Passionfruit Meringue Cake

June  3, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Makes one 9-inch cake
Author Notes

Inspired by a recipe I saw in an Australian baking magazine while on vacation, this incredibly striking cake has two layers: a dense butter cake and an airy crackling meringue, which bake together in one pan. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces or 113 grams) butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups (350 grams) sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup (227 grams) mascarpone
  • 4 tablespoons passionfruit pulp (from about 2 passionfruit)
  • 2 tablespoons (about 16 grams) confectioners' sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch round springform pans and line with parchment.
  2. Cream together the butter, 3/4 cup of sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  3. Fold in the flour, baking powder, salt, and milk, alternating between dry and wet. Divide the batter evenly between both pans and smooth the tops.
  4. In a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Slowly add the remaining sugar in a slow stream, while beating, and continue to beat until the meringue is thick and glossy and very stiff. Spread the meringue evenly over both pans. Smooth the top of one pan, and on the other pan, use a knife to make spikes and peaks in the meringue. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar over top.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, and then remove from the oven and let cool in the pans.
  6. To make the filling, whip the heavy cream until it has stiff peaks. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, passionfruit pulp, and confectioners' sugar. Fold in the whipped cream.
  7. Carefully remove the cakes from the pans. Place the cake with the smooth meringue top on a cake stand or plate, and cover with the passionfruit filling. Top with the second cake.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • bhilz
  • Elizabeth
  • Posie (Harwood) Brien
    Posie (Harwood) Brien
  • Line Hviid
    Line Hviid

11 Reviews

Line H. December 28, 2022
Absolutely delicious. Light and satisfying. I used frozen passion fruit since that’s what’s most readily available where I live and it worked perfectly. I added a bit more than the recipe called for to make it extra flavorful. A real crowd pleaser!!
mellyohmelly October 8, 2021
hi! I just made this cake for a birthday tomorrow and was hoping to find out what is the best way to store this overnight? Thanks!
Posie (. October 8, 2021
Definitely refrigerate! I’d cover it loosely or with an upside down bowl or something. The meringue will likely not stay as crisp/will soften a bit but will still taste good!
bhilz May 8, 2017
While fresh passionfruit is one of the most magical ingredients ever, another option if you can't find any in your area is frozen passionfruit pulp! Goya makes some and I've been able to find it at most of my local Latin grocery stores. It's generally pretty affordable too. I like to use it to make a syrup and swirl into cheesecakes or to flavor homemade kombucha.
I'm planning on making this recipe for Mother's Day, since my mother adores both meringue and passionfruit, and will be picking up some pulp from the store today!
Karen M. April 7, 2017
I agree that the recipe is a bit confusing. It would be easier to make if the recipe separated the ingredients of the three parts of the dessert - cake, meringue and filling, but it is so worth the trouble. Whitney, you should definitely try it again. Other than that element, it's surprisingly simple to make. I made it a second time. I make my own mascarpone the day before by mixing heavy cream (ultra-pasteurized) with lemon - you can find instructions on the Internet. It's much cheaper than buying the mascarpone and at least in my area, has much simpler ingredients which I prefer. I spent my savings on extra passion fruit. I used three in the cream filling and dribbled one on top. You could use less filling but the filling is so good that it would feel like a sacrifice to me.
Whitney April 10, 2017
Thanks Karen, for your support!
Even though it was a mess, I saved the failed batter. Two days later: Since I had added double the number of egg whites, I doubled the rest of the ingredients and then used half the batter and froze the other half. I'll probably use that batter and make this cake again with a different fruit. It turned out great. Triumph!
Karen M. April 10, 2017
Whitney, I'm so glad it worked out. I was just thinking that I would like to try it again with raspberries. It seems like just the right combination of sweet and tart. If you try it again with another fruit, let me know. Lemon would probably be good and my kids suggested hazelnut or almond.
Whitney April 7, 2017
This recipe left me in tears. I started over twice and then abandoned with a lot of wasted butter and sugar (bad night.) I overlooked that there were two egg whites listed and added 4 egg whites to the first part when I should've done two. I even read it twice. face plant.
Karen M. February 16, 2017
My 12 year old daughter made this on Valentine's Day when I ran out of time. She found it easy. I made my own mascarpone the day before and we used 2 passion fruit in the cream and dribbled one on top of our slices. This was really one of my all-time favorite desserts. The filling is rich and delicious without being too sweet. Next time we might add an extra passion fruit to the cream. We had half the cake left for the next day and it was quite different. The cream was stiffer from the cold and the crunch had gone out of the meringue so it tasted more like a traditional cake, but still delicious.
Maripat N. February 14, 2017
Well, at my home, I have the great fortune of multitudes of passion fruit growing almost year round! So I added the pulp of 4 passion fruit to retain the lovely luscious flavor. Though I was skeptical about the baking time, I took the cake out right at 30 minutes and kept my fingers crossed. lol and behold, perfection all around! This is a keeper! ThNk you for a beautiful and luscious cake!
Elizabeth February 13, 2017
Firstly, it was delicious following the recipe exactly, and it looked lovely! This is entirely a personal preference (I almost always double spices and flavourings), but next time I would use a third to half as much whipped cream in order to retain the taste of the passion fruit. It would be thicker, but tangier, and there would still be enough filling. The mascarpone and fruit mixture on its own tasted incredible!