Saturday, April 24, 2010

You make your own birthday cake, right???

It was my birthday last weekend and I made a birthday cake for myself.  Never really thought about it but from the reaction I got from everyone who knew I was doing this, not everyone does it!  Control issues?  Maybe, but I know what I like and how to get it!  Do it myself.

My birthday always comes when strawberries are plentiful so naturally most of the cakes I have baked have strawberries involved.  This year they took center stage…along with some Limoncello of course!


I first made this cake almost 2 years ago, here, and absolutely fell in love with it.  It is a beautiful dense cake and the mascarpone whipped cream was the perfect compliment but I was not really keen on the sherry macerated berries so this year I decided to macerate the berries in Limoncello…good move too!


Mascarpone-Filled Cake with Limoncello Strawberries – adapted from Gourmet, July 2008


For cake:
2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 large eggs
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

For berries:
1/2 cup Limoncello
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups strawberries, quartered

For cream:
8 ounces mascarpone cheese (1 cup)
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar


Make cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep). Line bottom with a round of parchment paper, then butter parchment.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer at low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing after each addition until just combined.

Spread batter in cake pan, smoothing top. Rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles.

Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Discard paper and reinvert cake onto rack to cool completely.

Macerate berries:

Pour the limoncello and the sugar over the berries and toss gently ( allow to satnd for about 30 minutes mixing periodically - or you can do it the real way and bring Limoncello and sugar to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Put berries in a bowl and pour hot syrup over them, gently tossing to coat. Let stand 15 minutes. make cream and assemble cake.

Beat mascarpone and cream with sugar in a large bowl using cleaned beaters until mixture just holds stiff peaks.

Halve cake horizontally with a long serrated knife. Carefully remove top half and reserve. Put bottom half on a plate, then spread evenly with half of the cream and replace top half. Use the rest of the cream on the top and serve with berries.

Cooks notes:
•Cake, without cream, can be baked 1 day ahead. Wrap in plastic wrap once cool and keep at room temperature.
•Berries can macerate at room temperature up to 2 hours.



Jamie said...

Happy belated birthday and with a fabulous cake like this it must've been a great celebration. This cake sounds absolutely luscious and with fresh sweet local strawberries now making their appearance at the market this cake is calling my name! And believe me, I always make my birthday cake because then I get just the cake I want!

@RoseMillsOhio said...

Thinking about celebrating my birthday again, just so I can make this scrumptious looking cake for myself!

Micah | Coffee Machine said...

It would nice to make our own birthday cakes; design it to however we like it. It's kind of hard though.

Anyway, this birthday cake looks great!

Melanie said...

I love this cake. Nice mix of flavors. My birthday cake for years was a strawberry shortcake. I love them. This one is gorgeous too. Thanks Judy.

Lucy said...

This cake looks gorgeous - your heaps of lusciously red strawberries have me hungry! Have saved the recipe for future delicious reference.

Maria said...

I definitely love cakes combining fresh strawberries and a divine cream ... so this looks amazing to me! The mascarpone and limoncello are surely a match made in heaven!

Happy Belated Birthday!

Emily said...

so delicious with the fresh strawberries!

Thistlemoon said...

Happy, happiest birthday dear friend! :)

Your cake looks lovely! :)

kellypea said...

Sorry I missed your birthday, but hope it was special :) That cake certainly is. I haven't had anything close to strawberry shortcake in a while, so of course I'm wishing I had a bit of that right now.

Tiago said...

Oh my god, what is this supremely delicious and orgasmic cake? That is the tastiest cake I have ever seen.

Unknown said...

Happy Belated Birthday Judy! Of course you can make your own cake! As long as you get to eat as much of it as you like!! Looks absolutely incredible.

Best, Emily

Maris said...

It's NOT my birthday and I think I want to make this cake for myself!!

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sunita said...

I'm sure you had a great birthday,the cake says it all. i never used to bake my own birthday cakes, but recently, I have started to do it :-)

Pondering and Writing said...

Hi--found your blog today by browsing through blogger's blog of note and am glad I did! This looks delicious!!

Martha said...

I arrived here by googling "apple fritter" and I think I may want to stay for a very long time.

Unknown said...


Evan told me he wanted me to make him a cake, but since I did not know how to cook, he would take one from Publix - LOL LOL LOL!!!

Smart ass kids!


Vishal-Coffee Machine said...

Its really Yummy and delicious looking cake with fresh strawberry toppings.I love to cook specially cake for my near and dear ones..!!!This cake is really one unique recipe.I will surely try this.