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Strawberry Mascarpone Layer Cake

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This Strawberry Mascarpone Cake is layered with a homemade moist vanilla cake, a fresh strawberry filling and mascarpone whipped cream. It’s the perfect combination for a strawberries and cream cake.  


A slide of layered vanilla cake with a strawberry filling and vanilla frosting on a pink plate with a strawberry on top

Strawberry Mascarpone Cake

I thought it would be fitting that I share this Strawberry Mascarpone Layer Cake for my birthday because Memorial Day always seems to be the kick off of summer, and berry season is in full effect. While I have used strawberries for this recipe, you could definitely substitute your favorite berry.

I naturally fell head over heels in love with this cake after the first bite. Seriously. The combination of my favorite homemade vanilla cake, with a fresh strawberry filling, and the most addicting frosting ever. That’s right, a mascarpone whipped cream. Honey, just give me a bowl of that and a spoon and I am good-to-go!

It’s a dangerous situation to be left along with this cake. 

A layered strawberry cake on a white cake plate. The is a big slice missing, showing the inside of the cake and layers of strawberry filling, vanilla cake and frosting.


Seriously the best Vanilla Cake

The cake is my moist vanilla cake recipe but baked as a layer cake. The batter makes about 5 cups, which makes for 3 nice and thick layers of cake. I just love this cake because it’s nice and dense, so it’s easy to handle. Most of all, I love that you can get a true vanilla taste in this cake and you know it’s homemade.

The recipe is quite simple, and uses basic pantry ingredients. It’s an oil-based cake instead of butter, so it comes together rather quickly.

However, there’s one thing you can’t skip and that’s the sour cream. Sour cream is the secret to making a moist cake, and since this cake will be refrigerated, we really want to to be sure this cake won’t dry out. If you don’t have sour cream, you can use Greek Yogurt.

an overhead shot of a glass mixing bowl and a teal hand mixer

Strawberry Cake Filling

While the cake is baking, I prepare my fresh strawberry filling, as this needs some time to cool prior to adding to the cake. This simple strawberry puree is similar to the one I used in my strawberry cheesecake poke cake. It’s easy to prepare.

  • First, I cut the strawberries into small pieces and then I gently puree them with a food processor.
  • Sprinkle the sugar and flour over the strawberries and add some lemon juice. 
  • It’s important to add just the right amount of flour. Too little flour, and the puree will be too thin, but too much flour might make it a little too thick for you. So, use your best judgement, and start with one tablespoon of flour and if your puree doesn’t thicken, you can add some additional flour, up to one additional tablespoon.
  • Then the strawberries are cooked over medium heat until the mixture has thickened. Cool completely prior to adding to the cake. It may also thicken more as it sets. 

A layer cake with vanilla cake, strawberry filling and whipped cream frosting. The cake has a few bites taken out of it.

Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting

Finally, the mascarpone whipped cream, this is one of my favorite frosting recipes. It’s a stabilized whipped cream but the mascarpone makes it much thicker than traditional whipped cream. It’s much easier to pipe because it has more structure. 

If you can’t find mascarpone, you can use cream cheese, but the mascarpone has a much more subtle, less tangy flavor than cream cheese. 

The most important thing is to be sure and whip it until you get stiff peaks, which means that if you ran a knife through it, it would hold its shape. It’s best to use this frosting right away and keep it refrigerated as you’re working with it. If you notice it starting to wilt, whip it for a couple minutes, and if needed, s

An overhead shot of a glass mixing bowl with a whisk filled with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

Assembling the cake

For any layer cake, you want to make sure to cut the dome off the top of the cake, so it’s nice and flat on top. This helps prevent the cake from sliding. 

4 photos collaged together to show how to torte and level a cake layer

When you are assembling your cake, you need to build up a “dam” or a “wall” of frosting along the outside edge of your cake prior to adding the strawberry filling in the middle. This will prevent the strawberry filling from seeping out of the edges of your cake. This is where using a piping bag for the filling comes in real handy. 

