This easy Fresh Berry Meringue Cake is the perfect family or special occasion dessert. Three layers, a layer of cake, a simple fresh or frozen berry filling then finished with a Meringue topping. Beautiful and delicious.
With all the fresh berries in market these days I knew I wanted to make something special and a little different. I was actually thinking of a Pavlova because I wanted to try making a meringue. After a little bit of searching I discovered Sainsbury Magazine made a meringue over the fruit rather than the fruit over the meringue. I decided to make it more of a special occasion cake, and what better way than to add cake underneath the fruit!
How to make it
You can find the full detailed and printable recipe below.
In a medium pot add the chopped strawberries, raspberries and blueberries (or your choice of berries), sugar, lemon juice, water and cornstarch. Bring to a boil and stirring constantly cook until thickened. Move to a clean bowl and let cool completely.
In a clean dry bowl add the egg whites and beat until frothy, add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time while beating, continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Place a 1/2 inch to 1 inch cake layer on the bottom of a lightly greased cake pan, spread with the cooled berry filling.
Place the stiff meringue on top of the berry filling. Using the back of a spoon form peaks over the top of the cake. Bake in a pre-heated oven for about 10-15 minutes. Turn the cake halfway through so it browns evenly. Let cool completely before serving.
How to make the perfect meringue
- Make sure that the bowl you use is clean and dry, don’t use plastic because it may have traces of fat or grease.
- The egg whites must be at room temperature.
- Make sure that no yolk gets added to the egg whites.
- Beat the egg whites until frothy then add a little cream of tartar, the cream of tartar (or vinegar) helps make it less likely to collapse.
- Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on low/medium speed until soft peaks appear before adding the sugar.
- Use fine sugar, because it dissolves faster and it helps prevent the egg whites and sugar mixture from being lumpy.
- Add the sugar slowly to the soft peaked egg whites while beating on medium speed.
What is fine sugar
Fine or Caster sugar is slightly finer and dissolves more easily than regular granulated sugar. You can substitute it at a 1 for 1 basis or you can make your own fine sugar just by blending granulated sugar until fine.
What to use instead of cream of tartar?
If you don’t have cream of tartar you can substitute with an equal amount of white vinegar or lemon juice.
Store bought or homemade cake
For this recipe you can use either. If making homemade I would recommend a Sponge Cake which will absorb the berry juice without getting soft and falling apart. If you prefer a softer boxed or store bought cake then just add a teaspoon extra of cornstarch and cook the berries until it is thicker and chill for about an hour in the fridge.
The best berries for the filling
For the filling you can use pretty well any type of berry you like, from chopped or sliced strawberries, to blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and currants just to name some of my favourites.
Can I use frozen berries?
Frozen berries work just fine and there isn’t any need to thaw them before cooking, although you might want to add less water.
How to store it
Any leftover cake should be stored covered in the refrigerator. It will last about 3 days in the fridge. It is not recommended to freeze this Meringue Cake because it will not hold up well frozen. Once thawed the meringue will become chewy and rubbery.
So if you are looking for a delicious and easy cake to make why not give this Fresh Berry Meringue Cake a try and let me know how it goes. Enjoy!
Fresh Berry Meringue Cake
- 1 layer cake (1/2-1 inch / 1.2-2.4 cm thick to fit an 8 or 9 inch cake pan).
FOR THE BERRY FILLING
- 1-1½ cups strawberries (cubed or sliced) (250 grams)
- 1¼ cups raspberries (150 grams)
- ¾-1 cup blueberries (150-190 grams)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (packed)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (more or less depending on how sweet the berries are)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1-2 teaspoons cornstarch
FOR THE MERINGUE
- 3 large egg whites (room temperature)*
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar (or white vinegar)
- 4 tablespoons caster/fruit/fine sugar
*Remove from the fridge 45-60 minutes before using.
- If you are making a homemade cake, then make the cake first and let cool completely. You will need a single layer cake that is sliced through the centre about 1/2-1 inch thick.
FOR THE BERRY FILLING
- In a medium pot add the chopped strawberries, raspberries and blueberries (or your choice of berries), sugar, lemon juice, water and cornstarch. Bring to a boil on medium low heat, stir constantly, cooking until thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Move to a clean bowl and let cool completely. Refrigerate for about 20 -60 minutes to chill and thicken it.
FOR THE MERINGUE (once the filling and cake has cooled)
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly grease and flour an 8 or 9 inch (20/22 cm) round cake pan (springform if possible, if not line the cake pan with parchment paper).
- In a clean dry bowl add the egg whites and beat until frothy, add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
- Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time while beating, continue to beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
- Place the cake layer on the bottom of the prepared cake pan, spread evenly with the cooled berry filling.
- Place the stiff meringue on top of the berry filling. Using the back of a spoon form peaks over the top of the cake. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes or until golden. Turn the cake halfway through baking so it browns evenly. Let cool completely before serving. Enjoy!