This cake has more than everything you could ever want all in one cake!
Cake = check
Meringue = check
Vanilla Custard Pudding Cream = check
Fresh Berries = check
… you could even make this as two separate cakes (just don’t stack them on top of each other) – which would probably even actually end up giving you more, since people will probably take the same size piece no matter if there are one or two layers!
This cake is best assembled as close to the time of consumption as possible, the longer the layers sit, the softer the custard will make the meringue. It is totally customizable based on what your favorite fruits are, or even better – what is in season. You could even go ahead and switch up the fruits based on the layers (or separate cakes). I loved the contrasts of this cake from all of the different things going on. I also still can’t get over how incredibly beautiful it looks for how little work it actually takes! I’d love to hear what you and yours think of this take on a layer cake.
- ½ cup (4 ounces a.k.a. 1 stick) butter
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue topping)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 4 large egg whites
- ¾ cup Granulated sugar
- ½ cup sliced, blanched almonds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 small box vanilla pudding
- 1¾ cup cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- AND fresh raspberries, sliced strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 8" round cake pans (or lightly grease the pans, line with parchment rounds, and lightly grease the parchment as well).
- To make the cake: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, salt, and egg yolks. Beat in the vanilla, milk, baking powder, and flour. Carefully push/spread the mixture in the prepared pans (the batter will barely cover the bottom of the pans; that's OK).
- Beat the egg whites till light; gradually add the ¾ cup sugar and continue to beat till the meringue is smooth, glossy and somewhat stiff - medium/stiff peaks. Spread the meringue on the cake batter, and sprinkle with the almonds, cinnamon, and sugar.
- Bake the cakes for 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove them from the oven, allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes, then loosen the edges and gently turn them out onto a rack to cool completely. Your meringue will fall a bit during this process. If some of the almonds fall off during this process, just sprinkle them back on top.
- For the Pastry Cream: mix 1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix with 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1¾ cups cream.
- To Assemble:: Place one of the cake layers, meringue side up, on a serving plate. Spread with the pastry cream/pudding. Add a layer of fresh berries and a sprinkle of some more cinnamon. If you are layering this cake as shown, top with the second cake layer, meringue-side up. Top with a bit more pastry cream and some more berries!
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving time.
as originally found on King Arthur Flour
And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… Would you rather have one really big dessert or many smaller desserts?