Lemon Berry Mascarpone Cake

For those of you who don’t know, I work at the local coffee shop.  Well, once upon a time, we had this amazingly awesome cake that we bought frozen and sold by the slice.  Did I mention it was awesome?  I may or may not have had a slice of this decadent cake for lunch once.  Okay, twice.   But seriously, people…this cake was that.  good.

I needed to recreate this cake so that I could have it anytime I wanted.  I went home, went to my kitchen and started playing…er…baking.  After a few tries, it was perfect. 

And, because it’s spring, because in the spring I love all things lemon and/or berry, because it’s 11:27 pm on Monday night, and because I absolutely love my blog readers, I’ve deciced to share this fantabulous creation with you!

There’s three parts to this cake.  The cake itself, the crumb topping, and the mascarpone filling.   Start by making the crumb topping.

Combine one cup flour, 2/3 cup sugar, the zest of one lemon and 6 tbsp of melted butter.

Grab a fork and stir this mixture around until it forms a crumbly, delicious mess.

Resist the temptation to eat this with a spoon.  Set the crumbly-ness to the side.

Now, let’s move on the to cake portion.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Butter two 8″ cake pans. 

 In a small bowl, sift together 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp baking soda.

In mixer bowl, cream 1 stick of softened butter and the zest of one lemon.  Add 1 cup sugar and mix well.  Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add the juice of one lemon.

Add dry ingredients, alternately with 3/4 cup sour cream.  So, add 1/3 of the flour mixutre, 1/4 of the sour cream, etc.

Beat until well combined.

Divide batter between prepared cake pans.

Grab a bag of frozen mixed berries and sprinkle generously over the top of each cake – use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup per cake. 

Now, remember that crumbly bowl of heaven from before?  Divid that between the two pans.

Press down genlty and place cakes in the oven.  Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until cake tester (or toothpick) inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let cake cool completely in pans.

When you’re ready to assemble, prepare your filling.

Beat together 12 oz. mascarpone cheese, 1/4 cup half & half, and 4 tbsp powdered sugar.

Place one cake layer on your serving plate, crumb side up, and spread all the filling on top. 

Top with second cake layer, crumb side up,  and dust with powdered sugar.

Refrigerate the cake until the filling is nice and firm…a few hours at least.  Serve cold or at room temperature, but store leftovers in the refrigerator.

This will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator (not around here, though…I’d eat it faster than that!), or you can wrap it well and freeze it.


66 thoughts on “Lemon Berry Mascarpone Cake

  1. oh my heck does this look and sound wonderful! Think I’ll make this for my mom on Mother’s Day!!

    Thanks for sharing Carla!!


  2. It wouldn’t be staying very long in my fridge, either!! YUMMY!!! I’m not asking how many points!!!! I love mascarpone cheese – so light and fluffy – and lemon/berry – oh, so good!

      • Im confused, which is the lemon curd?? Do you buy it or is it the mixture you are making from the ingredients from scratch in the recipe? Sorry, but Im confused and want to get this right before I make it tomorrow.

  3. We had this lemon berry cake at a restuarant and I have been looking for something like it since…Thanks..if it even comes close I will gain 20 lbs quickly..will not last 3-4 days at my house…thanks again

  4. This cake was amazing, Everything was right on! Made it today for my hubbys family and they all loved it. Thank you so much for the recipe

  5. I followed this recipe about a week ago, but due to the high price of mascarpone, and not wanting to make my own this time, I cheated and used a cream cheese/whipping cream substitute. Turned out wonderful!

  6. I am so excited to make this cake – my mother-in-law and I had it at a restaurant in Galena and couldn’t believe how delicious it was. I decided to do a google search to find a recipe for it, and yours looks just like the cake we had. I’m going to the store right now to buy the ingredients and make it!! I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  7. This. Was. UH-MAY-ZING. They ate it faster than I could make it! I don’t know you personally, but I really appreciate your site and all the great step-by-step photos. Thanks, Bella

  8. OMG My husband and I had this cake at a restaurant while celebrating our anniversary!!! It was so amazing I got on the computer to see if I could find a recipe!!! Thank you so much! I, too, am going to make this today!

    Thanks again,
    Selena Grenn
    Hattiesburg, MS

  9. I had my first taste of this cake in a cafe a couple months ago. I liked it so much, I looked for a recipe online and found yours. I appreciated the step-by-step photos; it made the process easy for me. I made this cake twice in the last three weeks and truly wowed the recipients. Then I went back to the cafe to compare and discovered the lemon flavor in your recipe is far better than the original cake I tasted! What a great recipe! Easy to make, looks beautiful, tastes fantastic! Thank you so much for posting this.

