let them eat cake

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My mother-in-law had a new challenge for me: re-create the Berry Chantilly Cake from Whole Foods. We don’t have a Whole Foods, so I had no idea what I was trying to accomplish, but I googled it, and was worried that I might have bitten off more than I could chew. It looked fantastic and, according to her, was the best cake ever. Gulp.

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My googling also led me here and I figured it was a good place to start. That recipe used a Mascarpone cream cheese frosting rather than traditional Chantilly cream, which I thought was a brilliant idea. I also found Whole Foods’ description of their cake and it said it was just sponge cake with fresh berries and cream filling. Okay, I can do this.

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And I did. Husband proclaimed it his new favorite cake of all time and I will now be making it for him daily. I didn’t think anything could topple his obsession with my carrot cake but I guess I was wrong. And will now have to re-think my tradition of making carrot cake for his birthday. Also, we’re trying to convince his mom to get on a plane simply to come eat cake.

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Anyway, bon appetit!

berry cream cake

inspired by Whole Foods’ Berry Chantilly Cake

UPDATE:10Nov-My mother-in-law finally got to try this cake over the weekend and she proclaimed it better than Whole Foods (although she was probably just being nice) however she said that my cake was a bit heavier and I had more jam in the layers. The Whole Foods one seemed to use just berries and cream in the layers and had a lighter cake. So….if you’re trying to make an exact replica, take that into consideration. If you’re trying to make a fantastic cake that tastes similar-this is the cake for you. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t think it’s the best cake they’ve ever had. Not even trying to brag there, just stating facts.

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berries:

1 C fresh strawberries, sliced (fourths worked well for me)
1 C fresh raspberries
1 C fresh blackberries
1 C fresh blueberries
100 mL Grand Marnier (this is two mini-bottles, if you care)
1/4 C orange juice
2 tsp powdered sugar

1. Rinse and drain berries.
2. In large bowl, whisk together Grand Marnier, orange juice, and powdered sugar.
3. Stir in berries, making sure to coat completely. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.

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cake:

4 eggs
2 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 C butter, melted
1 C heavy cream
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
2 C all purpose flour
2 Tbsp corn starch
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 325°
2. Beat eggs on high speed for 5 minutes. Add sugar and beat for 5 more minutes until very fluffy.
3. Add butter, heavy cream, vanilla, and vinegar and mix just until incorporated.
4. Gently mix in flour, starch, baking powder, and salt, stirring just until combined.
5. Divide batter between two greased and floured 9″ cake pans. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cook in pans for 5 minutes then transfer to greased wire rack to cool completely.

high-altitude recipe:
a fabulous reader named Rachel sent me these adjustments if you’re making the cake at high altitude. Thank you, Rachel!

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
5 Tbs butter, melted
1 cup + 1 Tbsp heavy cream (I used a mixture of heavy cream and whole milk since I had ran out of cream)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp corn starch
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

*Bake at 340 degrees for 20 mins (plus or minus a minute depending on your oven).

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berry sauce:

1/4 C raspberries, rinsed and drained
1/2 C blackberries, rinsed and drained
1/4 C pure cane sugar
1/3 C orange juice
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp corn starch

1. Combine all ingredients in saucepan and simmer over low heat until thickened and berries have broken down.
2. Remove from heat and strain to eliminate seeds.
3. Allow to cool, but not set up.

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frosting:

2 C heavy cream
1 tsp almond extract
8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 C powdered sugar

1. In chilled bowl, beat cream and almond extract on high speed until soft peaks form.
2. Whip cheeses and powdered sugar together until creamy.
3. Gently fold the cheese mixture into the cream until completely incorporated. Use immediately.

