Raspberry Cake With Swirled Meringue

May 19, 2020
7 Ratings
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Makes One 9-inch cake
Author Notes

Sun-sweetened raspberries at the height of summer don’t need much to shine. Should you, for any reason, get tired of snacking on them out of hand or need a slightly more elegant presentation, this raspberry-studded vanilla cake crowned with meringue might fit the bill.

Half of the raspberries get folded into the tender (but sturdy!) vanilla cake batter. When the cake is mostly set and starting to bronze, carefully remove the cake from the oven and stud its surface with the remaining gemlike raspberries. This ensures a juicy berry burst with each bite. A summer cake would not be so without a frosting that could hang in the heat, too. A traditional loose whip is replaced by a brilliant, perky meringue that, especially when swirled through with raspberry sauce, is an opportunity to let your inner artiste shine. —Food52

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with Driscoll's Berries. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Raspberry Cake With Swirled Meringue
  • For the cake:
  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (192 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) whole milk, room temperature
  • 3 ounces Driscoll's fresh raspberries (about half of a 6-ounce package)
  • For the meringue:
  • 3 ounces Driscoll's fresh raspberries (about half of a 6-ounce package)
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) superfine sugar, divided
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • Flaky salt, for finishing
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Butter and line a 9-inch round pan with a circle of parchment.
  2. For the cake: Add the butter, sugar, and vanilla to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream on medium-high speed until lightened, about 5 minutes. Stop and and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then let whip another 3 to 4 minutes, or until ultra-fluffy and no sugar crystals remain visible. Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, and stir with a fork.
  3. Reduce the speed to low, and add in the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl down between eggs. Increase the speed to medium, and whip until batter is homogenous and webby, another 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and alternate adding the milk and dry ingredients until there are no traces left of either.
  4. Add slightly more than half of the batter to the cake pan, spreading the batter to the edges with an offset spatula or spoon. Reserving a small handful, fold the raspberries gently into the remaining batter—just one or two turns is enough—then plop onto the batter already in the pan. (Clean and reserve stand mixer bowl for meringue.)
  5. Smooth the surface with a spatula, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the top of the cake is just set. Stud the surface with the remaining berries, poking to submerge each halfway, and return the cake to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cake is golden and springs back to the touch. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. While the cake cools, make the meringue: Combine the raspberries and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, breaking up the berries with a wooden spoon to help things along. When the sugar is dissolved, and things start to look juicy, transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth, about 30 seconds. Fine-strain out the seeds, if desired, and set jam aside.
  7. Rinse out the saucepan. Fill with an inch of water, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  8. Add the egg whites and remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar to the stand mixer bowl, then set atop the simmering water. When the egg whites are no longer cold to the touch, about 5 to 7 minutes, lock the bowl into the stand mixer, add the cream of tartar and vanilla, and whisk on medium-high speed until meringue is stiff and glossy, about 7 minutes.
  9. Dollop the meringue atop the cooled cake, spreading it evenly across the surface. Using a teaspoon, add the raspberry juice in random dots around the surface, then use the back of a spoon to swirl as desired. For peaks, swirl and pull the meringue straight up. Finish cake with some flaky salt and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sarah Underwood
    Sarah Underwood
  • Emily Erickson
    Emily Erickson
  • Nancy Goebel
    Nancy Goebel

3 Reviews

Sarah U. July 31, 2020
Wow, this cake is delicious! I just finished assembling mine less than 30 minutes ago and I'm already debating having my THIRD slice. I definitely plan on keeping this in my back pocket for the future, especially because you don't need too many special ingredients to bring it to life.

A couple notes for anyone planning on trying this recipe:

1. The previous reviewers are 100% correct, the recipe needs (and can handle) significantly more raspberries. I recommend picking up either two standard containers or one of those double containers that some stores carry. I used about 8 oz. of raspberries in my cake, not including the sauce, and thought it was perfect.

2. The raspberry jam/drizzle is going to significantly weigh down your meringue and change the texture as soon as they combine. If you use too much of the drizzle, your meringue will no longer be able to make peaks and will get a bit of a soggy texture (it also looks kind of sloppy in my opinion). I made the mistake of using too much of the drizzle—you really only need a splatter or two—but I think I'm going to eliminate it altogether in the future. The meringue tastes great by itself! Next time I'm going to skip the drizzle and just plop a handful of fresh raspberries on top instead.

3. Don't forget the flakey salt!! Seriously. I know it seems like such a small touch but it brings all of the flavors together in a really special way. The cake is good without it, but it's exceptional with it.
Emily E. July 21, 2020
Delicious! Keeping this recipe forever. It is super moist, light and refreshing. Currently trying not to finish the entire thing myself (it's a perfect complement to my iced coffee in the morning).

I unfortunately didn't have the right ingredients for the meringue so I nixed it completely and used an entire package of raspberries in the cake. I think it is perfect without any frosting/topping, though I'm sure that would be beautiful for a special occasion.
Nancy G. June 9, 2020
Good cake. I only gave it 4 stars because it needs more raspberries. It tastes like a pound cake. The salt gives it an enhanced flavor. It would probably be good with blueberries as well