Vanilla layer cake with mascarpone raspberry filling and Nutella frosting

Remember those “everyday” cakes I talked about a little while ago? You know, cakes like this coffee Nutella cake and summer berry cake and pumpkin gingerbread cake? The ones that are great for breakfast or a quick dessert and just require one bowl and a little mixing?

Well, this is not one of those cakes. This, my friends, is not an every day cake, but rather a fancy, special occasion kind of cake that requires some extra time and effort but is sooo worth it.

I came up with the idea for this cake for my friend Sergey’s birthday. I knew I wanted to make something really special, but had not been given much guidance from Sergey, who just specified he wanted a “fat” (translation: over the top/decadent) cake. I originally had decided on a yellow butter layer cake with Nutella frosting, but this, while definitely on the rich side, was not quite as decadent as Sergey was expecting.

While looking through our blog I got the idea for a mascarpone filling, thanks to one of Gloria’s posts a few months back. Mascarpone filling plus a Nutella frosting, I reasoned, would take this cake to the next level – and adding a few raspberries to that mascarpone filling wouldn’t be a bad idea either. When all three components are put together, the results are magical – fluffy vanilla cake, a sweet creamy tart filling, and an intensely chocolate icing, that in addition to being absolutely delicious is also a gorgeous dessert. The cake went over very well and I was so pleased with the results that I knew I had to share it with our readers here.

I was just thinking -- I bet these would be really delicious in cupcake form as well. Enjoy everyone!!!


For the cake:
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pans
1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pans
1½ cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1¾ cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1¼ cups whole milk

For the filling:
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup fresh raspberries

For the frosting:

1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups (240g) confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup (222g) Nutella
3-4 Tablespoons (45-60ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Butter and flour two 9 inch cake pans, tapping out the excess flour. In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk together to blend well and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or in a large bowl using electric beaters, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk. Beat each addition just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared baking pans. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the cakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans to help remove the cakes. Invert the cakes onto the wire rack while you prepare your filling.

To make the filling, beat the mascarpone, heavy cream, and sugar in a large bowl until it holds stiff peaks. Gently fold in the raspberries.

Place one layer of the yellow cake on your serving plate. If the top of the cake is uneven, feel free to level it using a sharp knife (and eat the scraps of cake removed). Carefully spread the filling over the top of the cake -- you may not use all the filling; it depends on how much you want. Gently place the second cake layer (leveled as well, if it’s uneven) over the filling to make your layer cake. Refrigerate for at least two hours to let the mascarpone filling set.

To make the frosting, beat the softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and continue to beat on medium speed. The mixture will be fairly thick. Add the Nutella and continue to beat on medium speed. Add 3 Tablespoons of heavy cream and the vanilla extract. If the frosting is too thick, add more heavy cream (1 Tablespoon measurements at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar (1/4 cup measurements at a time). Taste the frosting and add salt to cut the sweetness if you want.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator and frost the sides and top of the cake with Nutella frosting. Note that you will most likely have frosting left over.* Decorate the top of the cake as you wish; as you can see I decorated mine with mini chocolate chips and raspberries. Refrigerate the cake for at least another half an hour before serving to let the whole cake set.

*Note that the frosting stays covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Cake recipe from

Frosting from

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