Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and line with parchment two 9" square pans. For an alternate pan choice, see "tips," below.

  2. To make the cake: Combine the eggs, sugar, and almond extract in a mixing bowl. Beat on high speed until the eggs thicken and lighten in color, about 5 minutes.

  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Sprinkle 1/3 of the dry mixture over the beaten egg and gently stir it in. Repeat twice more, using 1/3 of the flour mixture each time. The batter will begin to look spongy and fluffy.

  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake the cake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and place on racks to cool in the pan completely.

  5. To make the syrup: Combine all of the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for one minute, or until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, strain, and set aside to cool.

  6. To make the filling: In a small bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese and orange zest. Gradually stir in the heavy cream until the mixture is smooth and thick. Stir in the confectioners' sugar. The syrup and cream can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and held in the refrigerator until the cake is ready to assemble.

  7. To assemble the cake: Place one cake layer on your serving platter and brush it with the syrup. Allow the syrup to soak in, then apply more. You'll use about half of the syrup for the first layer.

  8. Spread half of your sliced berries over the moist cake. Dollop on half of the cream filling, and spread in an even layer. Top with the second layer of cake, repeating the soaking process.

  9. Spread with the remaining cream filling, then top with the last of the berries. If you prefer, individual servings can be topped with whole berries.

  10. Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour (or up to overnight) before serving.

  11. Store any leftover cake in the fridge for up to 2 days. Freezing is not recommended.

Tips from our Bakers

  • The syrup and cream can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and held in the refrigerator until the cake is ready to assemble.
  • If you don't have two 9" square pans, you can bake in two 9" round pans. The layers will be slightly thicker, and will take a few extra minutes to bake.
  • *Fresh orange juice can be used to replace the Grand Marnier if desired. Be sure to save the fresh zest for your cream filling.
  • This cake is best enjoyed within 24 hours of making it.
  • Eating gluten free? Your favorite gluten-free sponge or yellow cake, baked and sliced in thin layers, can replace these cake layers. Don't already have a favorite recipe? Try this: Gluten-Free Yellow Cake.