Line the bottom of two 6” cake pans with a cutout of round parchment paper. Spray the pan and its edges liberally with non-stick spray.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat together the egg yolks, whole milk, and vanilla.
In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
Beat the butter into the flour mixture until thoroughly combined, but do not overmix it. This should only take a minute or two.
A third at a time, beat the egg mixture into the flour and butter mixture. When all of the ingredients are incorporated, mix the cake batter for another minute to aerate the mixture. Do not overmix it.
Divide the batter equally between the two cake pans and tap the bottoms of the pans against the counter to get rid of any air bubbles.
Bake the two cakes in the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the cake is golden yellow and a toothpick comes out clean when probed into the cake.
Brush the cake layers with a light amount of almond syrup. This will help to infuse almond flavor into the cakes while also keeping the cakes moist as they cool.
Let the cakes cool for at least 25 minutes before releasing them from the molds. Let them chill the freezer for at least an hour.
When the cake is chilled, use a serrated knife to carefully split the cake layers in half.
Make the Cake Filling
In a large bowl, toss the berries, lemon juice, and almond extract. Set them aside in a cool place.
Make the Icing
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until creamy.
Add the almond extract and mascarpone cheese and beat until just combined
Add the heavy cream and whip it into the cream cheese mixture until just combined.
Refrigerate the icing until ready to use.
Assemble the Cake
Place one layer of cake onto a plate or cake board. Slather the middle of the cake layer with a layer of strawberry jam, then pipe a ring of icing around it. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a freezer bag with the corner cut out. This ring layer of icing will prevent the filling from spilling out.
Fill the layer with a third of the berry filling. Top it with another cake layer. Repeat slathering jam, piping a ring of icing around the jam, and filling it with berry mixture until you’ve used up all but one of the cake layers.
Top the cake with the final layer and smooth the icing all over the cake with a metal spatula.
If you desire, crumb the sides of the cake with the toasted almonds.
If you do not have piping tubes and tips, simply top your cake with fresh berries in a crescent shape and brush apricot glaze on top of them to make them shiny.
If you do have piping tips and tubes, you can pipe stars in a crescent shape along the top of the cake.
Next, pipe leaves between the stars.
Neatly arrange the fruit on top of the bed of leaves and brush them with a layer of apricot jam.
Pipe a few more stars on top of the fruit.
- The cake will keep refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.