Mascarpone cream cake with boozy berries

The ultimate summer cake – two golden layers sandwiching a thick cloud of cream, served with fresh berries in a sweet, boozy syrup. Adapted from from epicurious.com, where one reviewer dubbed it a giant gourmet Twinkie.

Cake ingredients

  • 2 cups cake flour or 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour plus 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (1/4 teaspoon if using salted butter)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

Macerated berries

  • 1/2 cup Fino (dry) sherry
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups mixed berries, cut if large

Cream filling

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) mascarpone
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Measure the flour lightly; don’t pack. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add roughly 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Then add 1/2 the buttermilk, mixing until just combined. Alternate mixing in another 1/3 of the flour, the rest of the buttermilk, and the rest of the flour, mixing after each addition until just combined.
  6. Spread batter in cake pan, shaking the cake pan from side to side to even out the batter. Rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles.
  7. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Reinvert cake onto rack to cool completely.
  8. Bring sherry and sugar to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Put berries in a bowl and pour hot syrup over them, gently tossing to coat. Let stand 15 minutes to two hours.
  9. Beat mascarpone and cream with sugar in a large bowl using cleaned beaters until mixture just holds stiff peaks.
    Put layer on a plate (flatten with serrated knife if necessary), then spread evenly with all of cream and second layer.
  10. Serve with berries and syrup.

Notes

  • Optional add: lemon zest in cake batter.
  • Cake can be baked a day ahead. Wrap in plastic wrap once cool and keep at room temperature. Layer with cream before serving (store in refrigerator if assembling cake more than an hour or so before serving).
  • Sherry alternatives: orange-flavored liqueur (eg triple sec, grand marnier), amaretto, sweet marsala. Or for a nonalcoholic version, use fresh orange juice mixed with a bit of sugar (don’t heat).
  • Refrigerate leftover cake to maintain freshness of cream-based frosting.

Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.

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