Today I’m so excited to be sharing my version of the well-loved Chantilly Cake! Start with a super soft, from-scratch vanilla cake, fill it with a (quick & easy) fresh homemade jam and finish everything off with an incredible whipped cream cheese/mascarpone frosting! Recipe includes a how-to video!
The Perfect Chantilly Cake
Chantilly cake is a super soft, plush cake (that stays soft, even in the fridge!) filled with a fresh berry jam and cloaked in a whipped mascarpone frosting.
I’ve taken my own liberties with this well-loved cake and I think you’ll love this completely from-scratch, irresistible version that’s perfectly sweetened and tempered with the bright flavor of fresh summer berries.
I think it’s pretty well documented on the blog that my angel food cake has been my favorite cake for decades, but it’s been replaced by my Chantilly cake. That’s not a claim that I make lightly, this cake is incredible and I can’t wait for you to try it.
Let’s get to it!
What You Need
The ingredients for my Chantilly cake were chosen with extreme care. I wanted a cake that was sturdy with a melt-in-your-mouth crumb, but importantly it needed to be soft and moist… moist enough that it didn’t dry out despite needing to be stored in the fridge.
I wont trouble you with all of the ingredients (I think you can figure out the point of the vanilla and salt (flavor) and the baking powder and soda play the typical roll of adding some lift to the crumb), but let’s go over some key players:
- Butter. Initially I worried that an all-butter cake (as opposed to one made with a combo of butter and oil, my typical preference) would not stay as soft and moist as I needed it to in the fridge. However, by using a combination of the reverse creaming method (discussed further down in the post) and plenty of buttermilk, I developed a slightly dense (not dry!) but soft, moist cake that stays soft even after days in the refrigerator.
- Flour. While I initially thought I would have to resort to cake flour for the lightest crumb, I ultimately found that I got the best results when I made this cake with all-purpose flour, and so that is what I recommend.
- Sugar. Granulated sugar and brown sugar both add sweetness, but the brown sugar also adds subtle flavor and extra moisture to the crumb. Hint: If you don’t have brown sugar on hand, see my tutorial on how to make brown sugar.
- Buttermilk. This acidic ingredient not only reacts with the baking soda to give the cake a bit of lift, it also adds incredible flavor and moisture to the cake and leaves us with a tender crumb. Hint: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, try my easy buttermilk substitute!
- Mascarpone, cream cheese & whipped cream. These are the key ingredients for Chantilly cake frosting (plus some powdered sugar for stability). Use softened, full-fat cream cheese for best results. The mascarpone should still be slightly chilled when you use it, I typically remove from the fridge only 15-20 minutes before using.
- Fruit. You can use fresh or frozen fruit to make the jam filling, but for decorating the cake you’ll want to use fresh fruit. Berries are your best bet here, I used raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Chantilly Cake
For Chantilly cake we’re using the reverse creaming method which I’ve covered before with my caramel cake. It’s a simple technique where, instead of first creaming together the butter and sugar, you gradually add the butter into the dry ingredients. This allows for that tight, plush crumb I keep bragging about, and as a bonus it is incredibly difficult to over-mix this cake and my cakes always seems to stay softer longer when made this way.
- Combine dry ingredients and sugar (sugar is technically considered a “wet” ingredient, which can be confusing!). Using an electric mixer (or stand mixer), add one tablespoon of butter at a time, not adding the next tablespoon until the previous one has been worked into the dough. Once all of the butter has been added, the mixture will resemble coarse, sandy crumbs.
- Separately, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract and slowly pour into the dry ingredients while mixing. Stir until you have a smooth, silky batter that’s lump-free.
- Evenly divide batter into three greased 8″ pans. To ensure the cakes won’t stick, I like to line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. The cakes will be pale even when they’re finished baking, this is normal!
SAM’S TIP: I’ve found that these cake layers bake up nice and flat and I’ve never personally needed to trim them, but if your cake layers are rounded with a dome-like top I recommend using a sharp knife to level the layers before assembling.
My Chantilly cake filling is simple and made on the stovetop using either fresh or frozen berries. I use the same method that I use in my raspberry cake filling.
- Whisk together sugar and cornstarch (to remove any lumps) and then add the remaining ingredients and stir. Heat on the stovetop over medium heat.
- Once the berries release their juices, use a fork or potato masher to smash the berries (for a smoother filling).
- Continue to cook until the mixture is thickened. Keep in mind that it will continue to thicken as it cools, but you want it to be near a jam-like consistency, don’t cook it so much that you remove all of the liquid and it’s like a paste!
- Pour into a heatproof container and let cool completely before using. You can speed up the process by placing the jam in the fridge (not freezer).
