Lemon Berry Cake with Mascarpone Filling

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I am really excited to share this recipe with you because it's SO GOOD.  If you make this cake and don't eat it all yourself, you will look like a rock star in the kitchen, and hey, even if you do eat it all yourself, you'll at least know you're a rock star.

This cake is perfect for this time of year- it's light, lemony, creamy, and just all around dreamy.  The filling seriously could be as light as a cloud, if they were made of cheese.  It's pretty in its simplicity.  No need to break out piping bags or even icing spatulas.

I found this recipe on Pinterest through a search for lemon berry cakes, looking for something to make my mother-in-law for Mother's Day last year.  I made a different cake last year, but knew this was what I wanted to do this year.  She liked it, and so did my mom and sister, who I shared some of the leftovers with.  I could see this cake being good as a snack with coffee, an after dinner dessert like it was here, or even part of a tea.  Not that I know anyone who does high or low tea, but if they did, this would be great.

I made this cake mostly as the recipe was posted, and I also made it in stages.  I made the cake part a few nights ahead and froze the two rounds and then mixed up the filling just before assembling.

Lemon Berry Cake with Mascarpone Filling
slightly altered from Let's Get Cooking Blog

For the Crumb Topping
1 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
6 Tb butter, melted
Zest of 1 lemon

For the Cake
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 stick butter, softened
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 (10 oz) bag frozen mixed berries (or 1-1.5 cups of berries of your choice)

For the Filling
12 oz. Mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Powdered sugar, for dusting.

Make the crumb topping:  In a medium sized bowl, combine all the ingredients for the crumb topping and stir until well incorporated.  Set aside.

Make the cake:  Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans and line the bottom with parchment.  In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.  In a mixer bowl, cream butter and lemon zest.  Add the sugar and mix well.  Add three eggs, one at a time, and beating after each addition.  Add the lemon juice.  Add the dry ingredients and sour cream alternately, starting and ending with the flour mixture and mixing until just incorporated after each addition.  Divide the batter between the pans, and sprinkle about 1/2- 3/4 cup of berries over each cake.  Divide the crumb mixture between the two pans, placing on top of the berries and press down gently.

Bake cakes for 30-45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool completely on wire racks.

Make the filling:  In a mixer bowl, beat together the cheese, half and half, and powdered sugar.

Assemble:  Place one cake layer, crumb topping side up, on a plate.  Spread the Mascarpone filling in an even layer over the cake.  Gently top with the other cake layer, again, crumb topping side up.  Dust the whole thing with powdered sugar.  Refrigerate 2-3 hours, until filling has chilled and firmed.  Serve cake cold or at room temperature, but store leftovers in refrigerator.


  • I am a bit of an absent minded shopper and forgot to buy the sour cream.  I did have on hand plain nonfat Greek yogurt and used it.  The cake still turned out terrific.  
  • After you add the lemon juice, the mixture will look curdled.  You didn't do anything wrong.  It will be fine after you incorporate the dry ingredients and the sour cream.
  • If using fresh berries rather than frozen, toss them in a little flour before putting them in the cake.  It will help them to not sink all the way to the bottom of the pans.
  • When decorating the cake, you can put strips of waxed paper down where the edges of the cake will be, dust it with the powdered sugar, and then carefully remove the wax paper strips from under the cake's edges so that you have a clean plate.
  • If you don't know what I mean by dusting with powdered sugar, just take some powdered sugar (1-2 Tb) and put it in a sifter or fine mesh sieve.  Tap lightly or sift lightly over the surface of the cake.

The Edible Givens is moving!  My husband Drew and I are starting a new blog, http://www.carolinagivens.com.  There you will find Edible Givens and our other adventures.  While still in transition, I'll be posting from here and there but make sure you follow that blog so you won't miss any of the tasty dishes!  

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