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06 August 2013

Strawberry, Mascarpone Layer Cake

Yesterday was the hubby's birthday! He turned the big 2- ;) I cannot tell you his real age, can I? Because then of course, you would know my age (or at least a ball park). He is the love of my life (call it newlywed bliss :) and I wish him nothing but another year of health, happiness, love, sweet memories and lots and lots of laughter! Oh and of course....lots of time with Ninja and I :) I took the hubby to dinner at a really nice restaurant nearby that I've been to and really liked but that the hubby had not been too. We both had seafood- the hubby had Ahi Tuna and I had Red Snapper ...mmm....mmmm...good!  And I found this adorable card that was meant to be--with cute little shar pei on it! Of course I had to get it! Though i wish the puppies had a black coat.

For dessert, although I am sure buying a cake would probably be prettier and much, much easier. I was definitely in a mindset that I would be a "good" wife and make it for him. Really, I just needed more practice on my cake making.

I realized I have not made too many cakes, because they are just too hard for me! And I have the awful trait, where I only like to do things that I am good at-- and making cakes is not one of them :/ They end up taking me forever and I create a huge mess! And the whole time, I am frustrated! Hahah...aren't I so convincing in why you should make a cake ;) Last year, the hubby's birthday cake, was the first cake that I ever made, and then I made a cake for Angie's birthday late that month-- both of which I did not feel came out that great, aesthetically. But I did really like how my Chocolate Fudge Cake, that I made for my Blog's first birthday, turned out. Granted it was chocolate- so I am sure I was biased. So, I was long overdue on more cake making practice.

Of course the hubby requested a cake that was not chocolate. And I joke, that whenever I make a cake that is not chocolate, you know it's true love :) This year, instead of Lemon Cake, he wanted a strawberry inspired cake-- that was the only hint he gave me.  I know! So annoying! I searched and searched for a perfect recipe. I could not just settle on one recipe-- so this cake is a mix of different recipes I found. I wanted to try a creative recipe, especially for the frosting, because the hubby loves trying different things and I wanted to surprise him with something he was not expecting...and it worked! He really enjoyed it and then took some to work for his co-workers to enjoy as well.

He still has quite a bit of cake left and has made the very adult decision to eat cake for breakfast until he finishes :) That is why I married him- a man that appreciates cake for breakfast is a keeper!

This is definitely a more complicated recipe, but well worth it :)


Cake slightly adapted from Just a Pinch
Mascarpone frosting slightly adapted from Baked Bree


Preheat Oven to 325F Degrees

1 box of white cake mix, sifted
1 c. cake flour, sifted
1 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. whole milk
1 c. sour cream
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 egg whites

1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
2 cartons of strawberries (or 1 large carton)

12 oz. of mascarpone cheese (1 1/2 containers)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. powdered sugar, sifted
2 c. heavy whipping cream

Optional: Graham Cracker Crumbs

For the Cake:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, whisk together cake mix, flour and sugar. Then add in milk, sour cream, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Scrape down sides and mix again until well incorporated. Finally add in egg whites.

Grease 2-8 inch round pans. Divide batter equally among 2 pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top of the cakes are slightly golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to slightly cool. Then turn them out and let cool completely.

If cake is not completely flat, use either a cake leveler or knife, to make cake completely even.

For the Filling:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip heavy whipping cream, on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside in refrigerator.

Using half a carton- hull strawberries and slice lengthwise. Set aside.

Then, place one carton of strawberries in the bowl of  a food processor and pulse until the sauce appears to be like a "chunky applesauce." Using a strainer, push the strawberry puree through- to get rid of excess water. Fold strained strawberry puree (i.e., puree minus the water) into the whipped cream. The whipped topping will become a pink color when puree is well incorporated. Then fold in sliced strawberries.

Keep in refrigerator until assembling cake. Reserve 1/2 carton of strawberries for decorating.

For the Frosting:
In a medium bowl, whisk together mascarpone cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar with a spatula until well blended and smooth. Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip heavy whipping cream, on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in whipped cream into the cheese mixture.

Assembling the Cake:
Place one 8-inch round cake on serving plate (on a cake turn table, preferred). Then using a large (1M) circle tip, pipe a border around the top (edge) of the cake (i.e., creating a wall). Make another border on top of the already piped border. You want a tall border to prevent the filling from spilling out. Within this border, place a large, heaping scoop of strawberry filling (you may not use all of the filling). Using  a spatula, spread the strawberry filling over the top of the cake.

Gently place the second 8-inch round cake directly on top of filling, slightly pressing down and making sure the second layer of cake is perfectly aligned with the second. Cover cake with mascarpone frosting. Decorate as desired using the remaining frosting and strawberries.

Optional: After frosting the cake, but before decorating-- I chose to cover the side of the cake with graham cracker crumbs. I accomplished this by having a handful of graham cracker crumbs and pushing them against the side of the cake, very gently.



  1. This cake is awesome! When you pipe the border are you using the frosting that goes on the rest of the cake?

  2. Hi Anonymous! Thank you :) the border is pipped from the same frosting that coats the outside of the cake and then decorated with strawberries. Alternatively, you could try to use the filling but I think that would me more "messy" :) Hope that helps and thanks for stopping by!