Most Chantilly cakes are not filled with berry jam. Instead, they’re filled with fresh berries (mixed into the whipped frosting that we’ll go over below). I personally much prefer the texture and flavor of using a simple homemade berry jam, so that’s the way I make my version. If you would like to go the more classic route, see the notes in the printable recipe.
How to Make Chantilly Frosting
This may be my favorite part of the entire Chantilly cake. It certainly ties the whole thing together with an airy, lightly-sweetened frosting that’s a cross between my cream cheese frosting and whipped cream frosting.
- Combine heavy cream, some of your powdered sugar, and vanilla extract and beat until you have just barely achieved stiff peaks (if you pull the whisk out of the cream, the peak that forms should mostly hold its shape but if it dissolves a bit or folds over on itself that is OK in this instance). The mixture should no longer be very liquid, but instead should be taking on a thick, fluffy consistency.
- In a separate bowl, briefly beat together cream cheese, mascarpone, and remaining sugar just until smooth. Do not over-do this step as over-beaten mascarpone becomes grainy!
- Add the mascarpone/cream cheese mixture to the whipped cream and slowly increase your mixer speed until the icing is thick and fluffy, smooth, and well-combined. Its ultimate texture is similar to a very thick and stable whipped cream, but it is not as sturdy or firm as classic buttercream frosting.
Assembling Chantilly Cake
While the steps aren’t terribly different from your standard cake assembly (and are the same as with my strawberry cake or lemon cake), I think it’s worth going over and wanted to at least demonstrate how to make a frosting dam.
- Place your first cake layer on your serving platter. Fit a piping bag with an open tip, fill with frosting, and pipe a thick ring around the inside edge of your cake. This is your dam that will keep the filling from squeezing out the sides of the cake.
- Spread half of the jam evenly into the center of the ring. If you’re making a traditional Chantilly cake with fresh fruit, you would skip the dam, spread the frosting (rather than piping) and then top with an even layer of fresh fruit.
- Top with your next layer of cake and repeat the steps above.
- Top with remaining layer and then cover the entire cake with frosting. This recipe makes enough frosting that you can cover the cake and pipe a decorative border or swirls on top, if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve never been to Whole Foods or had their cake, though I know that the Chantilly cake as we’ve come to know it has origins that reach back to a Whole Foods bakery over 13 years ago and the cake has something of a cult following.
While I’m happy for my cake to pay tribute to that one, mine deviates a fair bit from the original in a few ways, particularly the filling (but don’t second-guess it, it’s so good!). If you’ve tried the bakery version, I’d love to know what you think of my version!
Yes, this is how the well-known classic version of Chantilly cake is made. Instead of preparing the jam, just spread an even amount of frosting between each cake layer and top the frosting with a generous amount of whole or sliced berries before adding the next cake layer. Make sure to wash and dry your fresh berries very well, as they can become moldy in your cake and it will not keep as long as a cake made with the jam!
In my personal experience, the homemade jam filling is preferable for texture and flavor, but either method will work!
Chantilly cake frosting can be a bit finicky.
First, make sure you whip the cream to the proper stage, just barely reaching stiff peaks (the video will be helpful if you’re a visual person!).
Second, the cream cheese should be softened but the mascarpone should still be slightly chilled. If the mascarpone becomes too warm or if it is over-beaten, it can separate and become grainy and gritty. Read the instructions carefully (twice for good measure!) and for extra insurance make sure you watch the video before beginning.
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Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
- 2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour (333g)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300g)
- ½ cup light brown sugar firmly packed (100g)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened and cut into 12 pieces (170g)
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk room temperature preferred (355ml)
- 2 large eggs room temperature preferred
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Berry Filling (see note 1 if you would like to use fresh berries only rather than jam)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (65g)
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch (23g)
- 3 cups/12 oz fresh or frozen mixed berries. I used a blend of strawberries raspberries, and blackberries. (340g)
- 3 Tablespoons water
- 1 ½ Tablespoons lemon juice
Chantilly Cream Frosting
- 2 ½ cups heavy cream or heavy whipping cream (590ml)
- 2 cup powdered sugar divided (250g)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 oz cream cheese softened (226g)
- 8 oz mascarpone softened at room temperature for 15-20 minutes (226g)
- Additional fresh fruit for decorating the cake (if desired). I used fresh berries.
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and thoroughly grease and flour three 8” cake pans or spray with baking spray. To ensure cakes don’t stick, I recommend lining the bottoms of your cake pans with rounds of parchment paper.
- In a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment), combine flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and stir.2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, ½ cup light brown sugar, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt
- With an electric mixer (or your stand mixer) running on low speed, add butter, one tablespoon at a time, not adding the next tablespoon until the previous one is fully incorporated into the dry ingredients. Once all butter has been added the mixture should appear slightly sandy in texture.12 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract until combined.1 ½ cups buttermilk, 2 large eggs, 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- Turn mixer speed to low and slowly pour buttermilk mixture into batter until completely combined. Be sure to pause and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Once finished, batter should be smooth and silky.
