Prosecco Olive Oil Cake, layered with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote and Mascarpone Cream filling – OH MY!! The Aperol Spritz is our favorite Italian cocktail and my inspiration for this heavenly taste of Italy. It only takes one sip of this iconic cocktail to transport me to Italy.
The Spritz is a simple cocktail made with crisp, bubbly prosecco, a bittersweet aperitivo (Aperol or Campari), and an orange slice garnish. Aperol is a vibrant orange aperitivo with roots in Padua, Italy. Originally enjoyed before a meal to stimulate the appetite, it can also be beneficial as a digestivo after a meal. Its signature bitter flavor comes from a combination of aromatic ingredients like burnt orange, rhubarb, and gentian, and it packs in a little more sweetness and slightly less of a boozy punch than its crimson cousin, Campari.
This is not a difficult cake to make, but it does take time. It is such a scrumptious cake, I know you will be happy you took the time to try it. But I have also included a shortcut and some hints in the recipe notes to encourage you and take less time.
Just like the Spritz Cocktail, my Italian Spritz Cake is synonymous with Italy and La Dolce Vita! Cin Cin!
Italian Spritz Cake
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup Prosecco
- 1 cup olive oil
Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
- 3 cups hulled strawberries halved or quartered if large
- 4 cups rhubarb sliced ½” thick
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup Prosecco
- 2 tablespoons Aperol (optional)
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
Mascarpone (Zabaglione) Filling (see Notes for a "Simple Mascarpone Cream Filling")
- 4 egg yolks
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup Prosecco
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- Preheat oven to 325° convection.
- Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans and line with parchment.
- Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and mix together well using a wire whisk. Set aside.
- In stand mixer, blend sugar, eggs and orange zest on med-high for a minute. Slowly mix in vanilla, Prosecco and oil. Add dry ingredients to mixer bowl and beat on low speed just until smooth, scraping bowl down as needed. Pour into prepared pans.
- Bake about 25-28 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean.
- Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
- Invert cake layers so paper side is on rack and cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 400° convection.
- Combine all ingredients in a sheetpan with 1" sides and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until juices have thickened, stirring once after 10 minutes,
- Compote can be made several days ahead.
- Begin by making zabaglione. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a stainless bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. The bowl needs to be big enough for the mixture to double in volume. The bowl should fit snuggly but should not be touching the water in the saucepan. The water should not be boiling, just simmering. Whisk until the mixture thickens slightly and begins to turn pale.
- Add Prosecco and continue whisking until mixture doubles in volume and is very fluffy.
- Prepare an ice bath in a larger bowl. Set the bowl of zabaglione in the ice bath and whisk until cool to the touch. Remove from ice bath and set aside.
- In another bowl, whip cream until medium peaks form. Remove from bowl and set aside.
- In the same bowl used to whip the cream (no need to wash), beat the mascarpone cheese and orange zest until smooth and creamy.
- Add the whipped cream and beat on low until smooth and incorporated.
- Fold in the cooled zabaglione.
- The filling can be made one day ahead and refrigerated until needed. Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before assembling cake.
- Place one layer (rounded side down) on your cake plate.
- Spread about 1 rounded cupful of Strawberry Rhubarb Compote evenly to the edge of the cake. You want a thin layer of compote but not a skimpy layer. Use as much of the compote as you need. Reserve the remaining compote.
- Using about half of the Mascarpone Filling, drop by the spoonful over compote. This will help you spread it more easily. Using a small, offset spatula, carefully spread the filling evenly to about ⅛” of the edge of the cake. If you use too much of the Mascarpone Filling, it will ooze out.
- Carefully, place the other cake layer (rounded side up) on top of the Mascarpone Filling. Spread about a cup or a little more of the remaining Mascarpone Filling over the cake and spread it to the edge of the cake. Reserve the remaining Mascarpone Filling.
- Swirl together any remaining Mascarpone Filling and Strawberry Rhubarb Compote to serve with the cake.
- You can substitute the Simple Mascarpone Cream Filling (recipe below) for the Mascarpone (Zabaglione) Filling.
- The Strawberry Rhubarb Compote can be made several days ahead.
- The cake can be baked the day before.
Simple Mascarpone Cream Filling
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup confections’ sugar
- 8 ounces mascarpone, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat the cream and sugar until medium peaks are formed. Remove from bowl. No need to wash the bowl.
- Add the mascarpone and orange zest to the bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the whipped cream to the mascarpone and mix just until combined. Don’t over mix.