  10. I first heard about the cake when in San Diego, but was not able to try it since the cafe was out of it. I Googled the recipe and found yours. My son has made it twice and I just made it yesterday to share at a brunch. He has used Splenda with good results, for the first time I went all out and used the “real stuff”. Also Mascarpone cheese is very reasonably priced at Trader Joes. I cant wait to try the cake. Thanks for your site.

  11. I am making this now (the cakes are cooling) Everything has come out beautiful so far. I just wanted to post and say – I am over 9 months pregnant and this is for my husband’s birthday dinner tonight. HOW AM I GOING TO WAIT FOUR HOURS TO EAT THIS?!?! It looks AMAZING! I will put another comment w/the update after I eat it (hopefully after dinner tonight but I can’t promise anything). You are a genius this is the exact recipe I’ve been looking for after my husband had something similar in a local restaurant.

  12. Anyone else have really watery filling? I had to add 4 more ounces of marscapone because it was dripping all down the sides of the cake? Maybe I didn’t whip it long enough? I am more of a cook than a baker so I am slightly clueless!

  13. Omg… A local restaurant serves this but I’m pretty sure they buy it frozen… It is my absolute favorite cake … so I thought I’d look for a recipe on the web… your cake looks exactly like theirs …. can’t wait to try making it myself… THANK YOU for figuring it out and sharing !!! 🙂

  14. I made this cake, and while the cakes themselves came out beautifully the filling was very very thin, I followed the directions exactly, I used cream cheese to thicken it.

    • I followed the directions as well and had the same issue with the filling. Thought maybe it was just me! I had to add more mascarpone and powdered sugar to get it to a proper ‘filling’ consistency.

      • I’m not sure why some of you had problems with the filling…possibly the different brands of mascarpone are a little thicker or thinner? Glad you got it to work for you by adding more mascarpone and powdered sugar though.

  15. I am making this cake today and kind of toggling between this and another recipe. For the most part they are the same, although the other recipe calls for 500 g (17.5 oz.) of mascarpone cheese so that may make the filling a bit more dense.
    Can’t wait to see how this turns out! We had it about a month ago (purchased in the store, frozen) and it was wonderful. I love how this particular recipe breaks everything down so easily, and the photos are great, too.

  16. The 500 g of mascarpone worked out great. I also upped the powdered sugar to about 4-5 Tbl. It wasn’t too sweet (but sweet enough). I actually made 2 of these cakes this week (one was to practice for the one I would make at Easter). In the first one I used fresh raspberries; in the second I used the frozen mixed berries. The second cake was MUCH more moist than the first. I also reduced my oven temp to about 325, and just watched it after 30 minutes. It was wonderful!

  17. I made this cake this past Saturday and it was a hit! It is was so good, I also used fresh berries and it came out very moist. Yummy, this will be added to one of my favorite cakes. Thanks for sharing your recipe for all us to enjoy.

  18. I made this cake for a special occasion and was disappointed. First the cake was to cool completely in the pans, which made them stick to the pans, so that was a mess. The crumb topping baked right into the cakes, so it wasn’t as pretty as if the crumbs were right on top of the cake like the picture showed. I put the powdered sugar on top just before serving, instead of before putting it in the fridge like the recipe said. I was afraid it would be absorbed by the cake. After all of the disasters with this cake I didn’t want to take any more chances. It tasted OK, but it wasn’t worth the effort.

    • I made this for Motehrs day. It was a huge hit. My oven baked these for about 40 minutes and they were perfect. The crumble did “bake into the cake” but I think most experienced bakers would expect that. If you do not want taht you can put it on towards the end, but its always hard.

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  22. Just made this. Went together like a dream and looks fabulous! The test will be tonight when the “Cake Nazi” tries it. We had this cake at a great restaurant here in town and I decided to try it for his birthday today. YIKES! I am messing with tradition. I hope it’s as good as he remembers. I’ll report back tomorrow.

  23. I have made this cake a few times just made one for my husbands b.day he loves it. It is an expensive cake to make. The first time I made it, I had never heard of mascarpone cheese. Found it at Martins Groc. $5.00 and I needed two since I could only get 8oz. so that was $10.00 for just cheese. Have shopped around now that I no what it is and found it for $3.48. I used the pam spay with flour instead of butter to grease pan turned out perfect!