- Evenly divide batter into prepared cake pans and transfer to 350F (175C) preheated oven (if all of your cake pans do not fit at once it is OK to leave a cake pan on the counter while the other two bake). If your oven bakes unevenly, be sure to rotate cake pans midway through baking. Bake for 30-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs (cakes may still be very pale when baked through, this is OK, and yes they are supposed to be thin layers).
- Allow cakes to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes then run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan and carefully invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Cakes must be completely cooled before assembling!
- Combine sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan and whisk until combined.⅓ cup granulated sugar, 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- Add berries, water, and lemon juice and stir together until ingredients are all combined.3 cups/12 oz fresh or frozen mixed berries. I used a blend of strawberries, 3 Tablespoons water, 1 ½ Tablespoons lemon juice
- Transfer saucepan to stovetop and turn heat to medium (do not increase heat above medium, heat slowly so the sugar has time to dissolve and the mixture thickens properly).
- Stir constantly until berries have released their juices. At this point, take a potato masher or fork and smash/break up the berries.
- Continue to stir constantly as the mixture cooks and thickens to a loose jam-like consistency. This may take several minutes. Keep in mind that the mixture will continue to thicken as it cools, so you don’t want it to be too thick when you remove it from the stove or it could become like a paste once cooled.
- Transfer berry filling to a heatproof container and allow to cool completely before spreading over cake³
Chantilly Cream Frosting
- Combine heavy cream, 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (190g), and vanilla extract and use an electric mixer to beat until you have just achieved stiff peaks (meaning the peak that forms when you pull the beater out of the cream holds its shape and doesn’t dissolve back into itself. Normally I would say the peak should stand tall and not fold over, but if it folds over a little in this instance that is fine).2 ½ cups heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, 2 cup powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and remaining ½ cup (63g) powdered sugar. Briefly beat together these ingredients on low-speed just until smooth (mascarpone can become grainy if it is over-mixed).8 oz cream cheese, 8 oz mascarpone
- Add mascarpone mixture to whipped cream mixture and beat on low-speed. Gradually increase speed to high and beat until the mixture is thick and fluffy.
- Place one cooled cake layer on a cake plate/serving dish. Use a large round tip (I use a ½” tip/Ateco 826, but you can just use a large ziploc bag with a corner snipped) to pipe a dam along the top edge of the cake, forming a ring.
- Fill this ring with ½ of your cooled jam filling, spreading the filling evenly.
- Top first layer with a second layer of cake and repeat steps above by piping a dam and filling with remaining jam.
- Top with remaining layer of cake. Cover entire cake evenly with mascarpone frosting. You will have a bit extra left to pipe decorative rosettes or other decorations on top, I like to use my Ateco 848 to do additional decorations and then top the cake with additional fresh fruit.Additional fresh fruit
- Store cake covered in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
¹Using fresh berries:Many berry chantilly cakes use whole or sliced fresh berries rather than make a berry jam filling. I prefer the jam filling, but if you don’t you can simply skip this process and use fresh berries instead (you’ll need about 4 cups for the layers and the topping). Simply cover each cake layer with a thin layer of frosting and then scatter with fresh berries before adding your next layer.
²Berry filling preparation notes/making filling in advance:Berry filling may be prepared up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If the mixture is too thick to spread once you are ready to use, briefly heat it in the microwave and stir well until it is easy to spread.
Storing and making in advance:This cake should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Once assembled, it should be enjoyed within 4-5 days for best results. The finished cake may be frozen for up to 2 months. Cake layers may be prepared up to 2 days in advance and after cooling may be stored, tightly wrapped, at room temperature. See note above for preparing berry filling in advance. I do not recommend preparing the frosting in advance, its consistency is best for decorating when used immediately after preparing.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Like all your other recipes, this looks absolutely delicious! I am making a multi tier cake (with stacked cakes) for my sister’s bridal shower. Will this cake be sturdy enough to do like three tiers? What icing should I use for fancy (and somewhat elaborate lol) decorations? Thanks so much!
Hi Elizabeth! I haven’t tried it, but I’m not sure why it wouldn’t work. It is a pretty sturdy cake, but I just don’t know, maybe someone else will be able to chime in with their experience. Swiss meringue buttercream, American buttercream, and cream cheese frosting are all good for piping, however if you want to get really intricate you may want to use royal icing, but I’m not sure how detailed you want to go. 🙂
This cake was super moist and delicious, but it ended up heavier than I expected. Is this the intention, or did I do something wrong? Maybe i spent too much time mixing the butter in? Watched the video after – did not pay attention to the fact there was a video until after we had eaten the cake – and that was about all I could see that i may have done wrong.
