28-ounce containersmascarpone cheeseroom temperature
18-ounce blockcream cheeseroom temperature
3cupspowdered sugarsifted (360g)
2cupsheavy whipping cream(480mL)
1 ½tspvanilla extract
For the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour two (9-inch) round cake pans or spray with baking spray with flour. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour and baking powder. Whisk in the salt.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, beating each well before adding the next. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat in the vanilla.
While mixing on low speed, add one-third of the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Add the oil and half of the milk. Mix just until combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk, scraping down the bowl between additions or as needed.
Divide the batter between the cake pans, and smooth the top with an offset spatula.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the sides start to pull away from the pan. Let cool in the pans for 20 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the Berry Filling:
Place the jam and water in a glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 15 to 30 seconds or until warmed. Stir until combined.
Hull and thinly slice the strawberries. Place in a bowl with the raspberries and blueberries. Toss with the lemon zest and juice.
For the Chantilly Cream:
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, combine the mascarpone and cream cheese. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Add the powdered sugar a few spoonfuls at a time, beating on low speed until combined. Once fully incorporated, scrape down the bowl and increase speed to medium, and beat until fluffy, about 30 seconds.
In another large mixing bowl, beat the cream and vanilla on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.
Carefully cut each cake layer in half, horizontally, creating 4 thin round layers.
Place one layer, cut-side up on a cake plate. Spread one-third of the berry jam mixture on the cake in a very thin layer. Top with about 3/4 cup of Chantilly Cream. Sprinkle one-third of the fresh berries over the cream. Top with another cake layer, and gently press down. Repeat the layers.
Thinly spread about 1 cup Chantilly Cream over the top and sides of the cake. Place the remaining cream in a piping bag and decorate as desired. Garnish with more fresh berries. Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours before serving.
Everything must be at room temperature. Butter and cream cheese takes the longest to bring to room temperature. Cutting them into small cubes can help speed up the time it takes to reach room temperature. Mascarpone cheese should only take 15 to 20 minutes in comparison.
Don’t try to shorten the time it takes to cream the butter and sugar. The butter is fully creamed when the color lightens, and the texture is fluffy. If the mixture looks like wet sand, it is not ready. When fully creamed, there are pockets of air added to the mixture that makes the cake light and fluffy.
Make sure to measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake and will make your cake dense. The best way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don’t have a scale, fluff your flour in the bag with a spoon before you sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and then use a knife to level it off to avoid overpacking the measuring cup.
Lightly tap the cake pans with the batter inside on the countertop to burst any large pockets of air bubbles.
You can use cake strips to help your layers come out evenly. Cake strips work by keeping the outside edge of the pan cooler to ensure that the entire cake rises at the same rate, preventing a dome from forming in the middle of the pan. If you don’t want to purchase a set, check out my post on How to Get Perfect Flat Cake Layers to learn how to make your own strips.
Be sure to check the expiry date of the baking powder. Usually, a dense cake is caused by expired leavening agents or over mixing the batter.