Double-Decker Meringue Cake with Summer Berries


The meringue topping expands as this stunning cake bakes, so be careful not to spread it all the way to the edges of the cake batter to make removing the cake from the pan easier. Top with whatever berries are in season at your market, or use your favorite sliced stonefruit.

Double Decker Meringue Cake with Summer Berries Recipe
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 55 mins
10 to12



  • Cooking spray

  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter (5 1/3 ounces), softened

  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour (such as Swans Down) (about 6 5/8 ounces)

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 ounce freeze-dried strawberries (about 2/3 cup), coarsely crushed (about 1/3 cup)

  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature

  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar


  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

  • 1 pound fresh berries (such as blackberries, raspberries, and stemmed and quartered strawberries) or sliced stone fruit

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 4 1/4 teaspoons ground sumac, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar


Make the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13- x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both long sides; lightly grease with cooking spray. Beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar with a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add whole eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

  2. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 additions alternately with sour cream (2 additions of 1/4 cup each), beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating on low speed until just combined after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Fold in freeze-dried strawberries. Spread mixture in prepared pan, and set aside.

  3. Beat egg whites with stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Add cream of tartar. With mixer running on medium speed, gradually add remaining 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until all sugar is incorporated and mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Spread meringue in an even layer on top of cake batter, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges of pan.

  4. Bake cake in preheated oven until meringue is dry and a wooden skewer inserted through meringue and cake comes out clean, 22 to 26 minutes. Let cake cool in pan 10 minutes. Using parchment as handles, carefully transfer cake to a wire rack. (Meringue will crack.) Let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Make the topping

  1. Meanwhile, place raspberry jam in a medium-size microwavable bowl, and microwave on high until smooth and melted, 30 to 45 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds. Add berries, lemon juice, 4 teaspoons sumac, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

  2. Combine heavy cream, sour cream, vanilla, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer running on medium speed, gradually add sugar, beating until medium peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. Transfer cake to a serving board, and remove parchment paper. Top with cream mixture. Just before serving, top with berry mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon sumac.

Make Ahead

Baked cake can be held at room temperature up to 6 hours. Whipped cream mixture can be stored in refrigerator up to 2 hours. Cake with cream topping can stand at room temperature up to 1 hour; top with berry mixture just before serving.


Find freeze-dried berries in the produce section or snack aisle of your grocery store.

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