Serves a Crowd

Marie Antoinette's Birthday Cake

July  5, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Makes One lovely cake
Author Notes

I cannot even begin to relate how much I am passionately in love with this confection, so I’ll give you some history about it.

This comes from my mother, who first made me this cake on my 16th birthday. I have had the same birthday cake ever since. There is something magically seductive about buttery layers of golden pound cake, blushing pink stripes of raspberry jam, silky cream cheese-mascarpone frosting, with a tangy crown of ruby red raspberries. Vanilla bean sweetly permeates the cake, and its dark seeds speckle the cake’s luxurious coat of frosting, creating an appearance of ermine.

For me, this is the ultimate of layer cakes. It can be transformed into cupcakes or trifles, or served as it is in its fullest grandeur. I cannot think of an occasion (or day of the week) that could not be made more splendid with this dessert.

This one is for all of the people in your life who you are passionate about, (or the ones who you want to make jealous). Either way, let them eat cake.

P.S: If you have pound cake baked into a loaf, by all means slice it up and layer it back together with the jam and frosting. Divinity looks great in every shape.

What You'll Need
  • 1 recipe of your favorite pound cake, baked into round cake pans (mine gives me two 7" rounds plus a healthy supply of cupcakes)
  • about 1 cups of your favorite raspberry jam (I think the tangiest works the best)
  • 2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened (neufchâtel works great too)
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • the seeds from 1/2 of a vanilla bean (or use a good splash of pure vanilla extract)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, or to taste
  • fresh raspberries, for garnish (and for scraping out the frosting bowl)
  1. Make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream with the sugar, vanilla/ vanilla bean seeds and salt until the cream holds soft peaks. Add the cream cheese and mascarpone and beat just until the frosting is billowy and spreadable (it's better to under-do it than over-do it: if overbeaten, the frosting might look grainy). Set aside.
  2. Slice each the pound cake layers in half to make two thinner layers. You will now have four layers total.
  3. Sandwich two thin layers back together with a light coat of raspberry jam to end up with two regular size layers again. Place one sandwiched layer onto your serving plate, and frost with a generous swathe of frosting. Stack with the other sandwiched layer, and coat the entire cake with the remaining frosting, piping or swirling as you please.
  4. Crown the cake with fresh raspberries.
  5. Find a plate and fork, and the plushest spot in your bed.
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6 Reviews

lovelola November 24, 2011
I've made this cake twice now. It is so delicious, and simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing this delightful recipe! I think it's safe to say this has become a birthday mainstay around here!
Waverly July 10, 2011
Lovely recipe; lovely story
SweetB July 6, 2011
Thank you so much!
lapadia July 6, 2011
Sounds and looks wonderful, love the history, too!
lorigoldsby July 6, 2011
Mouthwateringly delicious descriptions and pics!,
boulangere July 5, 2011
Lovely story, lovely cake!