This lemon berry mascarpone cake is a decadent slice of heaven. It's not too sweet, nor too lemony, it's just the right balance with the fluffy mascarpone cake filling. Serve it with fresh berries and it is just perfect!Jump to Recipe
Recently I went out to eat with a friend at a local restaurant and we decided to split a dessert. Ends up we got this lemon cake with mascarpone with berries and it was totally amazing! I had to try to replicate it at home.
Normally, I gravitate towards more of the chocolaty desserts like my Brown Sugar Brownies (super easy and yum). If I am going to go for something fruity, it would be my decadent White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, but somehow this recipe for lemon berry mascarpone cake made the "best" list.
This fluffy cake is moist and has hints of lemon, without it being overpowering. The berries compliment the lemon and the fluffy cake batter, and the mascarpone cake cream is delightful!
I will give fair warning, this cake recipe has quite a few steps to it and is a labor of love. It will turn out, just follow all of the steps and don't overbake the cake.
- cake flour
- all-purpose flour
- mascarpone cheese
- fresh lemon
- half and half
- whole milk
- frozen berries (I used mixed berries)
- granulated sugar
- powdered sugar
- vegetable oil
- baking soda
- baking powder
IF you want to make this a mascarpone strawberry cake, or just have one type of berry that's fine, it's up to you. I used a mixture of blueberries, raspberry's and small strawberries.
*note: For this cake recipe, the first time I made it with a sour cream cake/pound cake recipe. While it was really delish, it was slightly too dense, hence I have changed it to this fluffier cake recipe.
For the lemon berry cake:
There are several components to this recipe, first is the actual cake. For this lemon cake with berries, we will be using something called a reverse creaming method to make the cake batter.
*Make sure to bring the eggs and butter to room temperature before beginning!
Measure out ½ cup of whole milk and add 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil to it. Set aside.
In a different mixing bowl, measure out ¾ cups of whole milk and add the eggs and vanilla to it, giving it a whisk. Set aside.
In essence, instead of creaming the butter and sugar together first with the eggs, we will be "reverse creaming" the dry ingredients together with the butter and it will form a sort of "sand" texture before we add the rest of the wet ingredients. It is rather easy to do as long as you have a KitchenAid stand mixer or high quality stand mixer.
In the bowl of your KitchenAid, add the cake flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and the granulated sugar. Turn on the mixer on low speed and just give it short mix.
Cut the softened butter into pats of butter about 2 tablespoons per piece. Turn the mixer onto its lowest speed and add one chunk of butter at a time. Add each piece of butter separately and allow it to incorporate into the dry ingredients. This process should take a few minutes and it will look like coarse sand when it is done.
After the butter is incorporated, add the milk and oil mixture and mix it on low-medium speed for exactly 2 minutes. This is the reverse creaming process and it should be very fluffy when done.
Now that you reverse creamed those ingredients, add the milk and egg mixture, along with the zest of one large lemon and squeeze half of the lemon in also. Mix until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and give it one more little mix.
*NOTE- If you want your cake to be more lemony, add the zest of 2 lemons and the juice of a whole lemon. I prefer mine not as lemony as others.
Prepare 2 8" cake pans, either by buttering it really well, or by putting a round piece of parchment paper in the bottom and buttering the sides. I used the parchment paper to ensure that my cakes would come out of the pan without any problems.
Pour half of the batter into each of the cake pans.
After pouring the cake batter into the prepared pans, evenly distribute the frozen berries on top of each cake.
For the lemon crumble topping:
Now it's time for the lemon streusel topping. This is really easy to do, just measure the flour and sugar into a bowl. Melt the butter and add it into the mixing bowl. Squeeze half of a lemon into it as well.
With a pastry cutter, cut all of the ingredients together until it is formed into small streusel chunks about the size of a pea. It will be very coarse.
Add half of the lemon streusel to the top of each cake pan.
Bake at 350 ℉ for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted 1" from the edge comes out clean. It is important not to overbake this! It should not be too brown around the edges, otherwise you will dry out your cake.
For the mascarpone frosting:
This mascarpone cake frosting is amazing! It's super light and fluffy and creamy and you are going to love it! It's not too sweet. It also contains no lemon. It really is the best mascarpone frosting ever.
