My kids would tell you this is my “go to” cake when we are off to a friend’s house for dinner. This cake is easy to make, a showstopper of a dessert, and delicious. The bright white of the whipped cream against the vibrant colors of the berries is just beautiful. The cake itself is dense and moist. You get a slight hint of lemon zest and then it’s all about the perfect sweetness from the whipped cream and the berries.
I started making this cake from Ina Garten years ago. My son doesn’t eat chocolate and every time we went to a party, he was boxed out of dessert. After the main course, kids would excitedly run into the kitchen and take in the beautiful dessert table of cookies, cakes, and ice cream. Poor Jake would stare at the selections and do his best to mask his disappointment. It seemed like almost everything always had chocolate in it. Total bummer for my little guy.
I started looking for desserts that didn’t involve chocolate. We experimented with things like peanut butter, fruit, and caramel. There are a lot of great options, but this cake ended up being one of our favorites.
This recipe makes 2 8-inch round cakes. Stacking them is an impressive presentation with the layered whipped cream and colorful berries. If you only want to make one standard 8-inch round, simply half the recipe. Or, you can make the full recipe and use one cake, and wrap and freeze the other.
- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cups sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- FOR FILLING:
- 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- assorted berries: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Spray bottom of two 8-inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Line pans with parchment paper. Spray again with nonstick cooking spray.
- Mix together flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. Sift and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time. Add sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest.
- Scrape bowl down as needed.
- On low speed, slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture. Combine until smooth.
- Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Smooth tops.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Remove to wire racks. Cool to room temperature.
- For filling, whip cream, sugar, and vanilla in mixer fitted with whisk attachment until firm.