is a very popular traditional Italian dessert made with lady fingers or sponge cake, coffee, marsala wine and mascarpone cheese. These delectable flavors can also be combined in a rich cake that is perfect for a special occasion. This recipe creates an extravagant three layer cake that is even better the day after assembling. For simple decorating try scattering chocolate curls
over the buttercream or real coffee beans.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Yield: One three later cake
- Vanilla Cake:
- 5 cups sifted cake flour
- 4 tsps. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 ½ cups white sugar
- 8 egg yolks
- 2 cups milk, room temperature
- 4 tsps. pure vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups sour cream, room temperature
- 8 egg whites
- 1 ½ tsps. instant coffee
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- 2 Tbsps. Kahlua
- 2 Tbsps. Marsala wine
- Mascarpone Filling:
- 1 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 2 Tbsps. Kahlua
- Espresso Buttercream Frosting:
- 2½ tsps. vanilla extract
- 2½ tsps. espresso powder
- 1½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3½ cups confectioner’s sugar
- Gather all your cake ingredients together and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans by buttering them and dusting with flour. You can also line the bottom with parchment.
- Sift together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) in separate medium bowl and set aside.
- Cream butter in large bowl with electric beaters set on medium speed until butter is fluffy and pale yellow. Add sugar and blend until fully incorporated, about 5 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time, blending thoroughly after each. Then mix in the milk and vanilla.
- Add flour mixture alternately with the sour cream making sure you mix each addition thoroughly before the next. Scrape the sides of the bowl down between additions as well. Use four flour additions and two sour cream additions for the best results.
- In a clean dry bowl beat egg whites on high speed with clean beaters until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into cake batter until fully incorporated.
- Spoon about two thirds of the batter into two cake pans evenly taking care to smooth the surface. Add the instant coffee into the left over batter, gently mixing to combine and spoon the batter into the last pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle come out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool for at least 15 minutes then invert and cool completely to room temperature, right side up. Level cakes with a serrated knife.
- In a small bowl mix together brewed coffee and 2 Tbsps. of Kahlua and wine. Brush the tops of the cakes with coffee mixture and set aside so the liquid soaks into the cake.
- In a medium bowl combine mascarpone, confectioner's sugar, and Kahlua with hand beaters set on low; beat just until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla extract until the coffee is completely dissolved; set aside.
- Using hand mixers beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy and pale. Reduce speed to low and add the confectioner's sugar a bit at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl down and increase the beater speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy. Add the espresso mixture and beat on medium-high speed until it is completely incorporated.
- Layer the soaked cakes with the filling in between each layer and frost with espresso buttercream. Don't decorate or serve the cake right away because it needs to chill at least 8 hours to allow the flavor to mellow.