This cake is baked in two stages- first we bake the layer of whisked sponge in a tray. Then we cover it with meringue (which I’ve swirled with food colouring for decoration here) and bake again so that it’s crisp outside and marshmallowy inside. Once the cake cools, we top it with a lovely mixture of yogurt and whipped cream and then add fresh berries. You can also add other toppings like flaked coconut, chopped nuts etc, depending on what flavours you’re going for.
You know why I love the layering in this recipe so much? It gives you OPTIONS!
- This is a total make-it-your-own recipe: you just need to stick to the basic cake and meringue recipes but because there are 4 super simple components to the recipe, there is a HUGE amount you can change with this recipe
- The cake: I like to keep it simple with vanilla. But you can replace 2 tbsp of the flour with cocoa powder for a chocolate cake, add extracts (almond is super good), fruit zest (HELLO LEMON), poppy seeds, some espresso powder dissolved in a little hot water, add spices (ginger, cinnamon, cardamom…). Whatever!
- The meringue: I swirled food colouring into mine to keep it simple but pretty – you could also fold in powdered, freeze dried fruit, sprinkle on cacao nibs or chopped nuts, again add cocoa or spices. Or just leave it plain!
- The toppings: I add a creamy component (sometimes whipped cream, or sometimes just greek yogurt) you could also use creme fraiche, coconut cream or serve it with ice cream! 😉 You can also swirl whatever you want into that. Use fruity yogurt, or mix in compote, spices, cocoa, extracts, coffee…
- Then I layer on fruits: I use berries during the summer, but I can totally imagine using passion fruit, pineapple and mango, or sliced apples or pears, maybe even supremed blood oranges
- Other toppings: I also garnished mine with flaked coconut (that I finally found at Whole Foods, WOOH), but you could go for flaked almonds, chopped pistachios, chocolate chips, citrus zest, lavendar, candied ginger.
Serving it: I usually just leave it as a huge sheet cake, layered up and just cut it into squares/diamonds/rectangles and serve it like that, as needed. But for the aesthetics this time (what else would I do it for tbh) I used a large pastry ring to cut out circles, then layered them individually. The individual circles are good for if you want to make it look fancier (plus, as the chef, you get to eat all of the edge scraps!!) but the square way is so much easier and quicker.
– Don’t be intimidated by the recipe, it’s super easy. Most of the ingredients are repeated, and the methods are pretty basic
– The meringue-topped cake, once baked, can be wrapped up in plastic wrap and kept at room temp. for about 3 days before you need to serve it up (just don’t layer on the toppings until you’re ready to serve the cake or else it goes soggy)
– You have free reign with variations! Check the list above to see the my tips/ideas (I’ve included some of them in the recipe below)
– You totally don’t have to put the colour swirl into the meringue.
Berry Meringue Sponge Cakes
For the cake layer:
- 4 eggs separated
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- 1 cup (120g) cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
For the meringue layer;
- 3 egg whites
- 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- red/pink food colouring (optional)
For the toppings:
- Fruits: I used raspberries blueberries and strawberries. You can use any fruits you want!
- Other: I sprinkled on some flaked coconut but you could also use flaked almonds, chopped pecans or pistachios
- 120 ml double cream (heavy cream), whipped, with 120ml Greek yogurt + 1/2 tsp vanilla paste folded in
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C), grease a large rimmed cookie sheet, line with baking paper, then grease the paper.
- Whisk the egg whites, gradually adding in half the sugar until you get stiff peaks.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and rest of the sugar until thick and pale.
- Add the egg whites and rest of the cake ingredients to the bowl with the egg yolks and fold together gently until fully combined.1 cup (120g) cake flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp vanilla extract, pinch of salt
- Pour into the lined baking sheet, spread out evenly and bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the meringue:
- In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites, gradually adding the sugar until you get stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla extract.3 egg whites, 3/4 cup (150g) sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Spread onto the cooked cake evenly. To add a swirl of colour, dip the end of a chopstick into the food colouring and swirl into the meringue. Repeat the dipping and swirling until you’re happy with the pattern.red/pink food colouring
- Turn the oven down to 230 F (110 C) and bake for an hour until the meringue is dry and crisp on the outside.
- Let it cool.
- Once ready to serve either layer on the toppings, then cut into squares/diamonds/rectangles and serve, or use a pastry ring or cookie cutter to cut out circles and then layer them up individually.