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Layers For Strawberry Meringue Cake

Asked by SophAtt. Answered on 21st March 2021

Full question

I made the Strawberry Meringue Cake and one of the cake/meringue layers turned out perfectly, the other one not so much - the meringue mixture seemed to have separated from the sides of the cake mixture and begin to shrivel/contract. Not sure why this happened - any tips to prevent this in the future? Otherwise, the result was delicious!

Image of Nigella's Strawberry Meringue Layer Cake
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Strawberry Meringue Layer Cake
By Nigella
  • 14
  • 2

Our answer

Nigella's Strawberry Meringue Layer Cake (from NIGELLA SUMMER) is a dessert where pavlova meets a victoria sponge. Two thin layers of sponge cake are topped with meringue and the baked layers are sandwiched with strawberries and whipped cream.

As the two layers would have been made from the same mixture, we suspect that the issue is in the way they were baked. From the description we suspect the meringue on one of the layers was overbaked. When this happens water starts to seep out of the meringue and it shrinks back, which would cause the meringue to contract and also separate from the sponge layer. We are not sure if a fan oven was used or whether it was a regular oven but if it is a regular oven and the layers were baked on different shelves then the cake tins will need to be rotated. We would suggest doing this carefully after about 20 minutes of baking. As the meringue will not be quite fully baked, try to do this gently, so that the meringue doesn't collapse, and open and close the oven door gently. Fan ovens can have hot spots, so if you have a fan oven you may want to move the positions of the tins slightly after 20 minutes of baking.


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