  3. Try it today....My husband loves it...

    1. Hi Anonymous! Ooo I fun! I am so glad your hubby liked it! Mine sure did for his birthday -- this year he wants a black forest cake...lets see how that turns out ;) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I made this cake last night in honor of my birthday. IT'S DELICIOUS! It's not has difficult as it looks either! YAY! I ended up with way too much filling, but no worries, we'll eat it! I think I'll make crepes and use the filling for them. Thank you for sharing!!!

    1. Hi Carmen! I am so glad you made it in honor of your birthday! I need to start doing that for myself! And I am so glad you thought it was delicious! Im so glad you thought it was easy! You are right, the name and the picture, I think, intimidates people, but it is not at all as hard as it seems! You just make a layer at a time, and its pretty simple! I ended up with some left over filling (but some people like more fillings, so I didn't want to cut it back). Hahaha...my hubby used it as a dip with graham crackers! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I just pinned this, it is so beautiful and I am in LOVE with mascarpone. Your cake is truly gorgeous. I am going to do it with a mix of summer berries. You did an amazing job - keep making cakes, Chika! xxx

    1. Hi Anonymous! How sweet :) Thank you so much! My hubby is also in LOVE with mascarpone. I think doing a mix of summer berries is brilliant! let me know how it turns out! I have to post the cake I made for my husband this year -- I used cherries :)

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  6. When you say carton of strawberries, do you mean frozen strawberries?

    1. Hi Unknown! No fresh strawberries :) You know those plastic containers -- sorry if I was confusing

  7. Hi i'd like to use this recipe for a birthday cake and cover it in fondant? Will the cake hold up with the weight of another tier beging stacked on top of it? Or is it more of a light sponge cake?

    1. Hi Anonymous! It should hold with a second layer but I am not sure with fondant. I would reinforce it just in case. :)

  8. This cake is amazing. I added some powdered sugar to the filling to sweeten it up a bit, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly and it turned out to be one of the best cakes I've ever made. The layers came up very high and were moist and flavorful. My family LOVED it! Highly recommended

    1. Hi SeaLover :) Yay! I am so glad to hear it came out well and your family enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know!

  9. Oh man... I wanted SO badly to love this cake and for the company I was making it for to be impressed. Sadly, this was a disaster for me! The cake overflowed in the pans and was still soupy after 30 minutes of baking. So I had to shut the oven off due to the smoke beginning to billow out... I decided to use a basic box cake mix so I didn't have to waste all of the ingredients I'd used to make the filling and frosting. However, once the cake was cooled, I noticed how MUCH I had of that stuff! I had two huge bowls of creamy goodness sitting in front of me, and I was only able to use as much as the cake would allow. Both filling and frosting were too runny to stack super high or hold on the top layer of cake very successfully. It tasted good, but overall this is not a recipe I will ever try again. I read through the directions many times to think what I possibly could have done wrong, and it still escapes me!!! Any ideas what might have happened (except for higher altitude, which I did account for.)

    Thanks and I'm glad not everyone had the sad experience I had with it.

    1. Hi Dawn! I am so sorry hat it did not turn out well for you :/ I wish I could help but there are so many little things that go into baking -- its hard to figure out which ones may have gone wrong!

  10. I made this cake for my bf's grandmother's 85th birthday last weekend! (I met his whole family for the first time, and needed to impress them somehow.)
    It was a huge hit! The not so sweet filling and frosting complimented the sweet cake perfectly.
    The best part is that I got everyone's stamp of approval after they ate it. ;)

    Thanks a bunch! (I'm so saving this recipe)


    1. Hi Lily (sorry for the late reply -- I moved across country and it took me a bit to settle in). HOW AWESOME! I am glad you took the challenge of making this cake ...haha or maybe its just me who saw this cake as challenging but well worth it :) Glad you go to impress his family with your amazing cake baking skills!

  11. I made this cake yesterday for my cousin's birthday. The whole family loved it, not a drop of leftovers! (Seriously, my uncle basically licked the cake platter).

    Thanks for the recipe and easy instructions!

  12. The best cake I've ever made! I made it for myself on my birthday and everyone raved about about how great it was. The only thing I did differently was make the filling a white chocolate mousse before adding the strawberries. Delicious, thanks for the recipe!

  13. I some how messed up the mascarpone powered sugar frosting... :( it separated? Watery and fine cottage cheese look to it. It tasted ok but just slid right off the cake. I'm so bummed! Will have to make a 2nd attempt another time. Just wondering if anyone else had any issues?

  14. I some how messed up the mascarpone powered sugar frosting... :( it separated? Watery and fine cottage cheese look to it. It tasted ok but just slid right off the cake. I'm so bummed! Will have to make a 2nd attempt another time. Just wondering if anyone else had any issues?

  15. I made this cake tonight and it was absolutely amazing!! My entire family loved it!! The recipe was perfect. The only thing i changed was added powdered sugar to the filling.

  16. Do i let the egg whites form a stiff peak before folding into the batter? or do i just throw it into the batter as is?

  17. For us non bakers can you add a video, I so desperately would love to make this delicious looking cake.