Berry Chantilly cake is made of layers of delicate sponge cake, filled with luscious Chantilly cream frosting and loaded with fresh berries. So light and irresistible!!
What is Chantilly cake?
Chantilly cake can refer to 2 different kinds of cakes.
- In the South, Chantilly cake is a vanilla cake filled with fluffy whipped cream. This’s the version we’re making here.
- In Hawaii, on other hand, it’s a chocolate cake with coconut frosting. I had no idea about this when I ordered a slice of Chantilly cake in Hawaii. And I was quite surprised when I got a slice of chocolate cake. 🙂
What is Chantilly cream?
Don’t let the fancy name fool you. Chantilly cream, or more appropriately crème Chantilly, is basically a sweetened whipped cream, originated in small town of Chantilly, France.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
My version of berry Chantilly cake is made of light and airy sponge cake layers, drizzled with simple syrup (or pineapple juice), then filled with lusciously fluffy Chantilly cream and fresh berries!
It’s an incredibly light cake with a burst of fresh berries in every bite!
- Sponge cake – You only need 3 ingredients to make this sponge cake. Check out my sponge cake tutorial for detailed directions and tips. It can be made in advance!
- Simple syrup – We soak the cake layers with simple syrup before filling. You could also use a can of pineapple juice instead as I did in my video tutorial.
- Berries – I recommend using fresh berries, as frozen berries won’t look good after thawed.
- Cream cheese – Make sure to use full fat, plain block of cream cheese. And bring it to room temperature before whipping for silky smooth texture.
- Heavy whipping cream – It’s crucial to use heavy whipping cream with over 33% of milk fat, or it won’t whip into stiff peaks. Also, cold heavy cream whips faster, so use it straight from the fridge.
How to make this cake:
While you can make this entire cake in one day, I like to break up this cake project into 4 steps over 2 days. That way, it’s easy and effortless process!
- Day 1: Make sponge cake and simple syrup. This can be done up to a week in advance!
- Day 2: Make filling and assemble the cake.
Step 1. Make sponge cake
You only need 3 ingredients to make this classic sponge cake. I have a detailed post on how to make this cake layer with step-by-step photos.
- You can make one 9-inch cake and slice it into 3 layers. Or you can bake into two 7-inch cakes and slice them into 4 layers.
- Slice the cake layers once completely cooled, as the sponge cake can be fragile when warm.
Sponge cake is perfect for making-ahead. So feel free to make it up to 1 week ahead. It freezes well too!
Step 2. Make simple syrup
Soaking each cake layer with simple syrup ensures melt-in-your-mouth tender and moist cake, as sponge cake is typically dry kind of cake.
It’s really easy to make simple syrup and it can be done up to a month in advance.
- In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Then add sugar and stir until it’s completely dissolved. Then cool to room temperature and chill in the fridge.
You can also substitute canned pineapple juice for simple syrup. I loved this variation!
Step 3. Make Chantilly cream
For sturdier and more flavorful Chantilly cream, we’re adding cream cheese and splash of orange liquor. Oh, it’s a frosting heaven!!
- Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks, 2-3 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, beat softened cream cheese until fluffy. Then stir in powdered sugar, vanilla extract and orange liquor.
- Now, fold in half of the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Once it’s well combined, add the remaining whipped cream and gently fold until well combined. Be gentle, so you don’t deflate the frosting too much.
Make sure to bring cream cheese to room temperature before beating for silky smooth frosting.
Step 4. Assemble the cake
This Chantilly cake can be assembled the same day of serving, or a day in advance.
- Place the first cake layer on a serving platter.
- Generously drizzle simple syrup (or canned pineapple juice) all over the cake layer.
- Then spread whipped cream evenly over the cake.
- Arrange berries in one layer on top of the frosting and the cover with more whipped cream.
- Repeat with the remaining layers, and then cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting.
- Decorate the top of the cake with fresh berries. And enjoy!
Store this cake in the fridge until ready to serve. Leftovers can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 5 days.
It’s not recommended to freeze an assembled berry Chantilly cake, but you can bake the sponge cake in advance and freeze it for up to 3 months.
Berry Chantilly Cake
For sponge cake:
- 6 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar divided, Note 1
- 1 ½ cups (180g) cake flour Note 2
- ½ teaspoon salt optional
*For simple syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups (360ml) heavy whipping cream
- 8 oz (225g) cream cheese softened
- 1 ½ cups (190g) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange liquor Note 4
- 2 cups (265g) fresh strawberries chopped
- 6 oz (170g) fresh raspberries
- 6 oz (170g) fresh blackberries (or blueberries)
To make sponge cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line bottom of two 8 or 7-inch cake pans with parchment paper. No need to grease the pan.
- Separate egg whites and yolks, making sure not even a little bit of egg yolk gets into the whites. (TIP: It's easier to separate the egg when they're cold right out of the fridge.)
- In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, whisk together egg yolks and ½ cup of sugar until pale and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sift flour and salt.
- In another mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium low speed until foamy.
- Add remaining ½ cup of sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and continue to whisk until stiff peaks, gradually increasing the speed to medium high, 7-10 minutes.
- Using a spatula, add 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and gently fold until mostly smooth. Add the remaining egg whites and gently fold until smooth.
- Add sifted flour into the batter in 3 stages, whisking the batter well after each addition.
- Pour the batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake the cake until inserted toothpick comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Don’t open the oven for at least the first 30 minutes!
- Let the cake cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Then run a knife around the edges and invert onto a cooling rack. Cool completely. Once cooled, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, or preferably overnight. It’ll be easier to cut it when the cake is thoroughly chilled.
*To make simple syrup:
- In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Then add sugar and stir until it's completely dissolved. Then cool to room temperature and chill in the fridge.
To make Chantilly cream:
- In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, whip heavy whipping cream until hard peaks form. Transfer it into another bowl.
- Now, place cream cheese in the mixing bowl with whisk attachment and beat it until fluffy, about a minute.
- Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and orange liquor and beat it until nice and smooth, 2-3 minutes.
- Now, fold in half of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Once it's well combined, add the remaining whipped cream and gently fold until well combined. Be gentle, so you don't deflate the frosting too much.
To assemble the cake:
- Slice each cake into 2 slices horizontally. Place the first cake layer on a serving platter.
- Generously drizzle 5-6 tablespoons of simple syrup (or canned pineapple juice) all over the cake layer.
- Then spread whipped cream evenly over the cake.
- Arrange berries in one layer on top of the frosting and then cover with more whipped cream.
- Repeat with the remaining layers, and then cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Decorate the top of the cake with fresh berries. And enjoy!
Tips & Notes:
DIY Cake Flour: Measure 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, remove 3 tablespoons of flour, and replace 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. That’s it! Now you just need to sift it well and you’ve got yourself a cake flour. Note 3a: Simple syrup can be made up to 3 weeks in advance. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container. Note 3b: You can substitute a can of pineapple juice for simple syrup. Make sure it’s 100% juice and not syrup. Note 4: I like to use Grand Marnier, but you can also substitute fresh lemon or orange zest. I feel like it’s missing something without a burst of citrus. Storing Tips:
1. This can be made and assembled 1 day in advance.
2. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve. Leftovers should be refrigerated, covered, for up to 5 days.
3. It’s not recommended to freeze an assembled berry Chantilly cake, but you can bake the sponge cake in advance and freeze it for up to 3 months.
This recipe was originally published on May 4th, 2015.