Recipe courtesy of Nicole Ward

White Vanilla Bean Cake with Balsamic Strawberry and Mascarpone Filling

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 20 min
  • Active: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: One 8-inch, 3-layer cake
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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
  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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. 
  6. Cool completely. 
  7. 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. 
  8. For the frosting: Cream the butter and shortening until light and fluffy, then beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract. 
  9. 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. 

Cook’s Note


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