This Berry Chantilly Cake Recipe made with a box mix includes four layers of white almond sour cream cake, cream cheese & mascarpone mousse, raspberry filling, and loads of fresh berries! It's a fancy spring or summer dessert sure to impress guests!
Originally published March 2021, updated September 2023
The first time I made a Chantilly Cake for a client, it was a complete disaster. It tasted good, but it looked like a hot mess. The frosting wouldn't stay on the side of the cake and basically had to scoop it into a box.
I had tried a few recipes prior to this one and they did not impress me. I was running out of time to bake for my order.
Then my friend Angela sent me her Chantilly cake recipe and she convinced me it was a winner so I decided to use her recipe for my client without doing a practice run.
But again... it didn't turn out great for me. Mostly, I was having trouble with the filling and frosting being too soft and not sticking to the cake.
I decided to give it one more try. And this time... I found success. The only thing that wasn't working for me was frosting for the outside of the cake so I decided to just go with my tried and true cream cheese buttercream.
It's decadent, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth amazing. Since I sold the first one, my clients have been ordering them weekly!
Why you'll love this Berry Chantilly Cake
I often tell friends who ask me what Berry Chantilly Cake is like that it's like a really fancy Strawberry Shortcake except a million times better.
It's a delightful combination with layers of moist white almond sour cream cake, silky smooth Chantilly Cream, homemade berry sauce, and fresh berries. This cake is bursting with flavor, texture, and deliciousness.
What is a Chantilly Cake?
The name of the cake comes from Chantilly cream - a French word for sweetened whipped cream mixed with vanilla or liqueur.
Chantilly Cakes were originally made in a Whole Foods bakery in New Orleans and then made famous by the same grocery chain.
As described above, it's a beautiful classic white cake, layered with Chantilly cream and fresh berries. It's sweet, but not overly sweet and it looks fancy enough to impress any crowd. It's just perfect.
This cake is called by many names including "Chantilly Cake Whole Foods" or "Whole Foods Chantilly Cake" since any recipe for it is a copycat of the original cake from the grocery store.
Now Publix is also known for their Berry Chantilly Cakes so you might sometimes also hear it called a "Publix Chantilly Cake."
What's a Berry Chantilly Cake made of?
After reading dozens of recipes and websites, here's a list of what almost all of them include in Chantilly Cakes recipes.
- Vanilla or Almond Cake. The addition of almond flavoring is a Southern thing - maybe even specifically a New Orleans thing. Several of the recipes I read that were not "Southern" did not include almond flavoring.
- Chantilly Cream with Mascarpone and/or Cream Cheese filling. Most have both kinds of cheese, along with powdered sugar, whipped cream, butter, and again, sometimes almond flavoring. I refer to this chantilly cream mixture as a "mousse" because it's insanely silky and smooth.
- Fruit filling or jam. The raspberry filling seems to be the most common but I've also seen strawberry and it varies between syrup, filling, and jams. Any would work! For my cakes, I've been using strawberry filling (made like this raspberry filling, but with strawberries).
- Fresh berries. Almost all recipes include strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Many also included blackberries (which I do most of the time). The fresh fruit really cuts the sweetness of the cake and Chantilly cream.
- Frosting. Many recipes used the filling that's inside the cake on the outside as well, but this didn't work well for me. Some used a different frosting for the outside - either vanilla buttercream or cream cheese buttercream. I chose a slight variation of this cream cheese buttercream.
I'm not sure there is an Easy Chantilly Cake recipe. Seriously, this recipe is not for the faint of heart. The ingredients list is long and the steps of the recipe are daunting. But it's SO worth every second of work that goes into it! So let's get started!
I do have an easier option down below - a Chantilly Sheet Cake, so skip on down if you want to try that!
TIP: Bring all ingredients to room temperature before you start on this recipe!
White Almond Sour Cream Cake Ingredients:
- White cake mix - I prefer Pillsbury but Duncan Hines works well too
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Vegetable oil
- Sour cream
- Vanilla extract
- Almond extract
Mousse Filling Ingredients:
- Heavy whipping cream
- Mascarpone cheese - This is usually found in the specialty cheese section or deli section of the grocery store.
- Cream cheese
- Unsalted butter
- Almond extract
- Confectioners sugar
Fruit Syrup/Filling Ingredients:
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
- Fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Some recipes only use strawberries and blueberries but I love having all the berries!
Fruit Syrup: Instead of making homemade fruit syrup, you could substitute a jelly or jam (such as strawberry jam or raspberry preserves)
Whole Eggs: You can use egg whites in place of whole eggs for a whiter cake if you like.
Butter: I most often try to get unsalted butter for this recipe but I have used salted butter and it all still came out superb!
How to Make Chantilly Cake
Okay - let me show you how to make a chantilly cake with box mix. If you have a go-to favorite from-scratch vanilla or almond cake recipe, you could absolutely sub it in here, but I used my usual doctored cake mix recipe - white almond sour cream cake.
For the Chantilly Cake recipe with cake mix:
- Preheat your oven to 325°F.
- Mix all cake ingredients just until combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between two 8-inch prepared cake pans (I love to use Baker's Joy cooking spray!)
- Bake at 325° for 35-45 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick after 35 minutes.
- Place the cake layers on a cooling rack to cool.
- Torte each layer into 2 layers.
Traditionally most Chantilly Cakes only have 3 layers but since I run a small home bakery, I'm not baking multiple cakes a day to use up those extra layers, so I just use all 4 layers and give my clients a really tall cake.
Making the Chantilly Cream:
- Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside. I have a tutorial here.
