Triple berry layer cake has layers of vanilla cake blanketed with Swiss meringue frosting and a healthy helping of summer berries.

triple berry layer cake with swiss meringue buttercream and blueberries, raspberries and strawberries

Triple berry layer cake is a must-try summer recipe.  Snuggled between each layer of vanilla cake is buttery swiss meringue frosting and a generous helping of fresh berries. This cake is perfect for summer gatherings with friends and family.

Why this recipe works: The vanilla cake has a tender crumb and subtle vanilla flavor. It truly allows the flavor of the Swiss meringue buttercream and berries stand out.

vanilla layer cake ingredients in bowls labeled with text
photo collage demonstrating how to make vanilla cake for triple berry layer cake

Overview: How to make triple berry layer cake

  1. Make the vanilla cake: Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt), then set aside. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla. Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk to the batter. Transfer batter to two 8-inch round cake pans. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes and cool completely.
  2. Make the Swiss buttercream: Whisk together egg whites and sugar over a saucepan of simmering water until sugar dissolves and mixture is no longer grainy. Return bowl to stand mixer and whisk on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Switch to a paddle attachment and mix in butter, then vanilla.
  3. Assembly: Use a serrated knife to cut cakes in half length-wise. Transfer 1/4 of the frosting to one layer and top with 1/3 of the berries. Repeat twice more, then finish with remaining frosting and whole berries.

Swiss meringue buttercream can be finicky. If you need some troubleshooting tips, check out Liv for Cake‘s guide for how to make Swiss meringue buttercream frosting.

photo collage demonstrating how to make swiss meringue buttercream
photo collage demonstrating how to assembly a triple berry layer cake
triple berry layer cake with swiss meringue buttercream and exposed layers

Helpful tips

Baking a cake requires accurate measuring. I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients. I own this kitchen scale and use it every time I bake. As you make the cake batter, be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix the flour and buttermilk just until combined (avoid over-mixing).

Swiss meringue buttercream is a tricky frosting to make, but is easy if you pay close attention to the frosting texture. When whisking the egg whites and sugar over the simmering water, make sure the sugar dissolves completely. After 3 minutes, rub the mixture between your fingers to make sure it’s not grainy before removing from heat. When using the electric mixer, wait at least 5 minutes before checking for stiff peaks.

slice of triple berry layer cake on plate with strawberry and blueberries

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you split a cake?

This recipe requires splitting the cakes in half lengthwise to create four layers. I suggest marking the edge of the cake with a serrated knife (this is called “scoring”). Make the mark about halfway up the edge. Use the same serrated knife to slowly cut the cake in a sawing motion. Take your time!

Does the cake dry out with exposed layers?

If covered and stored in the refrigerator, the cake will not dry out for a few days. This cake is best when eaten within 2-3 days.

Can you freeze triple berry layer cake?

Unassembled, this cake freezes well. Let the cake cool completely, then wrap securely in plastic wrap and place in freezer safe bags. Freeze for up to 1 month and defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature and assembling.

Why won’t my meringue form stiff peaks?

This happens if there is any yolk or grease in the bowl. Make sure the bowls are perfectly clean!

Why is my Swiss meringue buttercream curdled?

It will look curdled for a minute, but if you continue whipping it will most likely come together. If it doesn’t it’s likely that your ingredients (butter) was too cold. Try putting the bowl back over the pot of simmering water and stirring until slightly warmer.

slice of triple berry layer cake being lifted out of cake

Triple berry layer cake is a delicious dessert to enjoy during the summer. The fresh berries taste delicious next to the Swiss meringue buttercream. If you have extra berries, try making my triple berry pie or triple berry crisp. If you try one of my recipes, be sure to leave a review and tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media.

triple berry layer cake with exposed layers and summer berries

Triple Berry Layer Cake

Triple Berry Layer Cake has layers of vanilla cake blanketed with Swiss meringue frosting and a healthy helping of summer berries.

Ingredients

Vanilla Layer Cake

  • 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (525 g) cake flour, (not self-rising)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (226 or 2 sticks) unsalted butter,, room temperature
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs,, room temperature
  • 2 cups (475 ml) buttermilk,, room temperature

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • ½ cup (120 ml) egg whites* (about 4 eggs)
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups (340 g or 3 sticks) unsalted butter,, room temperature, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Berries

  • 5 cups mixed berries, sliced
  • 2 cups mixed whole berries

Instructions 

Vanilla Layer Cake

  • 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. The frosting may appear curdled at some point, keep mixing until smooth. Add vanilla and mix just until combined.

Assembly

  • 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.

Notes

Tips for making Swiss meringue buttercream: Ensure there is NO trace of egg yolks in your whites and that your mixer bowl and whisk is completely grease free or your meringue won’t stiffen. Frosting may appear curdled at some point. Keep mixing until smooth.
Store triple berry layer cake in an airtight container (or securely covered) in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Serving: 1slice, Calories: 588kcal, Carbohydrates: 70g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 120mg, Sodium: 314mg, Potassium: 197mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 45g, Vitamin A: 1027IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 82mg, Iron: 1mg

Inspired by Liv for Cake.

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