Saffron meringue cake

Photograph: Haarala Hamilton

Photograph: Haarala Hamilton

Sat, Apr 23, 2016, 02:00

  • Makes: 1
  • Cooking Time: 30 mins
  • Course:
  • Cuisine: Fusion


  • Serves 10-12
  • 100ml milk
  • 2 pinches of saffron threads
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 100g light soft brown sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 150g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • For the meringue:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • For the cream:
  • 300ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar


I first had this cake at my friend Janina’s house. I fell in love with it and asked her mum for the recipe there and then. It’s a Finnish cake that uses a clever technique for creating delectable layers of sponge, cream and meringue. I have altered the recipe by adding the gorgeous flavour of saffron, plus some light soft brown sugar for a caramel hit. The result is extraordinary and it looks beautiful as a table centrepiece.

To make the cake, put the milk and saffron in a small saucepan set over a low heat and slowly heat to scalding point, then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Grease a 40cm x 30cm (16in x 12in) baking tin and line it with nonstick baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together using an electric whisk or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat a bit more. Now add the flour, baking powder and the infused milk. Beat briefly, until just combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin.

To prepare the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a large, very clean bowl with an electric whisk until soft peaks form, then gradually add the sugar, whisking until the meringue is stiff and shiny.

Spoon the meringue over the batter in the tin, working gently so as not to disturb the batter. Sprinkle with the almonds and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

In a clean bowl, whisk the cream and sugar together until thick. Once the cake is cool, cut it in half down the middle. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate and spread the cream evenly on top. Align the other layer on top and neaten the edges, then serve as soon as possible. This cake is best eaten on the day it is made.