I recently had the privilege of creating Berry Chantilly Cake and Cupcakes for my sister in law’s baby shower. Berry Chantilly Cake consists of layers of moist white vanilla cake surrounded with Chantilly frosting and layered with fresh berries. It’s an incredibly delicious, and decadent cake. Creating the cupcakes and center piece cake was quite a learning experience for me, and I almost decided not to blog about it. I felt they could have turned out much better than they did. But later I had a change of heart, thinking some of you may learn from my mistakes. So here goes! :0)
The cupcakes and cake tasted amazingly delicious (a given with all the yumminess that goes in it), but didn’t look as refined as I imagined they would in my head. Turns out Chantilly cream doesn’t pipe so well. At least for me. I used a 1M piping tip and violet icing color, both from Wilton brand.
Chantilly cream is amazingly delicious; it’s made with heavy cream, sugar, cream cheese and creamy mascarpone cheese. Most pictures I found of this cake did not have the frosting piped on, it was applied simply with a spatula or knife. Big clue there, but I was oblivious! Well, me being the ambitious one that I am, I wanted to pipe it on both the cupcakes and centerpiece cake so it would be extra pretty. In hindsight, maybe if I had stabilized the frosting with gelatin it might have worked??? Does anyone have an answer for this? I have stabilized traditional whipped cream frosting before using the gelatin method. I made the mistake of creating these the night before the party without any experimentation beforehand. I had intended too, but just ran out of time!
I woke up the next morning (morning of the shower), determined to give my sister in law the pretty cake she requested! So I whipped up a batch of classic buttercream frosting and piped it on the Berry Chantilly cake. I could be tried for blasphemy here, I know. I didn’t know how the two frostings would taste with each other, but I took a chance. I had already crumb coated it with the Chantilly cream the night before and put it in the freezer, so it was ready to go the next morning. The frozen cake took the buttercream well and I was able to pipe it onto the sides no prob! However it was a whole lot of work and hopefully I’m saving you some trouble by sharing my cake woes with the world!
My father in law discovered Berry Chantilly Cake at Whole Foods several years ago. Each time there was a birthday in the family, he would purchase a whole cake and bring it home for the party. It was always a huge hit and I knew someday I’d have to learn how to make one myself. And now I know!
It starts with a vanilla cake made from scratch. There are many recipes out there, you can use your favorite, or use the one included in this recipe.
Then you get to whip up the Chantilly cream frosting! Soo amazing delish. I will say the ingredients for this will probably put a dent in your wallet. Unless you have your own milk cow and make your own cheeses. (One of my dreams someday!)
Assembling the cake is fairly straightforward. Along with the frosting and berries, you’ll also have layers of a simple berry syrup. (Recipe also include below.) This is the key or ‘secret’ to a truly amazing Berry Chantilly cake. The cake soaks up the syrup and boy is it yummy!!! For the cake, I baked two 6 inch rounds and once cooled, cut them in half (very carefully use a long serrated knife or floss and go slow).
Once you have your cakes cut, apply the layers in this order: cake, berry syrup, frosting, fresh berries. Repeat, flipping the top portion of the cut cakes over so the flat cut sides are facing up. Then coat the whole thing in a thin layer of frosting (does NOT have to be pretty, this is the crumb coating, just try to make it flat and even on the top and sides) and freeze it for at least 20 minutes before putting the final layer of frosting on the outside. Then decorate the top with mounds of more fresh fruit. For an even more beautiful effect, lightly dust the top berries with powdered sugar and garnish with a few green mint leaves. So pretty and so yummy!
The cupcakes were simple. Fill a cupcake tin with paper liners. Fill the liners up about 1/3 the way to the top with batter and bake for about 20 minutes. Let them cool and drizzle the tops with berry syrup. Pipe on a swirl of frosting to make a ‘nest’ for a few fresh berries. Garnish the same as the top layer of the cake! If you’re interested in how I created the little elephant on top, she’ll be the topic of my next post, and she’s made out of modeling chocolate!
Berry Chantilly Cake and Cupcakes Lessons Learned
Lesson #1. Apparently Chantilly cream doesn’t pipe well.
Lesson #2. Adding food coloring to chantilly cake frosting is a BIG no no. The whipped cream and cheeses somehow separated and wouldn’t take the color. I ended up with Icky!
Lesson #3. Always do a test run of a new recipe beforehand when catering to a large party.
Lesson #4. Don’t toss the berries together before you put them on. We did this and the pretty raspberries totally got smashed against the other fruits!
Lesson #5 Don’t overmix from scratch cake batter. Stop mixing just after all ingredients are combined, or else you’ll end up with a dense, gummy cake that is very likely to ‘fall’ in the middle. This rule doesn’t apply so much to boxed cake mixes- just from scratch cakes/cupcakes.
Lastly, I must credit A Sue Chef for sharing her great knowledge on how to make this cake. Enjoy!Print
Berry Chantilly Cupcakes
- Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
- Yield: 3 dozen cupcakes or one 4 layer 6-9 inch cake 1x
This decadent and pretty cake is perfect for wedding or baby showers and can easily be converted into lots of delicious little cupcakes.
