Triple Berry Layer Cake is the ideal summer cake. Layers of vanilla cake are blanketed by Swiss meringue frosting and a healthy helping of summer berries.
In the hot summer months it’s easy to avoid using the oven, but then you see a recipe that you need to try and turn on the oven regardless of how hot it is outside. This is one of those recipes.
Triple berry layer cake is a must-try summer recipe. Yes, you will turn on the oven for the cake, and yes, you will even use the stove to conquer the swiss meringue frosting, but believe me it is well worth it.
What I love about my classic vanilla layer cake recipe is that it lends itself to many recipes including this berry cake. Snuggled between each layer of cake is buttery swiss meringue frosting and a generous helping of fresh berries. You could almost say this cake is healthy.
It’s healthy to the naked eye, but only those who bake the cake know the amount of butter that goes into the recipe. After all, that is why it tastes to good. You could even say since the layers are exposed that there is less frosting and loads of healthy berries. I’d say that’s a fair argument.
But anyway, this cake is just divine. I made it for my cousin’s belated graduation party (congrats, Ash) and people loved it. I was especially a fan of the frosting.
I can confidently say that I have mastered the recipe for Swiss meringue buttercream and I urge you not to be intimidated. The hardest part about whisking egg whites and sugar over a hot water bath is working through your arm getting tired.
I timed myself on my cell phone to see how long it took for the sugar to dissolve while whisking and it was just under three and a half minutes. The ideal time for an arm workout, wouldn’t you say?
Then all you have to do is return the bowl to the stand mixer and let it do all the hard work. Whisk for five to seven minutes on medium high until stiff peaks form (as seen in the photo above). Add the butter and vanilla and mix until smooth.
There you have it. Swiss meringue buttercream frosting mastered ✓
Slather that frosting between layers of fluffy, moist vanilla cake and let the layers expose themselves. Not frosting the sides of the cake is less work for you and shows off the loads of berries.
So if you must turn on the oven in August, let this triple berry layer cake be the reason.
Triple Berry Layer Cake
- 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons about 525 grams cake flour (not self-rising)
- 2 teaspoons (10 g) baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 sticks 1 cup, 1/2 pound or 225 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups (400 g) sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 2 cups buttermilk 475 ml, well-shaken
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) egg whites* (about 4 eggs)
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups (340 g, 3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 5 cups mixed berries
- 2 cups mixed berries
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans to prevent cakes sticking to the pans (or use magic cake pan release).
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition.
- Turn the mixer on low speed. Add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Then add half of the buttermilk. Repeat. End with last third of flour.
- Spread batter evenly in prepared cake pans. Tap pans on the counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and cool completely, about 1 hour.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together egg whites and sugar until combined.
- Place bowl over a hot water bath on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is no longer grainy to the touch (about 3 minutes).
- Return bowl to the stand mixer and whisk on medium-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch, about 5-10 minutes).
- Switch to paddle attachment.
- Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth. Add vanilla.**
- Cut cake layers in half horizontally using a cake leveler or large serrated knife.
- Place one layer onto your cake stand. Add 1/4 of the buttercream on top and spread roughly. Place 1/3 of berries over top of the buttercream.
- Repeat the process with the other layers, finishing with 2 cups of whole berries.
**Frosting may appear curdled at some point. Keep mixing until smooth.
Inspired by Liv for Cake.