- In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter, mascarpone, cream cheese and extracts until light and fluffy.
- Add the salt, then the powder sugar, one cup at a time, mixing until it's all incorporated and smooth.
- Gently fold in the whipping cream, just until combined.
- Set aside.
- Have the filling and/or jam at room temperature, ready for assembly steps.
For the fruit filling:
- In a small pot, add the strawberries, sugar, ¼ cup water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and using a sieve, strain out the seeds. I use a silicone spatula to press the mixture into the sieve to squeeze out all of the juice into a bowl and leave the seeds.
- Pour the syrup back into the pot.
- In a separate small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and remaining ¼ cup water bowl until dissolved.
- Whisk it into the raspberry mixture.
- Bring mixture to a boil again, stirring constantly to prevent sticking and scorching. Turn the heat down and continue cooking until thickened, about 5 minutes. If you prefer a thicker filling, you can add more cornstarch/water mixture a teaspoon at a time until the desired thickness.
- Cool in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. I prefer overnight.
Making the frosting:
- Cream the butter and Crisco in a mixing bowl. Mix on low speed for a couple of minutes until smooth and creamy.
- Add in the vanilla and cream cheese and mix again until very smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar to the cream cheese mixture until it’s all combined.
- It will be very stiff!
- Remove 1 cup of the stiff frosting and set it aside for piping the dam.
- Then begin adding milk until you reach the desired consistency for decorating (2-3 tablespoons works well for me!)
Assembling the cake:
- Place the first cake layer on a cake board or plate with the cut-side up.
- Pipe a dam of stiff frosting around the outer edge using a large round tip.
- Spread a thin layer of strawberry filling onto the cake. You'll want to use about a third of the filling, maybe a little less. Spread it out evenly.
- Top with ⅓ of the Chantilly Cream (aka mousse).
- Top with ⅓ of the fresh fruit. I cut the strawberries into thick slices and usually halve the raspberries and blackberries. I leave the blueberries whole unless they're huge.
- Top with another layer of cake, cut side up.
- Repeat steps 2-6 two more times.
- Top with the final layer of cake, cut side down.
- From here, you can smooth-frost the cake or add texture using the cream cheese frosting.
- Garnish with fresh berries or sugared berries.
- Chill the cake for at least 4 hours or overnight for the best flavor! Keep it refrigerated until approximately one hour before serving, then allow it to come to room temperature.
Note: except for the final layer, I put cut-side-up for all the layers of this cake so the syrup easily absorbs. But before the syrup, I pipe a dam of stiff frosting around the outer edge of the cake to hold the filling in.
Here are a couple of other designs I've done:
If you are intimidated by making a layer cake, I have good news! This cake can be made in a disposable sheet pan into a Chantilly Sheet Cake. This may not make the Chantilly Cake recipe easy, but it makes it easier than the layer cake.
Chantilly Sheet Cake
This option is not as impressive, but if there is one, this is an easy Chantilly Cake recipe (compared to layer cakes). It's much easier to put together, transport, and eat with a spoon. 😉
Here's how to make a Chantilly Sheet Cake (ingredients are the same!)
- Mix up the cake batter and pour it into a prepared 9x13 disposable pan and bake it.
- Flip it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- When cooled, torte it into two layers and place the bottom of the cake back in the pan.
- Top it with the fruit syrup, then the Chantilly Cream, then the sliced fresh fruit.
- Add the second layer of cake on top.
- Frost with cream cheese frosting and top with fresh fruit.
The Chantilly Cake in a sheet pan is just as delicious with a lot less work. The only downside is not getting three layers of the amazing mousse filling... (you may have leftover mousse that'll need to be eaten with a spoon 🥄... darn).
Recipe Pro Tips
- Have all ingredients at room temperature before you start!
- For most any doctored cake mix recipe, I prefer the Pillsbury brand but I have had success with other brands.
- Make the frosting, fruit syrup, and Chantilly Cream a day ahead of time so when you get the cake baked and are ready to assemble it, you have everything ready to go!
- If you want so skip making the fruit syrup, use raspberry or strawberry jam instead.
- Cut the fruit into slices for the inside of the cake so it will sit level.
- You can use a bread knife or any long serrated knife to torte (or split) your layers of cake if you don't have a cake leveler.
- With the exception of the top layer, place the cakes cut side up so they can absorb the fruit syrup.
- Make the cake in a disposable sheet pan to save yourself a lot of work, fear, and clean-up!
- If you want to do the sugared berries, I have a recipe and tutorial here.
- This berry Chantilly Cake is a perfect cake for a family get-together, holiday party, potluck or "just because" dessert.
- Chantilly cake is also great for a tea party or bridal shower. It's fancy and just a little bit extra for those special occasions.
- Chantilly Cake should be kept in the fridge until an hour before serving.
- Storage/refrigerating: This recipe keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-5 days in an airtight container.
- Freezing: Because this cake has fresh fruit and the delicate Chantilly cream filling, it can not be frozen.
I do not recommend assembling the cake more than a day in advance because the fruit will begin to break down. But you can make all the separate parts 1-3 days ahead and then assemble the day of. This includes baking the cakes (cool and wrap in plastic wrap), and preparing the frosting, Chantilly Cream, and fruit syrup.
Torting a cake means cutting it or dividing it into thinner layers. I use an Agbay cake leveler to do this, but you can just as easily use a large serrated knife. I find a bread knife or watermelon knife work great for this job. Using a turntable to do this also makes it a little easier but is not 100% necessary.
Enjoy this amazing, decadent cake, and let me know what you think if you try it!Print