Though autumn is my favourite season by a protracted shot, I’ll readily concede that summer season has rather a lot going for it. The hotter months usher in a novel pleasure and vibrancy as the town comes alive with park picnics, bountiful farmers markets, the aromas of avenue meals festivals, and uncharacteristically cheerful New Yorkers.
A lot of my childhood reminiscences are additionally rooted in the summertime season: Choosing black raspberries off the bushes round our neighborhood, scurrying throughout the street to the native river in the hunt for crawfish, catching fireflies within the fading daylight, having my grandma dye my nails a superbly pure crimson hue utilizing homegrown flower petals. Popsicles and watermelon had been welcome treats, however nothing might beat do-it-yourself bingsoo — Korean shaved ice bowls topped with sticky sweetened condensed milk, chewy morsels of packaged rice muffins, crimson bean paste (which I omitted as a baby… foolish me), and misugaru, completed with a pour of milk on prime. Icy, no-frills perfection.
If the beginning of summer season, with all of the power and chance it brings, has at all times felt like an event to have a good time, it feels much more festive this 12 months as the town begins to emerge from the pandemic. And since any celebration is an excuse for dessert, I dreamed up a enjoyable, seasonal cake to inaugurate the season: a easy however elegant matcha blackberry layer cake. Jammy, calmly mashed blackberries and silky whipped mascarpone cream are sandwiched between 8-inch rounds of just-sweet-enough matcha cake to create a colourful, hanging dessert that’s certain to show heads (and win you new associates) at your subsequent out of doors gathering.
Regardless that I’m a pastry chef, the reality is that any sort of meticulous frosting job is sufficient to make me run from a recipe. For that motive, this cake is one you possibly can feasibly put collectively on a big plate utilizing the extremely technical “stack and serve” methodology. Provided that the cake’s layers are left uncovered, it’s essential to make use of recent matcha powder, quite than something that’s been sitting round in your pantry for who is aware of how lengthy. The brisker the powder, the extra vibrant the green-and-purple cross part of cake you’ll get.
Although I’d initially envisioned this as a 6-inch cake, the layers turned out too tall and had been unwieldy to slice when serving. Pivoting to an 8-inch cake through the testing course of, with the recipe proportions adjusted accordingly, solved this subject and likewise created a greater ratio of cake to cream and fruit. In addition to, a barely bigger cake simply means you’ll be able to share it with extra individuals — although talking from private expertise, chances are you’ll be shocked at how simple it’s to eat, and preserve consuming.
Whereas I’d fortunately dig into this cake year-round, I can’t consider a greater approach to welcome the hotter climate, longer nights, and what feels just like the closest we’ve come to normalcy in over a 12 months. It’s a celebratory begin to the season — and new beginnings — that we’ve all been ready for.

Matcha Blackberry Layer Cake with Mascarpone Cream Recipe
Makes one 8-inch layer cake
For the cake:
1½ cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour3 tablespoons (15 grams) matcha powder2¼ teaspoons baking powder ¾ teaspoon kosher salt 1½ sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) granulated sugar3 giant eggs, at room temperature¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract Scant ¾ cup (165 grams) entire milk, at room temperature
For the blackberries:
12 ounces (2 commonplace packages) recent blackberries 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the mascarpone cream:
8 ounces mascarpone, cold1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold3 to 4 tablespoons powdered sugar, relying in your sweetness choice ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 levels. Evenly grease three 8-inch spherical cake pans with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottoms with parchment rounds, and grease the parchment. (Should you don’t have three pans, you’ll be able to bake in batches and reuse the pans.)
Step 2: In a medium bowl, whisk collectively the flour, matcha powder, baking powder, and salt. Put aside.
Step 3: In a big bowl, beat the butter with an electrical hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment till easy. Add the sugar; cream the combination till mild and fluffy, 2 to three minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Step 4: Add the eggs one after the other, beating after every addition till mixed. Scrape the bowl as soon as extra, then beat within the vanilla.
Step 5: Sift half of the dry components over the creamed butter combination and beat simply till mixed. Rigorously beat within the milk, then sift in the remainder of the dry components and beat simply till the batter is easy.
Step 6: Divide the batter evenly among the many three pans. Easy the surfaces with a small offset spatula, then place the pans within the oven. (You can too put the pans on baking sheets, which can make them simpler to rotate.) Bake the muffins for 17 to twenty minutes, rotating midway by, till a toothpick inserted within the heart comes out clear.
Step 7: Let the muffins cool within the pans for 10 to fifteen minutes, then gently run a small offset spatula across the edges of the muffins to loosen. Rigorously invert them onto cooling racks.
Step 8: Put together the blackberries: In a big bowl, toss the blackberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Reserve a handful of entire berries (for garnishing the highest of the cake), then mash the remainder of the blackberries with the again of a giant spoon, leaving some chunks of fruit intact.
Step 9: Make the mascarpone cream: In a big bowl, add the mascarpone, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Utilizing an electrical mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the components — beginning on a low velocity to forestall splattering — till the cream comes collectively and medium-to-stiff peaks type. Take care to not overwhip.
Step 10: When the layers are fully cool, assemble the cake. Place one layer on a big plate or cake stand, unfold a 3rd of the mascarpone cream on it, and prime with a 3rd of the blackberry combination. (Use extra of the fruit than the juice.) Repeat with the remaining layers, including the reserved entire berries to the highest to complete. You possibly can both calmly frost the skin of the cake or go away it unfrosted for a country however nonetheless elegant look.
Notes: For a hanging purple hue, rigorously spoon a number of the blackberry juice on prime of the cake and swirl it into the cream layer earlier than garnishing with the mashed and entire berries.
Pleasure Cho is a pastry chef and freelance author based mostly in Brooklyn. After shedding her pastry prepare dinner job at the beginning of the pandemic, Pleasure launched Pleasure Cho Pastry, an Instagram enterprise by which she sells her gem muffins to the New York Metropolis space.Celeste Noche is a Filipino American meals, journey, and portrait photographer based mostly between Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco.Recipe examined by Deena Prichep

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