Berry Layer Cake

15 June 2016 by Natanja

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  • Four layers of moist vanilla cake filled with heavy cream, mascarpone, strawberry sauce and fresh red berries. Perfect for summer parties!

    Berry Layer Cake garnished with fresh berries and roses

    Last weekend was crazy busy. On Saturday we threw my sister in law a baby shower. She’s going to have her first baby in 2 weeks and we are all really excited about it. To celebrate the future family member I made a pink ombre cake with strawberry frosting and white chocolate ganache which I also wanted to post for you. Everything would have been perfect if it wouldn’t have been for the demo…

    My mom, my aunt and I were on our way to my sister in law’s apartment when we saw police cars and ambulance cars everywhere. It got really intense when we saw police officers strapping on bullet proof vests and special equipment. But the worst part was that they closed off all the streets that lead to the apartment we needed to get to. There was literally no way to get there. Plus we couldn’t just leave the car anywhere because the police officers warned us that demonstrators trash the cars they walk past. I had never experienced anything like this. Vienna is a really peaceful city, definitely not known for violent demos. The problem was that while the demo was taking place, a group of people who were against the demo gathered and tried to disrupt it. So there were two demos, in rivalry with one another.

    Closeup of the 4 layer berry cake

    But back to our problems getting there. We decided to leave the car parked in a safe area and take the subway from there. I always say that you cannot transport a high stacked cake with public transport. Well that saying is definitely true. We were in the elevator going down to the subway when the cake was tipped over. In that moment it was like my heart fell out of my chest. If you’ve ever made a cake and put a lot of work into it and it became destroyed during transport, you know what I’m talking about.

    To make it even worse, while carrying the cake from the station to the apartment it almost fell out of my hands and got even more destroyed. If it could even be more destroyed at that point. When we finally found a street that wasn’t blocked by the police and got to the apartment I was super scared to open the cake carrier. And yes, it was bad. When I took the cover off I also took the top part of the frosting off with because they were smooshed together. What an awful moment. To save the cake the best that I could I covered the top with roses to hide the spots where the ganche was ripped off and placed it on the table with the nicest side facing the front.

    Then the most amazing thing happened. When the guests arrived I got so many compliments for the cake. Especially when it was cut and people saw the ombre effect and tasted it. So the day was saved and we had a great time celebrating at the baby shower. 🙂

    Berry Layer Cake garnished with fresh berries and roses

    But the weekend was not over and on the next day I got up early and made this vanilla layer cake for Father’s Day. I apologize for the harsh lighting of the photos, I snapped them at my dad’s place and had really bad lighting there. But even though the photos aren’t perfect, the taste certainly is! I adapted my lemon cake to create a vanilla version of it and I love the outcome. It has a soft fine crumb, is very moist but holds up amazingly when stacked up high. It is the perfect mixture of soft but stable. Everybody loved this cake. It is definitely a crowd pleaser. Plus you’ll have the perfect amount of batter for 4 layers. (I used a Wilton 8inch and 0,75inch high 4x pan set). The layers may seem really thin before baking but the batter rises during baking and it turns out perfect. I might have used the word ‘perfect’ way too much here. But trust me, it really is!

    Revealing the inside layers of the berry layer cake.

    You might be shocked at the quantity of vanilla beans in the recipe. Two pods are a lot for a cake but you will get an amazing vanilla flavor if you use two. Do not substitute it with vanilla essence!! It will not taste the same. Fresh Madagascar vanilla beans are not comparable with any artificial flavor. Once you’ve had the real thing you’ll never want to go back. Go ahead and try this tasty vanilla cake recipe and you will see what I’m taking about 😉

    Berry Layer Cake garnished with berries and roses beside a cup of coffee.

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    Berry Layer Cake

    • Prep Time: 30 minutes
    • Cook Time: 20 minutes
    • Total Time: 50 minutes
    • Yield: 1 cake (serves 6) 1x


    Red berries and whipped cream layered between a moist vanilla cake



    Vanilla Cake

    • 320g pastry flour (2 and 1/2 cups)
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 150g butter, softend (2/3 cups)
    • 300g white granulated sugar (1 and 1/2 cups)
    • 2 vanilla beans
    • 2 medium eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
    • 300ml buttermilk, at room temperature (1 and 1/4 cup)

    Strawberry Sauce

    • 300g fresh strawberries
    • a few drops of fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tabelspoons sugar


    • 480ml heavy cream (2 cups)
    • 1 sachet whipped cream stabilizer
    • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
    • 240g mascarpone (1 cup)
    • 250g fresh strawberries (8.9oz)
    • 125g fresh raspberries (4.4oz)


    Vanilla Cake

    1. Preheat your oven to 180°C or 350°F and generously spray 4 pans with non-stick spray.
    2. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and stir together with a whisk.
    3. Cut the vanilla pods lengthwise with a sharp knife and scrape out the seeds.
    4. In a the bowl of a standmixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar and vanilla and cream together for 5-6min on high speed. Then add in the eggs, one at a time and cream for another minute.
    5. Then turn down the speed to the lowest setting and add in the flour mixture and buttermilk alternatingly until all is combined.
    6. Fill the batter into the pans and tap each pan down on your countertops 3 times to get any air to the top.
    7. Bake for 20 min (oven times may vary) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    8. Let the layers cool before removing from the pans. Level as needed.

