A dream of cake! Fruity Berry Meringue Cake with a shortbread base, a filling of creamy vanilla custard and fresh mixed berries with meringue peaks on top to finish.
I love the combo of sweet custard, meringue and refreshing tart berries. Once the cake is cold I used a kitchen torch to caramelize the peaks of the meringue a bit to give the cake that final touch. Just perfect!
I prefer to make the vanilla custard myself. Alternatively, you might be able to use store-bought custard, though I can’t say if it will set properly after baking. Nevertheless, the cake tastes great with or without the custard. So you could just skip the custard.
Tools & Equipment
- 23cm / 9-inch springform pan
- Cooking spray
- Offset spatula
- Parchment paper
- Paring knife
- Plastic wrap
- Rolling pin
- Silicone spatula
- Stand mixer fitted with the paddle & whisk attachment
- Wire rack
Berries: You can of course use other berries, such as blackberries, blueberries or raspberries. Any fruit that tastes slightly sour is perfect for this cake, as they provide a great contrast to the sweet custard and meringue. Rhubarb, for example, is also a great choice.
Custard: You can make this cake without custard if you’re not a huge custard fan or if you’re in the mood for a little variety. To do so, place the berries directly on the dough. Continue with the recipe as described.
Cool: Let the baked cake cool completely on a wire rack. Do not cover the cake at this step, otherwise the meringue will absorb moisture and lose its typical texture.
Ingredients for Berry Meringue Cake
Step by Step Guide – How to Make Berry Meringue Cake
Mix flour and baking powder with a whisk. Attach the paddle attachment to the mixer and add butter, sugar, egg yolks and salt. Mix on medium until smooth, for about 3 minutes.
Roll the dough into a ball, press it into a disc and wrap in plastic. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F and spray the pan with cooking spray.
Wash the berries and pat dry. Line your work surface with parchment and roll out the dough. Invert the dough with the parchment onto the pan and gently press it down, forming a rim. Spread the custard on top.
Smooth it out and arrange the berries on top of the custard. Bake for 20 minutes. While the cake is in the oven, make the meringue. Place egg whites, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium until stiff peaks form, for about 4 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven, spread the meringue on top of the berries, pulling up peaks on top. Return to the oven and bake until done, for another 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Run a knife along the sides of the pan and carefully remove the cake from the pan.
Storage: This cake tastes best the day it is made. But you can keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. The meringue loses a little of its texture meaning its “crispiness” over time, however it is still very delicious.
My Summary for Berry Meringue Cake
Taste: This berry meringue pie tastes sweet and sour at the same time. The tart berries provide a perfect contrast to the sweet vanilla custard and meringue.
Texture: The cake has a nice crust, with a creamy custard filling. The berries still have a slight crunch after baking and the meringue is creamy in some parts, but firm and crisp on the exterior.
Time: The dough is prepared in 10 minutes, but then needs to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Making the custard takes about 30 minutes, but as it needs to be completely cold before using it in the next step, you should make the custard in advance. The meringue is done in 5 minutes, therefore you can make it while the cake is in the oven. Baking time is about 30 minutes.
More “FRUITY” Recipes
For the Dough
- 200g all-purpose flour (405)
- 4g (1 tsp) baking powder
- 100g butter, cold
- 100g granulated sugar
- 3 large (60g) egg yolks
- Pinch of salt
For the Filling
- 1 recipe vanilla pastry cream*
- 600g fresh berries (gooseberries, red currants, black currants)
For the Meringue
- 3 large (90g) egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 100g granulated sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine flour and baking powder with a whisk.
- Attach the paddle attachment to the mixer and add butter in small cubes, sugar, egg yolks and salt and mix on medium until smooth, for about 3 minutes.
- Roll the dough into a ball, press it into a disc, wrap in plastic and let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F and spray the springform pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Wash the gooseberries, red and black currants and pat dry.
- Line your work surface with a piece of parchment and roll out the dough about 4cm / 1 1/2-inch larger than the springform pan.
- Invert the rolled out dough with the parchment onto the pan and gently press the dough down, forming a rim.
- Spread the cold vanilla custard on top of the dough and smooth it out with an offset spatula.
- Arrange the berries evenly on top of the custard.
- Bake the cake on the middle rack for about 20 minutes.
- While the cake is in the oven, prepare the meringue. Place the egg whites, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium until stiff peaks form, for about 4 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven, spread the meringue on top of the berries with an offset spatula, pulling up peaks on top.
- Return the cake to the oven and bake until done, for about another 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
- Run a paring knife along the sides of the springform pan. Then carefully remove the cake from the pan.
* You can find my recipe for a Vanilla Pastry Cream here. Make sure to use 380ml of milk instead of the 480ml given in the original recipe, otherwise the custard will be too runny after baking.