Hi Nicole! This should be a slightly dense, but soft and moist cake. 🙂
Leaving 5 star review because I think this cake is delicious. I did however have a problem with the Chantilly Cream Frosting… I’m not sure if I whipped it up enough, but I was afraid of making the mascarpone grainy… it did not hold onto a spatula or hold inside the piping bag. It would plop off anything I tried to spread it with. It would be even hold onto the cake to spread. The cake was cool so that was not the issue. I’m wondering if I under whipped the first or just didn’t whip enough on the second whip? I have no idea. I do oh generally use whipped cream frosting, but this held no structure at all. Even the dam didn’t hold up in a few places and the dam just squeezed out easily when the next layer was placed atop it. I was a little sad that it turned into such a mess, but I mean it tasted good! Do you have any tips for the frosting? Also, could you provide times and what speed level used for the whipping of the frosting? Thanks!
I’m so sorry this happened, Elisabeth! It does sound like maybe the frosting wasn’t quite mixed enough. 🙁 I would suggest watching the video to see textures and things like that. It’s very difficult to give you precise times as each mixer is going to be different, but you do want to use a lower speed. 🙁
Oh don’t be sorry!! Totally my error!! I think you are right about rewatching and taking better note of the texture! I seriously LOVE your recipes!! Thanks so much for posting them! I especially love reading about how you developed the recipe and why you do or don’t use certain ingredients! You are so knowledgeable!
Thank you so much. I’m so glad everything has been so helpful and I hope it turns out better next time. 🙂
So I did some research, and I think what happened is that I over whipped my heavy cream, but only slightly. I say only slightly because it had a greasy feel but not noticeable yellow chunks which would’ve indicated butter. Lesson learned! 🙂
This recipe is a winner! My family said it was better than the Chantilly Cake at Whole Foods. Thank you for sharing your hard work on this recipe!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Thanks so much, Janeen! We are so glad everyone loved it!
I made this cake January 14, 2023 for our delayed family Christmas celebration. I used cassava flour as my daughter And granddaughter are grain free (The cake was a bit heavy, I should have used less cassava flour) but otherwise so delicious. The frosting is divine. I could eat it all by itself! My granddaughter decorated the top w fresh berries and she especially loved it!
I cannot tell you how many compliments I had on this cake! The cake was soft and tender, the jam was perfect, and that frosting was amazing! Thank you for sharing and providing such a detailed video!
You’re welcome, Kelly! I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake so much. 🙂
This has been the scrumptious cake I make for my grandson’s birthday for a couple years now and the new “frosting for all birthday cakes”
However this year one of the boys wants an ice cream cake.
Will this frosting freeze well?
If not do you have a suggestion for one that will?
I love your recipes Sam.
Hi Tami! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying this recipe! I suspect this frosting would do well in the freezer though I have not tried it. For ice cream cakes I generally recommend my stabilized whipped cream frosting, that’s the best one for frozen cakes, in my opinion! I hope that helps, and thank you so much for trusting my recipes, it means so much to me! <3
Thanks so much for the recommendation.
Your stabilized whipped cream frosting was a hit on the ice cream cake.
I will keep making this Chantilly cake. It’s a family favorite.
Along with your Best chocolate cake, Vanilla cake , Peanut butter frosting. Well, honestly we’ve loved every one of your recipes.
Keep testing those great recipes for me Sam!!
You’re the best!
You’re welcome! I’m glad it was a hit! 🙂
Oh, what a wonderful Chantilly cake recipe! My daughter-in-law requested a Whole Foods Chantilly cake, and I asked her if I could bake one for her. This recipe was outstanding. The instructions and video were clear and easy to follow, and the resulting cake was simply divine. So scrumptious. Thank you for such a fabulous recipe!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much, Becky! 🙂
If you decorate this cake the day before will it hold up well?
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Yes! We cover how to store and make in advance in the recipe notes, if you’d like to check those out. We hope you love it, Linda! 😊
Hola Sam me gustaría saber si esta receta de pastel chantilly no se pone duro en refrigeración, ya que hice la receta de pastel de vainilla y se pone duro ? O será que algo hice mal
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Xiomara! This recipe was designed to stay soft even after refrigeration (since the icing needing to be refrigerated). The vanilla cake is different and will dry out in the fridge. Enjoy! 😊
Will the cake.recipe work for high altitude?
Hi Jean! I’m not terribly familiar with high altitude baking, but I don’t foresee any issues with this cake.
Whenever I make this cake people RAVE about it. You can’t go wrong with this one! The frosting is perfectly sweet!
Hi Sam! I love chantilly cake! As a decorator for (lets just say its a giant bird lol), I make the frosting and work with it all the time. However, they never fully let us know whats in it. Im excited to try this recipe and see if its the same, because I could literally swim through it with my mouth open 🤣
Keep up the good work girl!
I’m so glad you enjoy it so much, Fawn! 🙂