Lemon Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Filling and Summer Berries

I have to admit, the cake is not lacking calories. But despite this fact, it feels light, tangy and fresh; just the right thing to serve after a spicy barbecue dinner. You can’t be too generous with berries here, pile them high – it’s so worth it!

Makes one 10-inch cake, about 12 servings

For the cake:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups fine granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 6 oz (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup yogurt, at room temperature (whole or low fat)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp pure lemon extract
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

For the filling:

  • ¾ cup whipping cream, chilled
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese (homemade or store-bought), chilled
  • 1 ½ cups lemon curd, chilled
  • Assorted fresh berries

Make the cake:

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F. Generously butter a 10-inch deep Mary Ann pan or a 10-inch springform pan and dust with flour. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Rub with your fingertips to release the lemon oil.

In the bowl of the stand mixer or in a large bowl using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the lemon-flavored sugar beating on medium-high speed until well combined, pale in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the yogurt, ¼ cup lemon juice, vanilla and lemon extracts. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour mixture and the yogurt alternately in batches, beginning and ending with the flour, until just combined. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top.

Place the pan onto a cookie sheet and slide into the oven. Bake the cake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool the cake on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then unmold. Place the cake on the cooling rack set over the cookie sheet.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine ¼ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let boil for a minute. Take off the heat, stir in 2 tbsp lemon juice. Brush the syrup over the top and sides of still warm cake. Then let the cake cool completely on the rack before filling.

Make the filling, fill the cake:

In a medium bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, whip the cream until firm peaks form. Set aside for a moment.

In another bowl, using the same hand-held electric mixer with the same attachment (to minimize a cleanup), whip the mascarpone until smooth and light. Beat in the lemon curd. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone-lemon mixture in two additions until incorporated. Spoon the filling over the top of the cake. Pile the berries over the filling. Refrigerate until serving time.

Although the best the day it’s assembled, the leftover cake was still delicious (and looking presentable) the following day. So, if you need, you can make it a day in advance.

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33 Responses to “Lemon Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Filling and Summer Berries”

  1. What a tasty looking cake. I love how there’s a crater for the delicious mascarpone filling.

  2. MMMMM….what an excellent cake!! What a beauty too!!

  3. Beautiful cake – and it sounds delicious! I love mascarpone cheese… sooo delicious!

  4. so refreshing!

  5. I love each and every flavor here, Vera. Stunning presentation!

  6. It looks beautiful! Looks so yummy with the cheese and berries on top!

  7. A wonderful cake! What delightful flavors!



  8. Oooh my this is calling to me! I just loving the flavors. I’ve just been reminded that have that same cake pan, and can’t remember when I last used it! Beautifully done!!

  9. i love that the cake is practically as thick as the filling–excellent ratio, and excellent recipe!

  10. That is the perfect summmer cake!

  11. This cake is exactly what sons and husband love eating! a real good cake with cream and berry… exactly what I never do for them… so this time, I’we to forget calories (for me only) and try it. Thank you sharing…

  12. Absolutely stunning! this is perfect for a summer bbq!

  13. I have one of those pans and I’ve only every used it once. This is a great use for it!

  14. I was just recently helping my mom search for a good lemon poundcake recipe. After seeing this, forget about the poundcake! This lemon cake with the cream filling looks fabulous!! What a gorgeous sight to behold, and I can only imagine how wonderfully flavorful the creamy tart treat is! Great job.

  15. Absolutely gorgeous. The deep Mary pan sounds very intriguing. Never heard of it, but am craving for one (with the cake within too/LOL). Beautiful summer dessert Vera!

  16. Lemon cake with mascarpone? And berries? Wow, what can be more refreshing? Would really like to try it! The pictures are just great! By the way, thank you for visiting my site.

  17. Thank you all for the kind words!

  18. I made a similar cake like this the other day. It was amazing! I loved the tart of the lemon against the mascarpone cheese texture and berries. I’m totally making it again.

  19. I may have to make this. My daughter’s birthday is in one week and her birthday dessert (it isn’t always cake) has to be lemon.

  20. Cory, I agree – it’s worthy to be repeated :)

    Eileen, I’ll be very glad, indeed, if you decide to give it a try :) Happy Birthday to your daughter!

  21. Piture perfect!nothing could be more lovely than this vera

  22. I recently discovered your blog and I love it! You have so many wonderful recipes. Last week I made ricotta, mascarpone, and this great cake. There is one more piece left in the fridge, I think I’ll go get it now!

  23. Bindiya, thank you very much!

    Bobbi, thank you so much for your kind words! I am so happy you find my recipes interesting enough to make. Thank you for the feedback!

  24. Gorgeous! I love how you put in the filling :).

  25. What a great looking cake! I got a Daisy Ann cake pan for my wedding 2 years ago and haven’t been able to find a good recipe to use it with yet. Yours looks perfect!

  26. I just bought some mascarpone, and plan on going blueberrie picking this week. I am going to give this a try for sure, looks light and refreshing.

  27. I always love your blog… and its so clear..
    is there any pudding recipe? like a mango pudding or so. my mom asking for it. she loves your blog as well. =)

  28. oh, I find the mango pudding. yippie.

  29. This looks SO good!! And a perfect use for mascarpone.

  30. Dear Vera,
    I was wondering if I could use the mascarpone cream with the berries as a filling for a wedding cake.

  31. Raffaella,

    It would depend on the cake. If it is going to be a multy-tier cake, I wouldn’t use it. You would need something more stable that could support the weight of the upper tiers. You should also consider the weather conditions when you choose the filling for the wedding cake. Such filling can be stabilized by gelatin, but either way I wouldn’t use it if the cake is to be stacked.

  32. Vera,

    Looking at making this cake for a baby shower. Do you think it would translate into cupcakes easily? The baby shower is a picnic potluck, so it needs to be picnic friendly. Any other ideas? Thanks!

  33. Thank You! This is looks exactly like the cake I fell in love with six years ago. I was never (til now) able to figure out exactly what the desert was called. I have not tried the recipe but hope to soon.

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