Summer Layer Cake

This impressive Summer Layer Cake has a vanilla cake base, fresh fruit layers, and is topped with a mascarpone frosting. This cake is an easy and delicious dessert everyone will love! 

This post is sponsored by Lifeway Kefir. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Taste of Genevieve possible!

This cake is like a ray of sunshine on the cloudiest of days. It’s light and airy, super moist and it’s packed full of bright, refreshing citrus flavor. Don’t take my word for it. Break out your cake pans bakers and keep reading because I’m spilling my top tips for how to make the best summer cake you’ll ever have!

The Cake Layers

This cake makes three, perfectly sized six inch cake layers. You can also bake the cake layers one day in advance (which is what I did). Wrap each layer tightly in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble the cake. 

The recipe includes Kefir, which makes the cake layers moist and tender. Lifeway Kefir is a tart and tangy cultured milk smoothie that is high in protein, calcium and vitamin D. I love using it in my baked goods as a replacement for sour cream, greek yogurt, or milk! Plus it’s healthy and delicious — what’s not to love?!

Tips for Making the Vanilla Cake

  • Properly measure your flour (spoon into the cup measure, then level) or use a kitchen scale.
  • Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature to help them mix together better.
  • Don’t over-mix your batter, stir until the flour is just incorporated.
  • Use Kefir to really pack your cake layers with flavor!
  • Make sure your frosting is the right consistency. This will help give your cake proper structure and make it easier to decorate.

How to store the cake

I basically ate this cake for breakfast, dessert and everything in between until it was gone. There was zero chance any of it was bound for the freezer to save for a rainy day. If you’re like me and plan to devour the entire cake in a day or two, keep it tightly covered at room temperature. 


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups granulated sugar 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • ½  tsp grated lemon zest
  • ½ tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup plain Lifeway Kefir, room temperature 
  • ¼ cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • ¾ heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fruit for topping, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line three 6 inch pans with parchment paper and grease with vegetable spray.
  2. Mix together 2 cups granulated sugar and unsalted butter on medium-low speed for 1 – 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in 4 eggs and mix on low until just incorporated and the batter looks wet.
  4. Mix in 1/2 cup of Kefir on low speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.
  5. Add in greek yogurt and 2 tsp vanilla extract and zests. Mix at a medium-low speed.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, ¼ cup cornstarch, and 1/2 tsp salt. Gradually add into the butter mixture on low speed.
  7. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. I like to use a kitchen scale to make sure each pan has the same amount of batter.

For the Marscapone Frosting

  1. Whip heavy cream in a stand mixer on high speed for about 5 minutes until stiff peaks form. Set aside in small bowl
  2. Add cream cheese and mascarpone to the bowl and mix it with an electric mixer until it is pale in color and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add in sifted powdered sugar and vanilla.
  3. Fold in whipped cream mixture to cream cheese mixture until smooth.
  4. Place a cake layer on a serving platter, spread with 1/3 the mascarpone frosting and scatter with sliced fruit. Add another cake layer and repeat until fully stacked.

I am so excited to share this summer cake recipe with you! ​​If there is ever a time to whip up an extra special dessert, the start of summer is the perfect excuse. This cake turned out so beautiful it would be the perfect dessert to make for a summer cookout, July Fourth, or brunch. Looking for more fun desserts? You’ll love these recipes:

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, send me a photo, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @taste_of_genevieve on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Andree Smith says:




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