  • Pipe an edge/border of whipped cream around the outside edge of your cake, about 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick.
  • Then add the strawberry filling and spread evenly
  • Pipe some whipped cream on top and gently spread it around over the strawberry filling
  • Add the next cake layer on top and repeat. 
  • Invert the top layer, so the bottom of the cake layer is the top of your cake. This gives you a nice flat surface to work with. 
  • Finish decorating the cake! 

A slide of layered vanilla cake with a strawberry filling and vanilla frosting on a pink plate with a strawberry on top

Tools for making this cake

  • For my cakes, I used 8-inch baking pans. I always generously grease (usually Crisco shortening) and flour my baking pan.
  • Line the bottom of the pans with either parchment paper circles or my new Silpat liners
  • Line the outsides of your pans with bake even stripes. This help keeps the edges of the cake from cooking too quickly. When the edges bake too quickly, it forces the batter in the center of the cake to dome up.  Then you have to cut off those domes to make your layers nice, flat and even- and nobody likes to waste cake.
  • For more cake making tips, you might find my post How to Make a Layer Cake helpful

An 8inch cake pan lined with a silpat baking liner

I love to slice into this cake and see that layer of fresh strawberries in between layers of whipped cream and vanilla cake. It’s the perfect strawberry and cream cake.

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A layered strawberry cake on a white cake plate. The is a big slice missing, showing the inside of the cake and layers of strawberry filling, vanilla cake and frosting.

Strawberry Mascarpone Layer Cake

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 70 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices


This Strawberry Mascarpone Cake is layered with a homemade moist vanilla cake, a fresh strawberry filling and mascarpone whipped cream. It’s the perfect combination for a strawberries and cream cake.  


For the cake:

  • 2 cups (380g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon (14.8 ml) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (118 ml) light sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons (11.2 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 ¼ cups (296 ml) milk (I use nonfat)

For the filling:

  • 2 cups strawberries (303g), pureed
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (24g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour (8g), sifted

For the frosting:

  • 2 ½ cup (592ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ¼ cup (163g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese, cold


  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8-inch round baking pans, line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides. Prepare your bake even stripes if desired.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add half the dry ingredients and beat on low speed while pouring in half of the milk. Mix just until the flour starts to incorporate.
  5. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing on low speed while pouring in the remaining milk and beating until all of the ingredients are well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the three pan, about 1 2/3 cups of batter per pan. Bake at 350°F for 20-23 minutes. Rotate your pans in the oven halfway through baking.
  7. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, you cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  8. For the filling: Chop and puree the strawberries using an immersion blender or food processor.
  9. In a medium-sized sauce pan, combine the flour and sugar, and stir to combine. Add the pureed strawberries, lemon juice sugar and stir well. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture starts to boil, stirring frequently.
  10. Reduce heat and simmer for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the strawberry puree starts to thicken. If the puree seems too thin, add up to 1 tablespoon of additional flour.
  11. Allow the puree to cool completely, refrigerating to help speed up the process.
  12. For the frosting: Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill.
  13. Spoon the COLD mascarpone whipped cream into your bowl and beat on a medium-low speed (speed 3 on your stand mixer). Slowly pour in the heavy cream, allowing the mascarpone cheese to turn to a liquid consistency.
  14. Then increase the mixing speed to high (speed 8-10) and beat it until soft peaks form.
  15. Next, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, beating on low until sugar is incorporated. Then continue beating at a high speed until stiff peaks form.
  16. To assemble the cake, use a cake leveler to cut the domes off the top of the cake. Place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place the bottom layer of cake on top of that.
  17. Place half of the whipped cream in a large piping bag fitted with a large open round tip, or simply cut off the end of the piping bag. Pipe a thick boarder (a dam) along the outside edge of your cake. You may need to do this twice.
  18. Spread half of the strawberry mixture over the cake, carefully filling the inside of the dam you created (so the sauce doesn’t leak out the sides)
  19. Pipe another thin layer of frosting over the strawberry sauce and spread evenly with your offset spatula.
  20. Add the second layer of cake and repeat the above steps using all of the remaining strawberry sauce. Next, add the final layer of cake on top.
  21. Use your piping bag to fill in any gaps between your layers and to create a crumb coat. Using an offset spatula or icing smoother, wipe away the excess frosting, leaving you just enough to coat the outside of the cake. Do not mix your crumb coating frosting back into your icing if it has cake debris in it.
  22. Proceed to frost the top and sides of the cake using your offset spatula. Once the sides of the cake are covered, use you icing smoother to remove any excess frosting.
  23. Use remaining frosting to pipe the florets on the top of the cake using an Ateco 846 tip (large open star). Garnish with leftover strawberries. This cake must be refrigerated.


