This luscious Vanilla Pudding Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream gets its divine texture from a silky pudding filling while the epic vanilla flavor comes from a double dose of Heilala Vanilla. Heilala Pure Vanilla Bean Paste speckles the cake batter, pudding, mascarpone frosting, and simple syrup. Then Heilala Pure Vanilla Sugar bumps up the depth of flavor in the cake crumb and adds crunchy texture to the exterior of the cake.
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Heilala Vanilla Pudding Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
- 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100 grams) Heilala Pure Vanilla Sugar
- 4 large eggs (200 grams), room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (6 grams) Heilala Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
- 3 cups (375 grams) unbleached cake flour
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
- 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk, room temperature
- Vanilla Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
- Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Buttercream (recipe follows)
- Vanilla Pudding (recipe follows)
- Garnish: Heilala Pure Vanilla Sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla bean paste.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans (about 712 grams each), smoothing tops with a small offset spatula. Tap pans on a kitchen towel-lined counter several times to settle batter and release any air bubbles; smooth tops again, if necessary.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 28 to 38 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Run a knife around pans to loosen edges of cake layers; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
- Level cooled cake layers, if necessary; cut each layer in half crosswise. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate or cake turntable. Brush layer with 2 tablespoons (33 grams) Vanilla Simple Syrup. Using a small offset spatula, spread ¼ cup (48 grams) Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Buttercream evenly over cake layer. Spoon 1 cup (192 grams) buttercream into a pastry bag, and cut a ½-inch opening in tip; pipe a ½-inch tall border of buttercream around edge of cake layer. Using a small offset spatula, spread 1 cup (272 grams) Vanilla Pudding in an even layer within piped border. Repeat procedure twice. Top cake with remaining layer, cut side down, and brush with remaining 2 tablespoons (33 grams) Vanilla Simple Syrup. Using a large offset spatula, spread a thin layer of buttercream on top and sides of cake to create crumb coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Spread remaining Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Buttercream on top and sides of cake. Using a small offset spatula, texture sides and swirl top as desired. Garnish with vanilla sugar, if desired.
Vanilla Simple Syrup
Makes about ½ cup
- 1⁄3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
- 1⁄3 cup (80 grams) water
- ½ teaspoon (3 grams) Heilala Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
- In a medium saucepan, heat sugar and 1⁄3 cup (80 grams) water over medium heat just until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla bean paste. Let cool completely before using.
Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Buttercream
Makes about 7 cups
- 2 cups (454 grams) unsalted butter, softened (see Notes)
- 4 cups (480 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 4 teaspoons (20 grams) heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons (12 grams) Heilala Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 16 ounces (454 grams) mascarpone cheese, softened (see Notes)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. With mixer on low speed, gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating just until combined. Beat in cream, vanilla bean paste, and salt; increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Fold in mascarpone by hand just until combined. (Do not overmix; mascarpone will start to break down.) Use immediately.
For best results, it’s important that the butter and mascarpone for this buttercream are both softened and at about the same temperature. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of each is an easy way to gauge when they’re ready to go. Our butter and mascarpone were at about 65°F (18°C). Try to handle the buttercream as minimally as possible; overworking it on your cake could cause the mascarpone to start breaking down. Some brands of mascarpone blend better into this buttercream than others. If yours is breaking instead of smoothly mixing in, you may need to try a different brand.
Makes about 3 cups
- 2 2⁄3 cups (640 grams) whole milk
- 2⁄3 cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons (24 grams) cornstarch
- 4 teaspoons (12 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
- 6 large egg yolks (112 grams)
- ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
- 1 teaspoon (6 grams) Heilala Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
- Line a medium shallow baking dish or bowl with plastic wrap; place a fine-mesh sieve inside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until steaming. (Do not boil.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt. Whisk in egg yolks until well combined. (Mixture will be very thick.) Gradually whisk in half of warm milk. Pour sugar mixture into warm milk in pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, mixture no longer tastes starchy, and an instant-read thermometer registers 185°F (85°C), 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in butter in two additions; stir in vanilla bean paste.
- Pour and press mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into prepared dish or bowl; smooth into a thin layer. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Stir chilled filling until softened and smooth before using.
Can vanilla extract be used in place of the vanilla bean paste?
Thank you for your question! You can absolutely substitute vanilla extract for the vanilla bean paste called for. Vanilla bean paste would speckle your cake, simple syrup, and buttercream with vanilla bean seeds, lending the cake a more distinct flavor and appearance, but you’ll still get a lovely flavor from vanilla extract. You’ll want to substitute 1:1 by volume.
Hope this helps, and happy baking!