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Berry-Citrus Cream Cake

An infusion of lemon and orange with fresh berries makes for the perfect summer dessert!

June 19, 2017

Infused with lemon and orange and incorporating fresh summer berries, this pretty, refreshing dessert is a delicious way to end an outdoor summer meal or to help celebrate a special occasion. The syrup and cream can be made up to three days ahead and kept refrigerated.

Serves 10 people.



  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 9-inch square pans and line with parchment paper. You may use round pans instead and bake a little longer.

In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar and almond extract. Beat on high speed until eggs thicken and lighten in color, about 5 minutes. (We do the cake by hand, mixing with a whisk). 

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Sprinkle about one-third of the dry mixture over the beaten egg and gently stir it in. Repeat two more times, using another third of the dry mixture each time. The batter should be fluffy.

Pour batter equally into prepared pans. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and the center passes the toothpick test. Remove from oven and place pans on racks to cool completely.

While the cake bakes, prepare the syrup and the cream.

Citrus Syrup


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest and juice of two large lemons
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier liqueur, or orange juice


In a small saucepan combine all the syrup ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then simmer for two to three minutes, making sure sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Orange Mascarpone Cream


  • Two 8-ounce containers mascarpone cheese
  • Zest of one large orange
  • 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 to 5 cups fresh berries of your choice (sliced strawberries, whole blueberries or raspberries)


In a small bowl, combine mascarpone and orange zest. Gradually stir in the heavy cream until the mixture is smooth and thick. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble the dessert, remove cakes from pan. Place one layer on a serving platter, prick both layers lightly all over with a toothpick and brush with the syrup. Allow the syrup to soak in, then apply more until syrup is used up and cakes are almost soaked through. If you use silicone pans you can leave them in the pans for this step, since they’re easy to pop out afterward.

Arrange half the berries over the first layer. Spoon on half of the cream, and spread in an even layer over the berries. Top with the second layer of cake, top with most of the remaining berries, spread with remaining cream, then arrange reserved berries over the top. Refrigerate the cake for one hour or overnight before serving.

Cook’s note: We made this gluten-free by using a packaged yellow cake mix, which made only one 9-inch square pan. After soaking it in syrup, we cut the cake in half down the middle, so the cake was loaf-shaped. A silicone cake pan made this easy. Any commercial cake mix or even a prepared angel food or pound cake (big time-savers) would work as well. Delicious!


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