    Strawberry Sauce

    1. Ruffly chop the strawberries. Add strawberries, lemon juice and sugar to a saucepan and cook over medium high until strawberries have released their juices and are soft. Puree them in a blender and pass through a sieve.

    Cream Filling

    1. Whip the heavy cream with the stabilizer and vanilla sugar until stiff. Fold in the mascarpone.
    2. Wash the strawberries and raspberries and cut the strawberries into slices.


    1. On a layer of vanilla cake pipe a ring of cream filling around the outer edges with Wilton 1A tip or any other large round tip. Flood the inner part with more cream filling and then spread a thin layer of strawberry sauce on top. Place strawberriews and raspberries on top. Then add the second layer of cake and continue until you’ve stacked all layers on top of each other.
    2. To decorate the last layer simply spread some cream filling on top and garnish with berries and flowers as desired. Serve any leftover strawberry sauce in a jug so guests can pour it over their cake slices.


    Vanilla cake layers can be made a day ahead and stored by wrapping them tightly with plastic wrap so they won’t dry out.

    If you are transporting this cake, I highly recommend to assemble it at your destination.



    Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.


    1. Dawn @ Girl Heart Food on 15. June 2016 at 17:14

      Well that cakes looks perfect to me despite all your troubles!! It looks absolutely gorgeous, actually! And it just screams Summer with all the berries. There’s so many yummy flavours going on here, I wouldn’t know where to start. The filling sounds amazing with the mascarpone cheese. The people who got to try this cake at the baby shower sure were lucky 😉

      • Natanja on 16. June 2016 at 8:28

        Thanks Dawn, but this isn’t the cake that I took to the baby shower that got ruined this is the one for Father’s Day. I wouldn’t have posted the other one… I’m too much of a perfectionist 🙂

    2. Kelly on 15. June 2016 at 18:50

      Oh no, I’m so glad the guests loved the cake in the end though. And this one you made for Father’s Day is gorgeous too! Love all the pretty berries!

      • Natanja on 16. June 2016 at 8:46

        Thanks Kelly! Berries make everything better. 🙂 I’m so glad they are finally in season!

    3. Mona on 15. June 2016 at 19:10

      So sorry about the cake but it looks perfect! If you hadn’t told the story I wouldn’t have even known. I may try this recipe with all strawberries as I am going strawberry picking this weekend. I’m sure mine won’t be as beautiful as yours but hopefully it will taste just as good.

      • Natanja on 16. June 2016 at 8:50

        Have fun picking strawberries on the weekend! 🙂 The recipe isn’t as difficult as it looks, believe me. Since there is no elaborate piping involed it comes together quite quick for a cake. I think you would really like it 🙂 Let me know if you make it.

    4. Demeter | Beaming Baker on 16. June 2016 at 1:31

      Woah, you saved the cake! You truly are such a talented cake artist (I mean, really, an all-around desserts artist) =, Natanja. I was really nervous just reading about all the shenanigans that led to the shower. Sheesh! So happy that you saved it with the roses. And honestly, this cake is so beautiful!

      • Natanja on 16. June 2016 at 8:39

        Oh wow! Receiving the title of an ‘all-around dessert artist’ is a true honor haha. You are too kind 🙂 Thank you!!

    5. Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop on 16. June 2016 at 2:36

      What a frightening event! I’m so glad you were able to still have a shower! I think the cake made it and turned out beautifully! Great thinking on adding the flowers…they look like they were meant to be there!

      • Natanja on 16. June 2016 at 8:35

        The cake on the pictures isn’t the baby shower cake, it’s the one for Father’s Day. That’s why it doesn’t look destroyed 🙂

    6. Jolina - The Unlikely Baker on 16. June 2016 at 3:07

      I have difficulty transporting a cake in a car (braking is a major issue haha) so I cannot imagine taking the subway. But I guess a delicious cake is a delicious cake whatever it looks like. So glad the guests like it. And congrats on becoming a future aunt! This cake looks so delicious. You’re right, it’s so perfect for summer.

      • Natanja on 16. June 2016 at 8:32

        Thanks Jolina! 🙂 I couldn’t imagine taking a cake with the subway either…until I had to. ^^ Definitely not something I wish to experience again. Ya braking is a pain too. Generally the transport is always something that makes me super anxious. It’s as though I hold my breath until I reach the destination and start breathing again once I put the cake down safely. 🙂

    7. lucie on 20. June 2016 at 7:59

      Im not surprised you got compliments on this cake (despite your troubles), its amazing! I have no idea how you got that perfect stack how its absolutely incredible!

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