A version of a cake I made for the Food52 Baking Club’s birthday party a few years back. Fluffy, soft white cake, filled with a vanilla mascarpone cream, and finished with one (or a few!) berry frostings. The frosting recipe uses freeze-dried fruit to add natural color and flavor to this soft, marshmallowy fluffy. You can make one recipe using one fruit, or make two to three half-recipes using multiple fruits to create different colorful effects. After frosting, this cake is taken over the top with a white chocolate drip effect, and finished with fresh berries, or more frosting—whatever you like! The key to the perfect drip effect is combined elements of temperature and consistency, which allow a controlled drip (for more on this technique, check out my article).
Click here for the recipe for the white chocolate glaze. —Erin Jeanne McDowell
- Prep time 2 hours 20 minutes
- Cook time 1 hour
- Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
4 1/2 cups
(540 grams) all-purpose flour
fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups
(339 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
(75 grams) vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups
(495 grams) granulated sugar
large (283 grams) egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons
1 3/4 cups
(397 grams) whole milk, at room temperature
MASCARPONE CREAM FILLING
(340 grams) chilled mascarpone
(99 grams) granulated sugar
(235 grams) heavy cream
BERRY FROSTING & FINISHING TOUCHES
1 3/4 cups
(347 grams) granulated sugar
(56 grams) freeze-dried strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries (or a mixture)
large (177 grams) egg whites
cream of tartar
(4 sticks/454 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons
recipe white chocolate drippy glaze (see Author Notes for link)
Fresh berries, as needed for finishing
- Heat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together to combine.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the egg whites in 5 to 6 additions, scraping well after each addition is fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
- Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated, 1 minute. With the mixer running on low, add the milk in a slow, steady stream and mix to combine. Add the remaining flour and mix to combine.
- Divide the batter between the prepared pans and spread into an even layer. Transfer to the oven and bake until the cakes spring back lightly in the center when touched, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.
- Make the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the mascarpone and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. With the mixer running, add the cream in a slow, steady stream and beat until thick, 2 minutes more. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
- Make the frosting: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the sugar and freeze-dried fruit until the mixture is a fine powder. Place the egg whites and the sugar mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk well to combine.
- Heat a medium pot of water to a simmer over medium heat. Place the mixer bowl over the pot (the base of the bowl shouldn’t touch the water!) and heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture reads 160°F on a thermometer.
- Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bowl is no longer warm to the touch, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the butter a few tablespoons at a time and whip until the butter is fully incorporated before adding the next addition. Beat in the vanilla and mix to combine.
- Assemble the cake: Use a serrated knife to remove the domed top of the cakes.
- Place one layer on a cake turntable, platter, or cake stand. Use an ice cream scoop (about 1/4-cup in size) to scoop 3 heaping scoops of the mascarpone filling into the center and spread into an even layer. Place another layer of cake on top, and repeat this process. Continue until you’ve used all the filling and layers.
- Apply a thin all over “crumb coat” of the frosting, and chill the cake for 10 to 15 minutes. Frost the cake with the remaining frosting. Chill the cake for 30 minutes.
- Make the drippy glaze and allow it to cool while the cake chills (see the Author Notes for a link to my article on this technique). Pipe or spoon the glaze around the outside edge of the chilled cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Garnish the top of the cake with fresh berries, if using.