For the Cake
2½ cups (280 grams) sifted White Lily® Self-Rising Flour
2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
½ cup (1 stick/113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup (48 grams) organic palm shortening
¼ cup (56 grams) organic almond oil, or favorite vegetable oil
1 cup (240 ml) organic buttermilk, at room temperature
¾ cup (180 grams) egg whites (about 6), at room temperature
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure almond extract
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
All-purpose flour and shortening or vegetable oil to prepare cake pans
For the Frosting
2 cups (4 sticks/452 grams) unsalted butter, softened
½ 8-ounce container (113 grams) chilled fine-quality mascarpone cheese
6 tablespoons (113 grams) Strawberry-Raspberry Sauce (recipe below)
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
4 to 4½ cups (480 to 540 grams) confectioners’ sugar
Natural pink food coloring
For the Cake Adornments
Fresh red raspberries and/or strawberries, optional
Three 8-inch by 1½- to 2-inch round cake pans
Four wire cooling racks, with the fourth being used to flip cake layers right side up
Arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans with shortening or oil. Line bottoms with parchment or wax paper circles. Grease paper linings and dust lined pans with flour, tapping out the excess. Set aside.
Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix self-rising flour and suga on low speed (stir) until well combined and aerated, about 1 minute. Add butter, shortening and oil and mix on slow speed until thoroughly combined. Mixture will be very thick.
In a 2-cup glass liquid measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, egg whites and extracts using a fork until well blended. Slowly add half of the liquid mixture to the batter and mix on low speed. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary with rubber spatula, about 2 minutes. Add remaining liquid mixture and beat just until smooth and thoroughly combined, again scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary, about 1 minute.
Using rubber spatula, scrape and pour batter into prepared pans dividing evenly (a little over 2 cups of batter per cake pan). Smooth tops evenly with rubber spatula and then rap each pan on counter surface 2 to 3 times to expel any air bubbles. This step will create a nice level cake.Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. (I have found that 28 minutes is perfect.) Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Run thin metal spatula around edges of each cake to loosen, then invert onto wire rack and peel away parchment or wax paper.
Turn right side up onto wire racks (using an additional rack to flip) and cool completely or wrap while still warm to retain moisture. Wrap each cake layer tightly in plastic food wrap and keep at room temperature until ready to fill and frost.
To frost and fill cake, use a scant ¾ cup frosting between each layer and then proceed to frost the cake as desired with remaining buttercream.
Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld mixer and large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add mascarpone cheese, Strawberry-Raspberry Sauce and vanilla, if desired; beat until fully incorporated.
Gradually increase mixer speed to high and continue beating until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary with rubber spatula.
Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating on low speed (stir), until well combined. Beat on high speed until well combined and smooth while scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, about 2 minutes.
If desired, tint buttercream with pink food coloring.
8 ounces (227 grams) hulled fresh strawberries, about 1½ cups quartered
8 ounces (227 grams) fresh red raspberries, about 1½ generous cups
½ cup (100 grams) organic granulated cane sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sort, rinse and dry berries before measuring and using in recipe.
Using a food processor, purée the berries. Press berry purée through a fine mesh sieve into medium saucepan; discard the seeds. Stir in sugar and lemon juice.
Bring fruit pulp and juices to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes while skimming foam from sides of saucepan using a slotted spoon.
Once the foam has been skimmed, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook stirring frequently until bright in color, thickened and reduced by half, about 10 minutes. When done, there should be ¾ cup of sauce or about 225 grams.
Set sauce aside to cool completely before using.