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Vanilla Meringue Cake (Cipriani Cake)

Cipriani vanilla meringue cake on a cake stand.
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5 from 2 reviews

Indulge in this deliciously decadent vanilla meringue cake or Cipriani cake. Made with a soft Italian sponge, pillowy vanilla cream, and topped with a light sweet meringue, this is guaranteed to impress you and your guests.

Ingredients

Scale

For the vanilla cream:

  • 1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon (125 g) whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 large egg yolk 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon (20 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (6 g) cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons (5 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) cold unsalted butter 
  • 1 1/2 cups (345 g) heavy cream, 30% fat

For the meringue:

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup (225 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

*Don't you have the correct baking pan on hand right now? Try this simple Cake Pan Converter!

** If needed, please refer to Baking Conversion Charts.

Instructions

  1. Follow the sponge cake recipe to make an 8-inch (20 cm) sponge cake. Remove it from the baking pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Then using a cake leveler, cut the cake into three layers crossways.

  2. To make the vanilla cream, prepare the pastry cream (crème pâtissière in French) first. Use a small sharp knife to split the vanilla bean in half lengthways. Then with the tip of the blade, scrape out the seeds. Bring milk and vanilla seeds to a boil in a small saucepan.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, all-purpose flour, and cornstarch with a hand whisk. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture while continuing whisking. Bring the mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes (constantly whisking) until the cream thickens.

  4. Add cold butter, cut into cubes, and mix. Transfer the pastry cream to a shallow dish, cover it with plastic film in contact, and let it cool at room temperature (no need to chill it!).

  5. Pour heavy cream into the chilled bowl of a stand mixer and whip cream until soft peaks. Slowly, one tablespoon at a time, add the pastry cream to the whipped cream, and beat until firm.

  6. To assemble the cake, place the first sponge layer on a serving plate and top with half of the vanilla cream. Then add the second cake layer, spread the remaining cream, and press down gently. Finally, finish the cake with the third sponge layer.

  7. To make the meringue, place egg whites (at room temperature), granulated sugar, and lemon juice in a clean mixer bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Or place ingredients in a large bowl and use an electric mixer. Whisk the meringue at medium-high speed (mixer speed) until sugar dissolves and stiff peaks form. Next, cover the entire cake (the top and sides) with the meringue using a dough scraper, an offset spatula, or the back of a spoon. Pick up the meringue on top of the cake to create little peaks.

  8. Torch the top and edges of the cake with a blow torch. Serve right away. If making it ahead of time, chill the cake. Cover it with the meringue and torch it just before serving.

Notes

  1. Use ONLY pasteurized eggs to make the French meringue frosting. If you desire, you can make Italian meringue made with heated sugar syrup which is considered safe to eat.
  2. The meringue icing should be spread over the cake no longer than one hour before serving.
  3. If you don't have a kitchen torch, brown the meringue in the oven. Place the oven shelf in the upper position, one below the top, and preheat the broiler. Bring the cake to the oven, broil the meringue until browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Attention: watch out closely to avoid burning!
  4. Don't discard the empty vanilla pod: place it in a container with white sugar to flavor it.
  5. Make ahead option: Make sponge cake one day in advance, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. The next day, slice the sponge into layers and finish the cake.

Nutrition

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