Strawberries must be one of the most popular fruits. It is a rare occasion when we have a student who says they don’t like strawberries. If we put a strawberry-focused recipe or class on our class calendar, we can count on it being popular. I’ve always loved them, too! When I was a kid, my grandparents who lived next door grew strawberries. My grandparents were always generous with me, with the only exception being their strawberries.
I was not allowed to raid the strawberry patch because strawberries were extra special and were saved and eaten together as a family. My grandmother would macerate them with sugar and pour them over vanilla ice cream. We would usually get two harvests out of my grandparents' small patch - the first harvest we would eat with ice cream and the second went to make jam. Needless to say, that one bowl a year of strawberries and ice cream was extremely special to me and my family.
Summer is peak strawberry season and the best time to eat them fresh. During this time, strawberries are sweet and tender with just a hint of acidity. Most of the strawberries you taste out of season lack the texture and sweetness of a really good strawberry. Fortunately, when you are cooking, baking or macerating strawberries, they do not have to be the best strawberry you ever tasted because the cooking simulates the ripening process. When you heat or cook strawberries, they sweeten and the texture softens. In fact, many fruits are easier to cook with and provide improved results when the fruit is underripe. I recently wrote a blog on poaching pears where I get into this topic in more detail. Even though it is peak strawberry season right now, you can capture the season all year long with this strawberry mascarpone cake.
I developed this cake with my beloved strawberries and ice cream in mind. The sour cream and mascarpone filling offers an ultra creamy quality to this vanilla and strawberry-infused cake.
Strawberry Mascarpone Cake
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Prep time: 1 hour
Bake time: 1 hour
Total time: 2 hours
For the crumb topping:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
For the mascarpone filling:
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
4 ounces sour cream
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
For the cake batter:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups strawberries, cleaned, stems removed and sliced
For the springform pan:
1 tablespoon softened butter
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
Step 1: Prepare crumb topping
Put sugar, flour and salt in a bowl. Cut cold butter into small pieces and add to bowl. With a pastry cutter or your fingers cut butter into flour until it becomes rather mealy in texture and the butter and dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Place in the refrigerator until it it is time to assemble the cake.
Step 2: Turn on oven and prepare the pan
Turn the oven to 350 degrees F. If using a convection oven, turn the heat to 325 degrees F.
Butter the pan on the bottom and sides. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the 9-inch springform pan and place it into the bottom of the pan. Butter the parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and set the pan aside until it is time to assemble the cake.
Step 3: Prepare the mascarpone filling
Whisk the mascarpone and sour cream, until well combined. Add egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, sugar and flour until well combined. Set the filling aside until you are ready to assemble the cake.
Step 4: Make cake batter
Cream butter and sugar together with a hand mixer until well combined and a little fluffy and lighter in color, about 2 minutes.
Add sour cream, eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt until well combined.
Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 5: Assemble cake
Spread 2/3rds of the cake batter into the prepared pan.
Pour mascarpone filling over cake batter and spread evenly.
Place 2 cups of sliced strawberries evenly over the surface but not right up to the edge of the pan.
Spread remaining cake batter over the top. It won't cover the whole cake, but don't worry about that.
Sprinkle remaining strawberries and crumb topping over the cake.
Step 6: Bake
Bake the cake until the center of the cake is the same consistency as the sides. Test this by jiggling the cake a little. Check the cake at about 45 minutes, and check about every 5 minutes until the cake is done.
Once out of the oven, let cool for 30 minutes before removing the sides of the springform pan.
Place the cake in the fridge and cool for at least 2 hours before icing.
Step 7: Make glaze
Mix powdered sugar with just enough water so that it is pourable but not so much that it gets watery. If the glaze becomes too watery, add more powdered sugar until it thickens up to a pourable opaque glaze. Another way of saying this is that you should not see the food through the glaze, and it should not be so thin it gets absorbed into the cake.
Dip a fork or spoon in the glaze and create a crisscross glaze over the top of the cake.
If desired, remove cake entirely from the cake pan bottom and place on a large round plate or cake stand.
Cut into 8 pieces and serve room temperature or slightly cold.
We make a lovely strawberry buttercream to go with lemon-buttermilk cupcakes in our summer version of Cupcake Boot Camp coming up this Saturday, July 28 at 10am at Lincoln Square. In addition, you'll make three other seasonal little cakes:
- Sweet Corn Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
- Chocolate S'more Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting
- Peachy Prosecco Cupcakes with Sparkling Peach Buttercream