pony cake

(or, a rosemary vanilla cake with blackberry preserves, mascarpone frosting, and marzipan dala horsies)

even at the very mention of needing a meat course from my concerned jewish mother (a sausage bar, even!), i freaked out with enough magnitude to decide that egg and i would elope. i decided that many times over the past few days. at wedding dress shops, at paper shops, in the car, eating fried green tomatoes, etc. 

("you don't need a xanax prescription, you're not going to be one of those brides that doesn't enjoy her wedding because she is too stressed out, i just won't accept it," says katie. bless her.)

oyoyoy. i'm thinking in all italics right now. all caps and italics. this whole idea of not thinking about my wedding until i got engaged lest i jinx the thing was not the best idea. i'm being dramatic. ok you know what we need right now? a wedding themed happy list:

-these past few days were spent in minneapolis with mum and stoop, eating really great sausages and charcuterie and shopping for wedding dresses.

-i found a really great dress. it's tie dye, has pouffy sleeves, and sequins all up in every inch of that thing (or at least this is what i'm telling eggboy).

-egg and i got supplies to make our own invitations and they're going to be super cute and hopefully not in the third grade art class way.

the thing i am least stressed out about is the cake because stoop is making it and i just can't even begin to imagine how absurd it's going to be. but speaking of cake, let's talk about this pony cake:

in an assignment that had me tweezering on individual sprinkles so that they'd sit around the rim and not on the backs of my little marzipan cutouts, i made a pony cake for saveur's 20th birthday! it's a fluffy vanilla cake infused with rosemary and filled with blackberry preserves and tangy mascarpone frosting, and it's right alongside some beauties by sarah, izy, and a whole lot of other people whom i'd love to eat cake with.

i'm going to go stick my entire head into a cake like an ostrich now.

Rosemary Vanilla Cake with Blackberry Preserves and Mascarpone Frosting

makes 8-10 servings



1 cup whole milk

2 sprigs rosemary

1 3/4 cups cake flour

1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1/3 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup vegetable oil



12 oz. unsalted butter, softened

8 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

A pinch of Kosher salt



1/2 cup blackberry preserves

Fresh blackberries and rosemary sprigs for garnish

4 oz. marzipan, kneaded with gel or liquid food coloring and cut into desired shapes (optional)

Sprinkles (optional)





1. For the cake: First, infuse your milk with the rosemary. Place the milk and rosemary in a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Remove it from heat and let it sit, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour three 6” round cake pans or two 8’’ round cake pans and set aside. Sift together cake flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda into a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then add the vanilla, yogurt, and oil. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Measure out 2/3 cup of the infused milk, pouring it through a strainer if there are any stray bits of rosemary. Depending on how much milk evaporated during the infusing process, you may have some leftover or you may need to add more (non-infused milk) to compensate. Mix this into the batter. 

3. Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake cakes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 18-24 minutes. Let cakes cool for 5 minutes, then invert each onto a rack to cool completely.

4. For the frosting: Beat butter, mascarpone, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add sugar and salt and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.

5. For assembly: Put 1 cake layer on a cake plate; spread a thick layer of frosting on top and a thin layer of blackberry preserves on top of that. Set another layer on top. If using three 6’’ layers, add another layer of frosting and preserves and top with remaining layer. Frost top and sides with remaining frosting. Decorate as desired with blackberries, rosemary sprigs, marzipan shapes, and sprinkles.