Classic Strawberry-Marzipan Cake (Fraisier)


by: Cali Chef

This is a striking, colorful cake with red strawberries, white cake, and a green marzipan topping. There are lots of steps, and while the marzipan topping is easy to roll out and put on, you can skip it if you like. The top of this cake is finished with a sheet of marzipan-an easy way to make elegant, very even, and professional-looking cakes. Green marzipan is traditional, but any color will do. A square cake-a lovely change from the usual rounds-makes an elegant impression. This recipe is for one of the great classic French cakes, fraisier, but you can make square cakes using any cake, fillings, or frostings you like. To assemble a square cake, you need a metal cake square or a square springform pan. Here we show an adjustable cake square, but if you plan on baking square cakes mainly of a certain size, a nonadjustable square or springform pan is less expensive and easier to work with. An 8-inch or smaller square is convenient because a 15 by 17-inch sheet cake will give you two 8-inch square cake layers. The filling for this cake is a classic crème mousseline flavored with kirsch, although in an ideal world, we’d use dry strawberry brandy-eau de vie de fraise-but it's almost impossible to find in the United States. If you already have 5 1/2 cups pastry cream on hand, beat 1 3/4 cups butter into it to make your creme mousseline. There are several flavoring alternatives to kirsch, including mirabelle, which is French plum brandy and eau de vie de framboise, which is French raspberry brandy.


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serves: 1

2 1/2 cups milk (for 5 1/2 cups classic crème mousseline)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (for 5 1/2 cups classic crème mousseline)

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (for 5 1/2 cups classic crème mousseline)

2 eggs (for 5 1/2 cups classic crème mousseline)

2 egg yolks (for 5 1/2 cups classic crème mousseline)

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch (for 5 1/2 cups classic crème mousseline)

1 1/2 cups plus 4 tablespoons butter, cubed or sliced (for 5 1/2 cups classic crème mousseline)

3 tablespoons to 5 kirsch, mirabelle, eau de vie de framboise, Cognac, or strained strawberry puree (for 5 1/2 cups classic crème mousseline)

1 sheet cake 13 by 17 by 1/2 inch, such as butter-enriched sponge cake or cream and butter sheet cake

1 1/2 cups simple syrup, flavored with kirsch, Cognac, or strawberry puree

25 large strawberries, about 1 pound total, stemmed

1 inch square green marzipan 9 by 1/8

Royal icing (optional)

Nutrition Facts
Classic Strawberry-Marzipan Cake (Fraisier)

Servings Per Recipe: 1

Amount per Serving

Calories: 8275

  • Total Fat: 456.8 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 210.2 g
  •     Trans Fat: 11.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 2049.2 mg
  • Sodium: 3481.8 mg
  • Total Carbs: 991.7 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 39.6 g
  •     Sugars: 484.4 g
  • Protein: 107.9 g

how is this calculated?

Download Nutrition Facts Widget Code


1.  Prepare the classic crème mousseline with the ingredients listed above. Have ready an 8-inch cake square or an 8-inch square springform pan. Cut out a square of cardboard to fit snugly into the cake square.

2.  Cut the sheet cake into two 8 1/2-inch square layers, using the cardboard as a template. (The cake is cut slightly large so it fits snugly in the mold.) Fit the cardboard into the bottom of the cake square.

3.  Place one of the cake layers in the cake square. Brush with the simple syrup.

4.  Sort through the strawberries to select 15 of similar size; reserve two strawberries for the top. Trim off the bottoms so they stay flat and are the same height. Reserve the bottom pieces to use in the filling. Cut the 15 strawberries vertically in half. Reserve those strawberries you don't use. Arrange the halved strawberries with their pointed tips on top and the flat side facing out and pressed against the side of the cake square. Continue until you've lined all 4 sides of the cake square, which should take about 15 strawberries (slice more if you need to).

5.  When the cake square is completely lined with strawberries, use an offset spatula to spread in enough crème mousseline to come almost all the way up to the top of the strawberries. Press the crème mousseline against the strawberries to fill any gaps along the sides of the cake square.

6.  Chop the strawberry bottoms and any leftover strawberries-except the two reserved for the top-and spread these over the creme mousseline.

7.  Add more crème mousseline and press down against the strawberries to fill in any gaps between the strawberries along the sides of the cake. You should have about 1/2 cup crème mousseline remaining for the top of the cake.

8.  Place the other cake layer on top and brush with the syrup.

9.  Ideally, there should be about 1/2 inch of space from the top of the cake to the top of the cake square to provide room for another thin layer of crème mousseline and the marzipan. Spread over the remaining crème mousseline.

10.  Roll the marzipan up onto a rolling pin.

11.  Brush off any sugar clinging to the marzipan.

12.  Unroll the marzipan over the top of the cake as you would a sheet of pastry.

13.  Cut around the cake to trim the marzipan.

14.  Chill for 4 hours. Remove the cake square by warming it with a hot, wet towel for 30 seconds and lifting it up off the cake.

15.  If you like, decorate with royal icing. Place the two reserved strawberries on top.

16.  Decorating with a paper cone: While it takes some practice to master, using a paper cone to pipe thin ribbons of royal icing is an easy way to decorate cakes and pastries. Fold a square of parchment paper in half on the diagonal. Cut it in two across the fold so you end up with two triangles.

17.  Lift one of the pointier tips of one the triangles (marked "A") and curve it under so that the tip of a cone begins to form along the long length (hypotenuse) of the paper triangle.

18.  Lift up the opposing pointy tip (marked "C") and curve it around the first cone you formed.

19.  Line up all the tips of the triangles and pick up the cone between your thumb and forefinger.

20.  Fold the tips down into the cone.

21.  Fill the cone and fold one corner dovvn, then fold over the folds. To use, snip off the tip to let the filling flow out.

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