My absolute favorite Strawberry Mascarpone Cake is made from layers of moist vanilla cake, fresh strawberry filling and silky mascarpone whipped cream frosting. This simple strawberry layer cake is bursting with berries-and-cream flavor. It’s the perfect summertime dessert!
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
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 strips if desired.
- 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.
- Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
- 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.
- 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.
- Divide the batter evenly between the three pans, 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.
- Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
For the Filling:
- Chop and puree the strawberries using an immersion blender or food processor.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the flour and sugar, and stir to combine. Add the pureed strawberries, and lemon juice sugar and stir well. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture starts to boil, stirring frequently.
- 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.
- Allow the puree to cool completely, refrigerating to help speed up the process.
For the Frosting:
- Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill.
- 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.
- Then increase the mixing speed to high (speed 8-10) and beat it until soft peaks form.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 border (a dam) along the outside edge of your cake. You may need to do this twice.
- 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)
- Pipe another thin layer of frosting over the strawberry sauce and spread it evenly with your offset spatula.
- 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.
- 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 coat frosting back into your icing if it has cake debris in it.
- Proceed to frost the top and sides of the cake using your offset spatula. Once the sides of the cake are covered, use an icing smoother to remove any excess frosting.
- Use the 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 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 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 and 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 them ahead of time. Refrigerate any leftover filling. 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.
- To make two 9-inch cakes: Bake for 28-32 minutes. Baking times will vary due to how full the pans are, the type of pans, and the 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 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 cups 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.
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: strawberry birthday cake, strawberry vanilla cake, strawberry layer cake