match the height of the cake) evenly spaced to prevent the cake from tipping over.
To Make the Mascarpone Cream:
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form (when necessary, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl).
- Add ⅓ of the powdered sugar and whip until stiff peaks form (if not stiff your frosting will be runny). Scrape this out into a separate bowl. Set aside to add back later.
- Add the mascarpone cheese to the stand mixer’s bowl, fit with the paddle attachment and whip until smooth and fluffy.
- Mix in the last remaining ⅔ of the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla.
- Return the whipped cream/powdered sugar mixture to the mixing bowl. Mix until blended, about 1 minute.
- Frost each layer and then the top and sides of the entire cake.
- Garnish with fresh, whole strawberries.
- Everyone’s ovens are different in temperature accuracy, so use an oven thermometer to bake at the correct temperature and time. But I also keep my eyes on cakes in the oven during the last 5 minutes so that they don’t overbake. For me, tapping on the top of the cake works: if it is firm and doesn’t jiggle, it’s done.
- Inspired by Cooking Classy
- See Baker’s Tips in the blog post