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Hi! I'm Ari, photographer and recipe developer behind Well Seasoned. As a former NYC chef, I'm spilling all my tips and tricks from the restaurant industry with you! To learn more about me click here.

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classic vanilla layer cake with mascarpone buttercream and fresh strawberries!

Simple Vanilla Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream

Posted by: ari | well seasoned

recipe +-

Posted by: ari | well seasoned
classic vanilla layer cake with mascarpone buttercream and fresh strawberries!
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Simple Vanilla Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream

This simple vanilla cake is a two layer cake topped with mascarpone buttercream frosting and fresh strawberries. It's so easy to make, but looks stunning!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Cakes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make a layer cake, how to make mascarpone buttercream, mascarpone buttercream, mascarpone frosting, moist vanilla cake, simple vanilla cake, two layer cake
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 491kcal
Author: ari | well seasoned


  • (2) 8" or 9" cake pans


For the cake

  • 2 ¼ cups cake flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda 1
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 12 Tbsp 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, (room temperature, cut into cubes)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • Fresh strawberries (for garnish)

For the mascarpone buttercream

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp kosher salt


For the cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two 8 or 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray, then line the bottom of each with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix to combine. Add cubed butter, then mix until small pea size crumbs form.
  • In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, milk, vanilla extract, eggs, and egg whites. Whisk to combine. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in ⅓ of the liquid to the flour, then beat for 1 minute. Repeat twice more with remaining batter, for a total of 3 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Divide batter evenly between the two cake pans. Place in preheated oven, leaving a little space between pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean (mine were done at 33 min).
  • Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack, then invert to remove from the pan and return to the cooling rack, right side up. Cakes need to cool for at least an hour before frosting.

For the mascarpone buttercream

  • Clean out the bowl of the stand mixer, then combine softened butter and mascarpone. Beat until light and fluffy, and the two are fully mixed, about 2 minutes. Add confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract, and salt, then mix on slow until sugar is well blended. Increase speed to medium high and beat another 2 minutes.

To assemble

  • Once cakes have cooled completely, place on a stable surface and, using a serrated knife, even out the top of each cake so they are smooth and flat.
  • Place a small about of mascarpone buttercream (about 1 Tbsp) on the center of your cake stand or cake saver, then place one layer of cake with the cut side up directly on top. Spoon about ⅓ of the buttercream on top of the cake and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Place second cake on top, cut side down (so the smoothest part of the cake is on top).
  • Place about ½ of the remaining buttercream on top of the cake and, working with the same offset spatula, spread it out into a thin layer. If you want the finished cake to be "naked", spread a very thin layer of buttercream on the sides of the cake, rotating the cake stand or turning the cake saver with your hands while pressing down slightly with your spatula. Even out as needed and wipe excess frosting off in the bowl. (If you want the cake fully frosted, use remaining buttercream to cover completely.) Slice and serve with strawberries!


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 50.4g | Protein: 6.8g | Fat: 30.1g | Saturated Fat: 18.9g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 639mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 31.1g