A perfectly light and fluffy vanilla-infused white cake layered with fresh tropical fruits and berries and topped with a bourbon cream cheese frosting! This cake is will wow everyone with its impressive presentation and complex flavors. Just make sure to save me a slice…
My brother, sister-in-law and nephew visited us over the summer. One evening, we went to a local taco restaurant for dinner. We followed it up with a visit to a new-to-me dessert restaurant, where we tried 4 different sweets. The menu item my sister-in-law chose was a fresh fruit cake.
To be honest, this cake didn’t sound that interesting to me. The description wasn’t awe-inspiring and basically said that it was a white cake with a fruit filling. I wasn’t too excited about trying it but quickly changed my mind after taking a bite. The cake was light and fluffy and pretty much a perfect white cake. The fruit filling was light and refreshing from the addition of kiwi and pineapple – definitely a differentiator since most cakes don’t include these tropical fruits.
And then the cream cheese frosting… with a touch of bourbon, it was a wonderful way to top off the cake, along with some additional fresh fruit bits. I guess my piece of feedback to the restaurant is not to undervalue these desserts because whoever their copywriter was did not do this cake justice. Just saying.
Since there were 4 desserts to share among 4 adults, 1 kid (Addie) and 1 toddler (who sadly, did not get to enjoy much of the spread), we got to take home the leftovers. This cake is the one dessert that I consistently went back for during my sugar cravings, and it was the first to get fully eaten.
Fresh fruit cake
Fresh fruit cake
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (8 ounces) egg whites
- 1 and 1/2 cups milk
- 1 pint strawberries
- 2 kiwis
- 1/4 cup fresh pineapple
- 1/4 cup fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup fresh blackberries
- 1/4 cup canned mandarin oranges
- 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon bourbon optional
Make the cake
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease or line three 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, and baking powder and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the salt and vanilla. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the egg whites. Alternatively add the dry ingredients and the milk, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and mix again for another minute.
- Evenly distribute the batter into the 3 cake pans and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to sit for another 20 minutes. Then turn the cakes out and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before assembling.
Make the fruit filling
- Wash all the fruit and chop them into small pieces. Toss together and set aside.
Make the frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until well blended and smooth, about 2 minutes. Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar. Add in the vanilla bean, vanilla extract and bourbon if using. Beat for 1 additional minute. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill.
Assemble the cake
- Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate or a serving plate. Add a mound of frosting on top. Then add about 1/3 of the fruit filling, making sure to leave at least a 1-inch border around the perimeter of the cake untouched in case the fruit oozes out the side. Repeat with the remaining layers. Save the final 1/3 of the fruit filling for the top of the cake as decoration. Frost the cake with the remaining frosting.