The week before I went into labor with my second son I got a serious craving for berry Chantilly cake. I’d only ever had it once or twice before from a grocery store bakery (Whole Foods), but for some reason I could not get it out of my head. The fluffy white cake, the creamy mascarpone-infused Chantilly cream frosting, the fresh berries throughout – it’s the perfect light and refreshing cake for Spring or Summer and I will say that after whipping up this recipe my cravings were fully satisfied! It’s the dreamiest.
What is Chantilly Cake?
The name Chantilly is a French term meaning “sweetened whipped cream” and in the Southern United States, Chantilly cake pairs that beautiful sweetened whipped cream frosting with light and fluffy vanilla cake. It’s traditionally layered with fresh berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and sometimes blackberries. It was made famous by a baker working at a Whole Foods and has been a staple at the grocery store chain ever since (which is where I fell in love with it).
If you don’t like your frosting to be overly sweet, this Chantilly cream frosting is for you. It’s a subtly sweet whipped cream frosting made rich in flavor with mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, and almond extract. The cream cheese and mascarpone are the stabilizers here, making this frosting so easy to work with. You can frost a smooth finish, add some texture (like what’s pictured here), and even pipe with it!
Let’s talk about this white cake recipe. It’s so light and fluffy, which makes it just the right match for this berry-studded Chantilly cream frosting. Even though these cake layers bake up fairly flat, it’s important to level the cake layers before assembling this cake. Not only will the finished cake be much more level and perfect overall, removing the caramelization from the top of the cake will help it soak up all the flavor and moisture of the jam, frosting, and berries.
To decorate, I kept things simple with some rustic texture and fresh berries. I basically swiped a small icing spatula through the frosting diagonally to create the texture on the sides. The Chantilly cream frosting is so easy to work with, so feel free to go with a smooth finish, semi-naked finish, pipe some details, or just follow your heart! Top it with fresh berries for a pop of color and you’re good to go.
How to Store Chantilly Cake
One thing that is definitely worth noting is that this Chantilly cake has to be refrigerated. I recommend taking it out of the refrigerator an hour or two before serving just to bring it to room temperature (I think it tastes better that way) but you can absolutely serve it cold.
Also worth noting: you can assemble this Chantilly cake up to one day ahead of time, any longer than that and the berries may start weeping inside the cake. Check out the Make Ahead Tips in the notes section of the recipe below to help plan your cake baking/decorating timeline out.
Berry Chantilly Cake
Bakery-Style White Cake
- 2 1/2 Cups (265g) sifted cake flour* DIY recipe in notes
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 Cups (300g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 Cup (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/2 Cup (120ml) vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 Cups (300ml) full-fat buttermilk**, room temperature DIY recipe in notes
- 1/4 Cup (60ml) berry jam of your choice
- 1 Tbsp water
- 4 Oz (105g) fresh strawberries, quartered
- 2 Oz (55g) fresh blueberries
- 2 Oz (55g) fresh raspberries
- juice and zest of 1/2 small lemon
Chantilly Cream Frosting
- 8 Oz (240g) mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 4 Oz (113g) full-fat brick-style cream cheese, room temperature must be brick-style, not the spread
- 1 1/2 Cups (180g) powdered sugar
- 1 Cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 Cup fresh berries
Make the White Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C and prepare three 6-inch or two 8-inch cake pans by spraying the sides with baking spray and fitting a parchment paper circle to the bottom of each pan.
- In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and cream it together with the butter at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl and paddle at the halfway point. Turn the mixer to low and add the egg whites one at a time, mixing until they are just combined and scraping down the bowl and paddle as needed. Add the vegetable oil and vanilla, increase the mixer speed to high and beat for 1 minute.
- Turn the mixer off and add the flour mixture all at once. Mix the ingredients on low speed until just combined, then slowly pour in the buttermilk. Continue mixing at low speed for about 30 seconds, until the batter is uniform and combined. The batter will be slightly thin.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for 28 to 32 minutes. They’re done when they spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs on it. Let the cakes cool in their pans for 5 minutes, then remove them from the pans and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the Berry Filling
- Mix together the berry jam and water. Set aside.
- Add the strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries into a medium bowl. Toss together with the lemon juice and zest. Set aside.
Make the Chantilly Cream Frosting
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, combine the mascarpone and cream cheese. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Add the powdered sugar a few spoonfuls at a time, beating on low speed until combined. Once fully incorporated, scrape down the bowl and increase speed to medium, and beat until fluffy, about 30 seconds.
- In another large mixing bowl, beat the cream and vanilla on medium speed until stiff peaks form, 2 min. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.
- Once the white cake layers are completely cooled, level them to your desired height. Add a swipe of Chantilly cream frosting onto a cardboard cake circle and place the first cake layer on top. Spread half of the jam mixture onto the cake layer, then add a layer of Chantilly cream frosting. Press half of the lemon coated berries on top. Place the next white cake layer on top and continue filling and stacking the cake with jam, Chantilly cream frosting, and berries. Crumb coat the cake with chantilly cream frosting, then place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let everything settle. The chantilly cream frosting will not firm up much in the refrigerator, but it will be easier to frost over after a trip to the refrigerator.
- To create the design pictured, frost the cake with Chantilly cream frosting and use a small spatula to make diagonal swipes in the frosting on the sides of the cake. Garnish with a crescent formation of fresh berries.
- The white cake layers can be made ahead and stored at room temperature, covered tightly in plastic wrap, for up to two days. Alternatively, you can cover with plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to two months before thawing to room temperature.
- The berry Chantilly frosting can not be made ahead because it will lose too much air when stored in an airtight container and therefore won’t be workable. You’ll want to whip up the frosting right before you’re ready to assemble.
- This cake can be assembled up to 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Any leftovers should be refrigerated, covered, for up to 4 days.
- I don’t recommend freezing an assembled berry Chantilly cake, but you can bake the white cake layers in advance and freeze them for up to 2 months.
I hope you end up loving this berry Chantilly cake as much as I did! I ate way too many slices during the photoshoot and still had zero regrets. Let me know what you think in the comments below and feel free to tag @sugarandsparrowco on Instagram to show me! I love to see what you create with my recipes.