White Vanilla Bean Cake with Balsamic Strawberry and Mascarpone Filling

Total Time:
2 hr 30 min
1 hr 20 min
1 hr 10 min

One 8-inch, 3-layer cake

  • Cake:
  • Nonstick spray
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 16 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons clear vanilla extract
  • Seeds from 2 vanilla beans
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • Balsamic Strawberries and Mascarpone Filling:
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
  • Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups shortening
  • 2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 4 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
  • Special equipment: parchment paper; three 8-inch round cake pans

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch round pans with nonstick spray and line them with parchment paper. Spray the paper.

  • Sift together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the egg whites, sour cream, milk, vanilla and vanilla bean seeds in another large bowl.

  • Beat the butter and sugar with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the egg mixture, adding the flour mixture in 3 additions and the egg mixture in 2, starting and ending with the flour.

  • Fill each cake pan with 2 1/2 cups of batter and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then flip them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

  • For the filling: Put the strawberries, granulated sugar, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook until it gets to a syrupy reduction, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

  • Beat the mascarpone in a medium bowl until smooth. Whip the heavy cream until light and fluffy in another bowl; just before it is finished, whip in the confectioners sugar and vanillia extract. Fold in the strawberry mixture.

  • For the frosting: Cream the butter and shortening until light and fluffy, then beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract.

  • To assemble the cake: Put 1 cake layer on a cake board or platter. Spread half of the filling mixture on top. Repeat with another cake layer. Frost the cake with the buttercream frosting and serve.

Contestant/Competition Recipe: This recipe was created by a contestant during a cooking competition. The Food Network Kitchen have not tested it for home use and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

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