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assembly:

1. Whew! You made it!
2. Slice the sponge cakes in half so that you now have 4 layers of cake. Place one layer on serving platter.
3. Pipe a thick layer of frosting around the edge of the layer. The goal is just to form a barrier so that the berry sauce doesn’t escape to the outside of the cake. This is where I differ from the Whole Foods version. From what I can gather, they cover a whole layer with frosting and then add just a few berries and hardly any berry sauce. After trying many ways, we like it best overflowing with berry sauce and berries in the layers and all of the frosting on the outside. But it’s your call.
4. Top with berry sauce, covering entire layer. Then add berries (but not the marinade. You don’t need to drain them, just use a slotted spoon). You will need 3 layers of berries and sauce plus some for the top, so divide accordingly.
5. Place the next layer of cake on top and repeat steps three and four. Then do it again.
6. Place the last layer of cake on top. Frost and decorate cake with remainder of frosting, berries, and sauce. It’s best to have a thick layer around the edge so that the berries and sauce don’t run off.
7. Sit, back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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23 thoughts on “let them eat cake

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  3. OMG! This is fantastic, you must be genious, how you recreated this amazing replica without every trying a Whole Foods Berry Chantilly Cake is beyond me…but amazing. The only suggestion that I have…the run off, left over from the “berries,” makes an amazing drink for the sucré Boulanger. Mix all the droppings with a little club soda, and voila, it’s time to relax and share with no one! You’ll be dancing away the clean-up!

    • Thank you! I’m pretty sure you’re the genius though-great suggestion! My cake-baking days will be much happier from now on! After the baby, of course… 😉

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  9. Absolutely amazing! I have tried several versions of this (labor intensive) cake, because it is ridiculously expensive to buy. This is by far my favorite- I’m in awe.

  10. This looks awesome! Just wondering if I could use thawed frozen berries instead as the fresh ones aren’t in season anymore?

    • Thank you! I’ve never tried it but I think frozen berries would be just fine (thawed first, of course). The only problem I can think of is that some frozen berries are a little goopy-ier (if that makes sense) than fresh so might have more of a tendency to ooze out from between the layers. Just something to keep in mind but shouldn’t affect taste or awesomeness! Good luck! Let me know how it turns out!

      • You’re right about the consistency of frozen berries vs fresh. I will have to make sure that I have a very thick ring of icing before adding the berries to the layers. I believe I will attempt this cake sometime this weekend and will let you know how it turns out! Thanks 🙂

      • Consistency…much better word than goopier. Haha. The other thing you might try is just stirring the frozen berries in with the berry sauce so that you only have one filling thing to deal with and pipe a thicker ring of frosting. Should be fine. Or just let it all ooze out and make a more deconstructed-looking cake. Might be cool. Either way, taste will be the same and that’s what matters. Happy baking!

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  12. Hi! This is a fabulous recipe! However, I live at 6000 ft so my beautiful, rich, white cakes fell in the center as soon as I opened the oven door. So I made it again with a few adjustments and the second cake was amazing. It didn’t fall in the center at all! I did realize that I’m not a cake decorator as my cake did come out quite lopsided, but it tasted amazing!

    Here are a few high-altitude adjustments for the cake:

    4 eggs
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 tsp vanilla
    5 Tbs butter, melted
    1 cup + 1 Tbsp heavy cream (I used a mixture of heavy cream and whole milk since I had ran out of cream)
    1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
    2 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
    2 Tbsp corn starch
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt

    Oven temp 340 degrees for 20 baking time (plus or minus a minute depending on your oven).

    My family thanks you profusely for the recipe as well! And as for my first “mess up cake”… lets just say the extra berries I had needed some company!!

    • Oh, thank you, thank you!!! I’ll have to post this alteration-I’m sure you’re not the only one who needs it! I’m so glad y’all liked the cake-it’s Husband’s favorite 🙂

  13. Many thanks for this version of the Berry Chantilly Cake…can’t wait to make it for someone’s special occasion and I’m thinking I don’t need a occasion…will just make and enjoy it!

  14. This cake looks FANTASTIC!!! I can’t wait to make it.
    One quick question though, is the grand mariner absolutely necessary? I’m making this for a church group and, well, quite frankly, I’m not really sure how the whole alcohol being in the cake thing would go over. Lol.
    Thanks!

    • I’m so so sorry!!! For some reason I just now saw this! Hopefully it’s not too late…I really love the subtle flavor of it (no one would probably be able to tell) but it’s definitely not necessary! Try adding just a bit more orange juice to the berries instead and it will be just as delicious! Good luck!

I love comments. Did you also threaten to burn down your kitchen? Do you know how to get dogs (or ducks) to stop digging holes? Please tell me about it.

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