  • Sour cream substitute: Sour cream helps keeps these cupcakes very moist, I do not recommend omitting it. Substitute with with non-fat Greek Yogurt if you do not have sour cream. Full-fat sour cream is also workable, but I prefer low-fat or fat-free.
  • Any type of milk can be used (full, reduced or low-fat)
  • Cake Flour is NOT a suitable substitute for all-purpose flour in this recipe.
  • Any type of fruit for the filling should suffice. If you are using frozen fruit, just be sure the puree has thickened before you take it off the heat. Do not use frozen strawberries that contain any extra juice or syrup.
  • Storage & Make Ahead options: This cake must be refrigerated once frosted. If you need to make it ahead of time, I recommend making the cake layers and filling ahead of time. Refrigerate the filling.  Then when you’re ready to assemble, make the frosting. Store in an airtight container or Cake Carrier in the refrigerator. Add fresh fruit when ready to serve. Prepare up to 2 days in advance with proper storage.
  • Baking pans: Please note the recipe is tested only as a 3 layer 8-inch pan. The below guidelines are adjusted baking times for the CAKE ONLY. Not for the filling and frosting. 
    • For two 9-inch cakes, they baked from 28-32 minutes. Baking times will vary due to how full the pans are, type of pans and true oven temperature. Please note these did “crust” a little more on the outside edge due to extended baking times and they rose quite a bite in the middle, so you’ll lose more of the “dome” of the cake.
    • For two 8-inch pans: divide the batter evenly, about 2 1/2 cups per each pan. Bake for 28-32 minutes.
    • For 6-inch pans: a full cake recipe will make four 6-inch layers, filling each one with about 1 1/3 cup of batter and baking for approximately 24-30 minutes. Dowels may be required for stacking.
    • For 10 inch pans: I’ve never tested this cake recipe with 10 inch pans, but I would recommend a 2 layer cake so you still have nice, thick layers. Trying baking for 18-20 minutes and assessing additional time needed from there.
    • For a single layer cake: bake in a 9×13-inch pan for 28-32 minutes. Cut the frosting in half.
Nutrition Information:
1 slice
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Strawberry Cake, Strawberry Shortcake Recipe, strawberry cake filling, white cake with strawberries


Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

296 Responses
  1. Heidi

    I’ve never been able to get the icing to be stiff enough to layer the cake without it squirting out the sides. Any other recommendations or tips?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Heidi, you can try adding more powdered sugar, and beating it for longer. Some of it may seep to the edges, but if the dam of frosting is wide enough it should keep the filling in. The frosting that seeps out, you can use to frost the sides of the cake. I would also try using a different brand of mascarpone.

  2. Martha

    Hi! Love the cake!! I have made the cake many times for events, they were great! even I has made into cupcakes, come out beautiful!
    question, how long the cake by inselft can be freeze? One month and half wil be fine
    sorry for my english, Im from another country.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Martha, yes, you can freeze the cake layers for one month without problem. Cool them, and place some parchment paper on the top and bottom. Wrap them twice in plastic wrap

  3. Elizabeth

    This cake is very delicious. The frosting is not a stiff frosting and the recipe is not quite enough for decorations. I ended up just smoothing it all over and decorating with strawberries. I used cornstarch in the filling instead of flour.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Thank you so much Elizabeth! If you put a little less between the layers or around the outside you should have enough left to decorate with.

  4. Cat31

    Cake was a total fail for me. Very dense. So wanted it to turn out as it was my granddaughters first birthday cake.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Cat- If it was truly dense, it’s likely a result of too much flour or overmixing. But this cake is more dense than it in light and fluffy. It should be moist and spongy.

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