Marie Antoinette's Birthday Cake


I cannot even begin to relate how much I am passionately in love with this confection, so I’ll give you some history about it. This comes from my mother, who first made me this cake on my 16th birthday. I have had the same birthday cake ever since. There is something magically seductive about buttery layers of golden pound cake, blushing pink stripes of raspberry jam, silky cream cheese-mascarpone frosting, with a tangy crown of ruby red raspberries. Vanilla bean sweetly permeates the cake, and its dark seeds speckle the cake’s luxurious coat of frosting, creating an appearance of ermine. For me, this is the ultimate of layer cakes. It can be transformed into cupcakes or trifles, or served as it is in its fullest grandeur. I cannot think of an occasion (or day of the week) that could not be made more splendid with this dessert. This one is for all of the people in your life who you are passionate about, (or the ones who you want to make jealous). Either way, let them eat cake. P.S: If you have pound cake baked into a loaf, by all means slice it up and layer it back together with the jam and frosting. Divinity looks great in every shape.

What you will need

1 recipe of your favorite pound cake, baked into round cake pans (mine gives me two 7" rounds plus a healthy supply of cupcakes)

about 1 cups of your favorite raspberry jam (I think the tangiest works the best)

2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened (neufchâtel works great too)

8 ounces mascarpone cheese (softened)

1 cup cold heavy whipping cream

the seeds from 1/2 of a vanilla bean (or use a good splash of pure vanilla extract)

1 pinch sea salt

1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, or to taste

fresh raspberries, for garnish (and for scraping out the frosting bowl)


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