I received an email from our local Miller Farms Market announcing the “pick your own” strawberries are ready and the berry patch is open. You don’t have to ask me twice. I made a plan to go out the next morning and pick fresh, juicy, red, ripe, delicious strawberries. Our son and daughter-in-law said they wanted to go too – yeah a picking party! While picking away at the farm, my mind came up with 500 (+ or -) strawberry themed recipes I want to make. This fabulous Strawberry Mascarpone Cake spiked with Grand Marnier was first on the list.
Don’t let the long list of instructions scare you away. This is a simple cake with several easy steps that come together in a moist, but hearty cake filled with lightly sweetened mascarpone cream. The strawberries are macerated in a hot syrup made with Grand Marnier and sugar. The strawberries become shiny and bright red and oh so tasty! Pass the extra syrup for drizzling on the individual slices. This was a really fun cake to share!
Sprinkle with a little confectioners’ sugar just before serving.
- For the Cake:
- 2 cups sifted cake flour (sift before measuring)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon coarse sugar (such as Turbinado)
For the Simple Syrup:
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (or other liquor as desired)
For the Strawberries:
- 4 cups fresh strawberries, cut if large
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup Grand Marnier
For the Cream:
- 12 ounces Mascarpone (1½ cups)
- 12 ounces Heavy Whipping Cream (1½ cups)
- ½ cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
- Confectioners' sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Lightly grease an 8" springform pan with butter or coat lightly with vegetable cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit, and butter or spray the parchment. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
- Add the butter and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Be sure to scrape down the sides as needed. Add the vanilla bean paste and almond extract. Blend until incorporated.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until the yolk has disappeared.
- Turn the mixer on low and add the buttermilk and lemon zest, blending just until combined. The mixture may look curdled at this point but that is normal.
- Add the flour mixture in three batches mixing well after each addition but do not overheat.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared cake pan and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan about 20 minutes, then remove the sides and bottom of the springform pan. Discard the parchment paper from the bottom and cool the cake completely before filling.
- While the cake is baking prepare the simple syrup. Combine the ¼ cup water and ¼ cup sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until the sugar is melted. Remove from the heat and add 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier. Set aside.
- To make the Mascarpone Cream combine the cream, cheese and confectioners' sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.
- When ready to serve, cut the cake in half horizontally with a long serrated knife. Remove the top and turn it cut side up. Place the bottom half on a cake plate. Brush both cut sides with the simple syrup. You may not need it all, just use your best judgment. It should not be wet.
- Spread ⅔ of the cream on the bottom half of the cake. Place the top half of the cake on the cream, cut side down. Dollop the remaining cream on top in a pile somewhat decoratively so it will hold the strawberries and juice.
- Put the strawberries in a heatproof mixing bowl. Place the ¼ cup of Grand Marnier and ¼ cup sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and pour the syrup over the strawberries. Stir gently to coat the strawberries. Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, place the macerated berries on top of the cake and pass any remaining syrup to drizzle.
Simple syrup is great to have on hand to mix in iced tea, coffee, mixed drinks, or lemon juice for a quick lemonade. The ratios are 1:1 water to granulated sugar.
Adapted from a recipe on Epicurious
I want to go back and get some more … they are absolutely delicious.
Red strawberries as far as the eye can see!
It was a gorgeous day for picking … I could have stayed all day.
My son Patrick and daughter-in-law Callie (and granddaughter Jayden swaddled to her mom) came along and picked two boxes for their family.
Callie and Jayden picking berries.
There she is! This is my new granddaughter Jayden, only 5 weeks only and already on a field trip to the farm!
Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a lovely weekend and be sure to check back for more fun with strawberries!