Brown Sugar Cake w/ Strawberries & White Chocolate Mousse

Serves 8-10



  • 1 lb strawberries
  • ¼ - ½ cup granulated sugar
  • few splashes of orange liqueur (Grand Marnier suggested)

White Chocolate Mousse

  • ½ lb white chocolate (good-quality) - if using a block, chop into chip-sized pieces
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • 2 gelatin sheets
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped to a soft peak

Cake Batter

  • 1½ sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cups pecans, toasted & roughly-chopped, + more reserved for garnish if desired

Special Equipment

  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 12-count muffin tin


Macerate Strawberries

  1. Wash and quarter strawberries and add to a medium-sized bowl
  2. Add sugar and orange liqueur to taste
  3. Macerate in refrigerator at least 3 hours to overnight

Make White Chocolate Mousse

  1. Soak the gelatin sheets in ice water bath for 5 minutes
  2. Heat 1¼ cups of heavy cream to just a scald (can be done on stovetop or in microwave)
  3. Place white chocolate in medium-sized bowl and pour heated cream over top. Whisk until smooth
  4. Wring out gelatin sheets and whisk into warm ganache to dissolve. Allow to cool
  5. When the ganache is cool, fold in the whipped cream (whipped to soft peaks- do not over-whip!)
  6. Refrigerate at least 3 hours (preferably overnight) to set up

Mix Cake Batter & Bake

  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy with hand mixer or in stand mixer with paddle attachment
  3. Add eggs, one-at-a-time until fully combined
  4. Combine sifted flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add ⅓ of the flour and mix until just combined
  5. Add half of the milk and vanilla extract, mix until just combined. Repeat this alternation of wet and dry ingredients, ending with the last ⅓ of the flour mixture. Do not overmix- each addition should be mixed until just combined
  6. Fold in pecans
  7. Portion into muffin tins coated with non-stick cooking spray. Only fill cups ¾ full
  8. Place muffin tins on sheet tray, and bake 18-20 minutes, rotating the pan at about 9 minutes
  9. Allow cakes to cool completely before removing from tins


  1. Place mousse in piping bag with star tip (if you do not have a piping bag, a plastic sandwich bag with a corner cut will also work- or, you can just spoon the mousse onto the cakes)
  2. Take one cake, and place on plate. Pipe or spoon mousse around the top outer edge of the cake
  3. Mound strawberries in middle, pipe mousse atop strawberries and top with another cake (flipped upside-down)
  4. Add another dollop of mousse on top, and spoon more strawberries to serve
  5. Garnish with extra toasted pecans, if desired