Light And Airy Chantilly Cake With Berries Recipe

Looking for an oh-so-summery dessert? Well, recipe developer Alexander Roberts promises that "this cake has all of the qualities you want from a cake midsummer" with its vanilla layers, cream topping, and berries (both fresh and macerated). The recipe itself may not exactly be quick and breezy, but Roberts says you'll get there if you take it slow and steady. "It's best to approach cake-making with a multitasking mindset," he says, explaining that you'll be less likely to be overwhelmed by all of the different components that go into making this dessert if you have a game plan. That's where we come in.

And as for that super fancy-sounding Chantilly cream? Well, Chantilly is basically just a fancy way of saying sweetened whipped cream. Roberts likes to add cream cheese to his, though, explaining that this ingredient "not only gives a pleasantly tangy flavor to the cake, it also stabilizes it." Just plain whipped cream, sweetened or not, does tend to deflate after a day or so in the refrigerator, so adding the cream cheese helps it to keep its shape and prevents the cake from becoming soggy.

Collect the ingredients for the light and airy Chantilly cake with berries

As this cake has multiple components, it does have a fairly lengthy ingredient list, but all of the ingredients are standard supermarket fare. For the cake itself, you'll need all the usual stuff: flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter, egg whites, vanilla extract, and buttermilk. (In a pinch, you can always make a DIY buttemilk by adding a tablespoon of distilled vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk.)

For the frosting, you'll also need whipping cream, cream cheese, and powdered sugar, while to finish things off you'll need strawberries and some additional mixed berries such as blueberries or raspberries. Stone fruits like apricots, peaches, and plums would work as well, Roberts says, and would also be in keeping with the summery theme.

Make the cake batter

Preheat the oven to 350 F, then grease a couple of 6-inch cake pans and line them with parchment paper. Mix all of the dry ingredients along with the butter at low speed for 2 to 4 minutes (Roberts uses a stand mixer for this) until you have something that resembles breadcrumbs. Adding the butter to the dry ingredients rather than creaming it with sugar is a process Roberts calls "reverse creaming." He says the reason for using this "genius method" is that it prevents the over-development of gluten, something that might lead to the cake being less light and airy than advertised.

Once you have your crumby-looking mixture, add the egg whites, vanilla, and buttermilk to the bowl. Mix it at a medium-high speed for 30 seconds or up to a minute until you have a nice, smooth batter.

Bake and cool the cake layers

Pour half of the batter into each pan, then bake the cake layers for 30 to 34 minutes. When they're done, the edges will look brown and you can stick a toothpick right down into the middle and have it come out clean. Let the layers cool completely before you attempt to frost the cake.

Make the Chantilly cream

Beat the cream cheese for a minute or two, using medium-high speed if you're employing a stand mixer. It'll help if you've let the cheese warm to room temperature before you begin because, as Roberts warns, "cold cream cheese will lead to a chunky Chantilly." When your cream cheese is smooth, pour the cream in slowly, a bit at a time, letting the cheese soak up the liquid before you add another glug. Medium is the best speed for this part of the process, as too high a speed can splatter the cream.

Once the cream and cheese have been combined, beat both dairy products at high speed for a minute or two, then stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla at a low speed. Stick this frosting in the fridge for at least half an hour to help it firm up even further.

Assemble the cake

Before you can put the cake together, there's one last step, and that's to macerate the strawberries.This is a pretty easy process: Simply mix the strawberries and sugar, then let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain off the liquid (feel free to use it elsewhere, like a syrup), then they're ready to use.

If the cakes have domed tops, you can trim these off (save the extra cake for crumbs — or just eat it when no one's looking), then dollop a bunch of Chantilly cream on one layer. Top it with the macerated berries, leaving a 2-inch ring of berry-free space around the sides. Add the other cake layer and another big dollop of Chantilly cream, then pile on the rest of the berries (the un-macerated ones). Put the cake into the refrigerator for at least an hour before you eat it. If there's extra Chantilly cream, you can slather it on a slice or else use it to dunk your cake.

Roberts tells us, "This cake is great the first day [and] better the second day," but admits that it will really only last for 3 days in the refrigerator, so you should make an effort to finish it up within this time frame. Should you be taking the cake out of the fridge, though, Roberts suggests letting it soften up for 5 to 10 minutes before digging in.

Light And Airy Chantilly Cake With Berries Recipe
5 from 28 ratings
This cake is extra delicate with its use of an airy Chantilly instead of heavy buttercream, making it a perfect summer dessert.
Prep Time
Cook Time
strawberry vanilla cake on plate
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • For the cake
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • For the Chantilly cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For assembly
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup additional mixed berries (such as raspberries and blueberries)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease two 6-inch cake pans with cooking spray and line each with a circle of parchment paper.
  2. To make the cake batter, combine the flour, 1 cup sugar, butter, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low speed (with the paddle attachment, if using a stand mixer) for 2 to 4 minutes until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the egg whites, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla, and buttermilk. Mix on medium-high for 30 to 60 seconds until the batter is smooth.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans.
  5. Bake the cake layers for 30 to 34 minutes until they are browned around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely.
  6. While the cakes are cooling, make the Chantilly cream. Add the softened cream cheese to a clean bowl (fitted with the whisk attachment if using a stand mixer). Beat the cream cheese for 1 to 2 minutes on medium-high speed.
  7. Reduce to medium speed and gradually pour the heavy cream, allowing the cream cheese to absorb all of the liquid before adding more.
  8. When all cream is added, beat the mixture on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes until stiff peaks form.
  9. Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla on low speed.
  10. Refrigerate the Chantilly cream for at least 30 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, mix the strawberries with the ½ cup sugar and let them macerate for 10 to 15 minutes until juicy.
  12. To assemble, slice away domed cake tops (if necessary) and discard. Place a cake layer on a small plate and add a large scoop of Chantilly cream. Drain the strawberries and place them on top of the cream, leaving a 2-inch border from the edge of the cake. Top with the second cake layer and cover with more Chantilly. Top the Chantilly with raspberries, blueberries and any remaining strawberry slices.
  13. Refrigerate the cake for 1 hour before serving with any remaining Chantilly cream.
Calories per Serving 894
Total Fat 50.8 g
Saturated Fat 31.2 g
Trans Fat 1.2 g
Cholesterol 147.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 101.4 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Total Sugars 70.7 g
Sodium 491.4 mg
Protein 11.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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