Yellow Vanilla Cake
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk (use the real thing, no powdered mix)
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 16 oz mascarpone cheese
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons of strawberry jam.
- Garnishes: Fresh berries (most likely sliced strawberries, raspberries and blueberries) with a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh mint leaves on the very top. (Leave a few strawberries whole for the top layer.)
For the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Set aside all ingredients for the frosting so they will come to room temperature while you bake the cake. Grease two 6 inch or 8 inch cake pans. Place a round of parchment paper in the bottom, grease it and flour the entire pan. Set pans aside.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the melted butter, oil, buttermilk, whole milk, and eggs with the paddle attachment.
- Running on the lowest speed, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, one cup at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl half way through. Mix until just combined. Pour evenly into prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake cupcakes for about 20 minutes.
- With the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese, and mascarpone until light and fluffy. Then add the salt and confectioners sugar and mix to combine. Empty out and wash the bowl.
- With a clean bowl and whip attachment, whip the heavy whipping cream just to stiff peaks.
- With a large spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone cream cheese mixture until fully incorporated.
- In a small pot, mix together the water, sugar and jam. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and let cool.
- If making a 4 layer cake: Divide each cake layer in half horizontally, either with a serrated knife or floss. The first bottom layer of your cake should be the bottom of one of the original cakes, cut side up. Place this first layer onto either a cardboard cake round or a cake stand (whatever you’re going to serve it on.)
- Spread a layer of the berry syrup on top of the first layer of cake, then pipe or spread a thin layer of icing on top of the berry syrup. Evenly distribute some berries on top of the icing layer.
- Repeat this process, making sure to layer the cut sides of the cake up. Skip the berry syrup on the top layer.
- Roughly spread the frosting all over the cake to create a crumb coating. Freeze the cake for at least 20 minutes or can be frozen up to overnight. Place the second decorative layer of icing over the cake and garnish with fresh berries on top, followed by a dusting of powdered sugar and mint leaves.
- Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: French
- Serving Size: 1
You are a brave girl!! It looks beautiful and you have mad piping skills.
I’m wondering if this might work – a tip I learned from Sarah Moulton about making long lasting whipped cream. When using one cup heavy cream to whip, melt one marshmallow with a Tablespoon of heavy cream. Add it to cream that is already at the soft peak stage. Once added, continue whipping until stiff peaks. It supposed to hold for a few days.
I have a hunch that this will pipe much better and when you think of it, it’s pretty much just a hack on your gelatin idea.
You are amazing and I will definitely try that hack next time~ I love the idea! I know I will be making this cake again in the future since it’s a family favorite. Thanks tons :0)
Blogger isn't a job says
Same, exact recipe as everywhere else on the internet (look at http://www.asuechef.com/copycat-whole-foods-chantilly-cake-2-0/). Where does the sugar go in the cake batter? hm
Hello there :0)
I did credit A sue chef for the recipe in a sentence directly above the recipe card. I have since bolded the sentence to make it more noticeable in the future. I just googled Chantilly Cake and from what I saw the top three results were all different recipes/methods for creating this amazing cake. I may just have to ask someone in the Whole Foods bakery about the recipe particulars next time I stop in. Thanks for letting me know about the sugar, I have since updated and streamlined the recipe a bit, adding in the sugar where it was missing in the instructions.
Chuck McCleary says
Hi Emily! I’m surprised you recommend mixing the cake batter for any amount of time beyond combining the ingredients. Mixing the batter is typically avoided as it promotes the formation of long gluten strands, removes air bubbles from the leavening agents, and tends to weaken protein-protein bonds in the batter, making for a tougher, denser cake. What are your thoughts?
Small edit suggestion: the sugar and vanilla are omitted in the instructions for the cake batter.
Thank you so much for your insightful comment. I have learned so much since posting this recipe about baking successful cakes from scratch – you’re absolutely right – over mixing a cake batter will turn out dense, gummy cake which is very likely to fall (which is exactly what happened to me when I made this cake.) I have updated my very naive recipe instructions accordingly and made them a bit more concise as well, and added in the sugar where it was missing. Thanks again!
Kimberly Cherrix says
I assume the vanilla goes into the cake? I also added a touch to the filling/frosting. I specifically made cupcakes and had to add an additional 3-4 cups of powdered sugar and 1/4 cup of meringue powder to the filling/frosting just to get it so I could frost the cupcakes.
Hi Kimberly! Thanks for your comment; yes, the vanilla goes into the cake batter. I’ll update the recipe to remedy that! The frosting is tricky for sure, how did it taste adding in the additional powdered sugar?
I was wondering how the cake turned out when you combined the taste of buttercream with the chantilly cream? Did the cake taste fine? Im thinking of making a number cake with chantilly cream as a filling and piping buttercream on the outside to stabilize the cake layers and cant find anything about how it tastes or how the two frostings combine. Hopefully you see this soon!
Hi Jocelyn; great question! The cake will be delicious with both frostings! I wouldn’t worry about the taste at all. Chantilly cream frosting is definitely a pain to work with as far as covering the outside of your cake. I’m excited to hear about your experience, so yes please comment again and let me know!