If you’ve been meaning to take your baking game to another level, you’ll need a copy of My Sweet Kitchen by recipe developer and food photographer Linda Lomelino. Use her expert tips and techniques to create sweet towers of smooth, fluffy glory, and decorate them like a pro. Wait until prime produce season to make this sponge cake with fresh berries and mascarpone, and don’t be modest about accepting all the praise and cheers that come with it.
The mascarpone in the filling lends a fresh taste and a smooth, firm consistency that makes it easy to stack this cake sky-high. Leave the sides of the layer cake unfrosted as shown, or slather the entire cake with frosting; it’s equally delicious both ways.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 14 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons milk, at room temperature
- 9 ounces mascarpone
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 9 ounces mixed fresh berries, for garnish
- confectioners' sugar, for garnish
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter two 6-inch cake pans. Cut out two circles of parchment paper to fit into the bottom of the pans and lay in each pan. Dust flour around the sides of the pan.
Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and creamy, about 5 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
Sift the dry ingredients over the butter mixture and fold in with a spatula until the batter is smooth and even.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs. Let the layers cool in the pans for a little while and then turn out onto wire cooling racks to cool completely. Remove the parchment paper from the layers.
For the frosting
Beat the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl until creamy. Slowly add the cream and beat until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.
For the assembly
Place one of the cake layers on a cake plate. Spread with a thick layer of frosting then add some fresh berries. Add the other cake layer and spread frosting on top. Decorate with more berries and dust with confectioners’ sugar.