  24. This is a Pastry Miracle: today I went to the Newport News, VA location of your coffee shop, where this cake has not been available for months. As always, I told the server behind the counter that I strongly urged them to bring back Lemon-berry mascarpone cake. She said “Let me check in the back in case we still have any.” I told her it was unlikely, since I’d been asking for a long time. To my surprise, she brought me the ONE REMAINING SLICE from the freezer and – bless her li’l heart – didn’t charge me for it. Then, at home while waiting for it to de-frost, I Googled the cake and up came your blog! A Pastry Miracle!

  25. my son just had this desert at a local restaurant today and loved it! I will be making this recipe for mother’s day desert. thanks for sharing.

  26. Hi, Carla! I am making this cake for our wedding on Saturday! We are making it ttomorrow…16 layers ranging from 14 inches to 6 inches. We will freeze each layer and make the mascarpone filling on Friday. We will wrap it in multiple layers of plastic wrap and then foil before freezing. Do you have any tips or suggestions to help this process along? Thanks so much!

    • How did it work out for you? I’m considering making this for my up coming wedding. It’s my fiancé’s favorite cake. Any tips you can share would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  27. We have a local restaurant that serves what you explained to be the same thing… I grilled the waitress and admitted they buy it from Sysco. It is heaven in your mouth to eat and it’s always our go to dessert when we go there. They server theirs with a drizzle of raspberry sauce and whipped topping. I will have this at my wedding in 2017. I love it that much. Will have to try your version so I can get my fix and not pay 5 bucks a slice.

  28. Mine was a little dry, but I don’t have a mixer, so I may have over beaten. But lovely all the same and I received compliments.

    • I also think mine was dry around the edges because I used 9 inch rather than 8 inch pans and when the cakes come out of the oven, they’re initially still cooking from the heat of the pans. So, I am thinking 25-30 minutes. I want to try it next time with the juice of two lemons, instead of one. Also, serving it at room temperature really brings out all the flavors.

  29. Your marcaspone cheese must be used right out of the refrigerator. If you set it out and then try and whip it, it will be runny… i know this from experience…:)

    • Actually, just yesterday I had a problem as you describe and found out that mascarpone, because of the higher fat content, will “ break” if you use a whisk. It is necessary to use a paddle on your mixer. I found out the hard way yesterday, when my paddle was in the dishwasher and used my hand mixer instead, which had thin beaters. Expensive mistake but now I know.

  30. I made this cake for Mother’s Day with my in-laws, and we all loved it! Thanks for the delicious recipe! I made as-is, except that I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream because I already had it on hand. It worked just fine.

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  32. I just had this yesterday at a restaurant and absolutely loved it. I searched for a recipe and yours sounds great. I didn’t see a temperature for the oven, but assume it should probably be set at 350 degrees? Thank you……can’t wait to make it.

  33. I am so bummed!!! This cake is time consuming and sadly mine turned out dry! Ugh!!! For some reason I had to keep it in longer, I did use 8 in cake pans…. Could I have over mixed in my kitchen aid!? I purposefully tried to not over beat.

  34. I believe this is my favorite as well. I have been looking for a recipe. I own a chain of restaurants and I do know this one is from Eli’s out of Chicago. Its called The Moscato Berry Tira Mi Su (if it’s the same one.) With shipping it’s $75.00! Even for a restaurant to order. Ouch. BUT… I’m hoping someone can confirm this is the copycat of this dessert…? If so, I can’t wait to try it!

    • Nope. On the SYSCO website/catalog it is the Lemon Berry Cream Cake # 5811581. I purchased a whole one from a restaurant for $50, so it must be cheaper wholesale from SYSCO.

  35. This is my go-to recipe anytime I bring a cake somewhere in the spring or summer. Like many others, my husband and I first tasted the restaurant version and i just had to find a recipe to try and recreate at home. Carla, you nailed it! Thanks for sharing.

  36. **Caution in this review***
    Great cake. After having it at a favorite restaurant, I came across this recipe and have made it several times, always with success.
    Today I learned that mascarpone can “break”; in other words turns into a fatty watery mess.
    My bowls and paddle from my mixer were in the dishwasher so I choose to use my hand mixer for the filling. BIG MISTAKE (and expensive too!) It turns out, because of the higher fat content, you cannot use a whisk on mascarpone, and although my beaters on the handmixer were not whisks, they were too thin. A paddle works best.
    Luckily I had cream cheese in the fridge….definitely second choice, but in a pinch will work.
    Now I will just have to make it again for next months birthdays!

  37. I am planning on making this cake for my husband, but I have one question; do I use the berries frozen or should I thaw them out?

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