Take 16 ounces of mascarpone cheese and place it in a mixer along with the powdered sugar, vanilla and half and half. It is helpful if your mascarpone and cream are both cold. With the whisk attachment, begin mixing it together on medium speed.
At first, the mascarpone filling will look thin and watery, but it comes together really nicely after a minute or so. It will get thick and form stiff peaks, that is when you know it is ready.
Place it in the fridge until you are ready to frost your cake.
Allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan. Carefully remove the first cake and place it on a serving platter. Put almost all of the prepared mascarpone cheese frosting on top and even it all the way to the edges, reserving a small amount to fill in any gaps.
Place the second lemon berry cake layer on top of the mascarpone cheese filling and with a spatula, smooth the edges and fill in with more mascarpone filling if need be.
Place in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours before serving. Mascarpone berry cake should always be served cold for best results and maximum enjoyment!
Hint: Make sure to follow all of the mixing instructions for the cake and it will turn out perfect!
If you would rather NOT make the cake from scratch, you can pick up a boxed yellow cake mix and add the lemon zest, lemon juice and the lemon crumb topping, just like in the directions above.
Follow all of the recipe for the box cake and then add in the other variations to make this recipe super easy!
It is very important to store this cake in the fridge and to serve it cold. It is best cold. This cake will stay good for up to 5 days covered in the fridge.
Having a KitchenAid mixer takes so much work out of this recipe, and out of many others as well. I highly recommend investing into on with my affiliate link below, along with some other kitchen equipment suggestions.
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Lemon Berry Mascarpone Cake
For the Lemon Berry Cake
- 3 ⅔ cups cake flour
- 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ cups whole milk separated
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup butter salted
- 3 eggs large
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups frozen berries
For the lemon streusel topping
- 1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup butter melted
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- juice of half of a lemon
For the mascarpone cake filling
- 16 oz mascarpone cheese
- ½ cup half and half
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the lemon berry cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Make sure eggs and butter are at room tempurature before beginning
- Measure out ½ cup of whole milk and add 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil to it. Set aside.
- Measure out ¾ cups of whole milk and add the eggs to it along with 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Give it a whisk and set it aside
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or KitchenAid, add the cake flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and 1 ¾ cups of the granulated sugar.
- Begin mixing on the lowest speed. Cut up the softened butter into 2 tablespoon chunks and begin adding one at a time to the mixing bowl on low speed. This process should take a few minutes, and when it is all incorporated it will look like coarse sand.
- After the butter is incorporated, add the milk and oil mixture. Turn the mixer onto medium speed (about 3-4 in a KitchenAid) and let it mix for 2 minutes. This process is called reverse creaming.
- After the 2 minutes is done, it should be very fluffy, now add the milk and eggs mixture, along with the lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix on low until it is just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and give it one more mix.
- Pour the lemon butter cake batter into 2 prepared 8" cake pans.
- Evenly top each cake with 1 ½ cups of frozen berries then top each cake with half of the lemon streusel topping.
- Bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Toothpick should come out clear one inch from the edge. Don't overbake!
For the Lemon Streusel Topping
- To a medium size mixing bowl, add all purpose flour and granulated sugar
- Melt the butter and pour it into the mixing bowl and squeeze half of a lemon into it as well
- With a pastry cutter, cut together all of the ingredients until it is crumbly. The crumbles should be no larger than pea size
Mascarpone cake filling
- Take 16 ounces of mascarpone cheese (cold) and put it in a mixing bowl along with the half and half cream, powdered sugar and vanilla
- With the whisk attachment, mix the ingredients together until stiff peaks form. This should not take very long, it comes together quickly.
- After the cakes are completely cooled, remove the first one from the pan and place it on a serving dish. Evenly pipe the mascarpone cake cream onto the top, reserving a small amount for touch ups.
- Smooth the mascarpone filling out and layer the second cake on top
- With a spatula or cake knife, smooth out the sides of the mascarpone cream filling and make it even with the cake layers, adding more of the mascarpone filling if need be.
- Refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve chilled