Chocolate Meringue Cake with Fresh Berries

July 22, 2014

Chocolate Meringue Cake with Fresh Berries via Artful Desperado

Chocolate Meringue Cake with Fresh Berries via Artful Desperado

Chocolate Meringue Cake with Fresh Berries via Artful Desperado

Chocolate Meringue Cake with Fresh Berries via Artful Desperado

I’m fo fancy, you already know….If loads of chocolate, meringue, and fresh farmers’ market berries is being fancy, then yes, we all are.

Have you ever bought a bunch of ingredients that look super pretty and then you wonder: what? Ok so last weekend I was walking by the market when I saw all these mountains of stacked local berries just sitting there, winking at me, asking me to take them home. So I did. I basically bought my own weight in berries and decided to figure out what to do with them later.

The ah-ha! moment hit me when I saw the cover of may’s issue of Donna Hay (yes, I admit it, I’m a donna fan – the woman knows how to style!) and saw this freaking fantastic chocolate meringue cake. I then knew that these berries needed to marry this cake. Done and done.

Such a beautiful summer love story, right?

This cake is served chilled, which still makes it appropriate for the season – though if you make it later in the year you can serve it at room temp and it’ll be just as amazing. It’s messy, fudge-y, and lusty!

Nuff talkin, more eatin’. Full recipe after the jump!

Chocolate Meringue Cake with Fresh Berries via Artful Desperado

Chocolate Meringue Cake with Fresh Berries via Artful Desperado

Chocolate Meringue Cake with Fresh Berries

Serves 8-10


*For the cake:
– 225g dark chocolate, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
– 3/4 cup unsalted butter, chopped
– 2 large eggs
– 4 yolks (save the whites! You’ll use them for the meringue)
– 1/3 cup brown sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/3 cup all purpose flour, sifted
– 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
– 1/3 cup almond meal

*For the meringue:
– 4 eggs whites
– 3/4 cup super fine sugar
– 1 teaspoon white vinegar
– 2 teaspoon cornstarch, sifted
– 1 tablespoon cocoa
– 1/4 cup dark chocolate, melted


1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Lightly grease a springform 8inch cake pan, place some parchment paper on the bottom and set aside.
2. Place butter and chocolate in a double boiler (a bowl, on top a pot with water barely simmering), heat up until it starts to melt. Remove from heat and let it stand for a couple minutes.
3. In a large bowl place the eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar, and vanilla and mix or whisk for about 5 minutes until the mixture is pale and has doubled in size (it should look really frothy and thick). Add melted chocolate and butter, flour, baking powder, and almond meal and gently fold until combined (I suggest adding a bit of each at a time). Place batter in the cake pan and bake for about 30 min until it’s just barely set – DO NOT COOK FULLY! You need to add the meringue so it should 3/4 done (it’s ok if it’s looks a bit “raw” still). You can test it by inserting a fork or skewer – some batter should stick to them. Remove from the oven, set aside.

As soon as you take the cake out of the oven, start the meringue! Not before or it will collapse.

1. First, increase temperature in the oven to 350F
2. Place egg whites in a CLEAN bowl (no grease, no water) and beat them to soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar (about 1 tablespoon at at time). When you’re done with the sugar, add the vinegar and beat until meringue is nice and glossy. Add the cornstarch and cocoa and gently fold until combined. Finally, slowly drizzle the melted chocolate and fold a few times – NOTE: if you want some swirls to happen, then fold only a few times. Place meringue on top of the cake.
3. Place the cake with the meringue back in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the meringue develops a dry crust (tap it a bit to test it). Remove from the oven when done and let is stand outside for a bit.

**NOTE** The meringue will still be chewy and gooey in the middle and that’s ok (as long as it’s not super runny and raw). You won’t get the same consistency as a regular hard meringue (which takes hours to dry in the oven) otherwise the cake would dry like crazy. To test, simply insert a skewer in the meringue, if the meringue comes out gooey (not runny) you are good to go.

Want more meringue tips? Check out THIS POST!

You can serve it at room temp or chilled (room temp: gooey, chilled: more like a brownie).

To serve simply top with LOADS AND LOADS of berries and you’re good to go! Have a glass of cold milk (of any kind) nearby. Make sure to add the fruit BEFORE serving – if you leave it sitting on the cake for too long it’ll make it soggy.


Chocolate Meringue Cake with Fresh Berries via Artful Desperado


Photos and styling: Artful Desperado
adapted from Donna Hay issue 74


  • Librarian Lavender

    This cake looks so delicious! And it’s beautiful as well!

  • Ileana

    This looks out-of-control delicious! Such beautiful photos.

  • cynthia

    Ohhh my goodness this is too beautiful! I can’t handle it.

  • Shini

    Yeah so your photography is INSANE.

  • Nanette

    Having a child who is allergic to nuts, I am wondering if I can just omit the almond meal? Perhaps substitute fine graham cracker crumbs?

    • Gabriel

      Hi Nanette! I would not add the crumbs as it may dry it too much (and a different flavour too). What you can do is scrap the almond meal all together and simply add more flour – instead of using 1/3 cup, use 1/2 cup and that should work. It’ll be less cake-y but I think it’ll work!

  • Jennifer in Montreal

    Stunning presentation! I will be making it for a get-together with friends early in August. If it is equal in taste – what a winner!

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche

    now THAT is one good looking cake.. hands down the best meringue cake ive seen! definitely a recipe i will be saving to recreate for a special occasion in my kitchen. love it!

    • Gabriel

      Thanks Thalia! Yeah! You gotta try it, like I said, served chilled for summer, or room temp for fall or winter so basically chocolate all year long haha.

  • Tieghan

    So beautiful. Your photos are incredible and I love this cake!

  • Jade Sheldon-Burnsed

    This looks so gorgeous and so decadent!

  • Mary

    Your photos are so beautiful !

  • Valentina @Hortus

    I mean.
    This is one of the prettiest stacks of berries I have ever seen! And I definitely fall in the category of people who’d use them just because they’re pretty (and I’d have to exert some serious willpower not to eat all of them before the photoshoot).

    Great shots and great job! <3

  • Tan of Squirrelly Minds

    I can’t get over how gorgeous this is! Pinned for future makings

  • Pang

    This is the most beautiful cake I have ever seen!!!! Truly gorgeous!!! Truly mouthwatering!!! Truly amazing!!!!
    I can’t stop looking at it :)

    I am also Donna Hay fan, and now I am yours. So glad to be here :)

    • Gabriel

      *blush* you’re so sweet Pang! Appreciate the love! And I’m glad you’re also Donna’s fan! :)

  • Katya @ Little Broken

    Saw this on Pinterest and just had to come over and say WOW! Such beautiful cake and pics are amazing!

  • Asima

    This looks beautiful! ❤

  • Ambar

    I just cant enough of these amazing recipes with fruits!

  • Allison T

    Oh my goodness I am about to drool after looking at your pictures. Chocolate Meringue Cake?! Sounds perfect! The presentation is great as well!

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  • Kate @¡Hola! Jalapeño

    This is one of the most gorgeous things I’ve ever seen! Your styling and photographs are killer!

  • Melissa//Tartine and Bean

    This cake is TDF gorgeous! I can’t wait to attempt it at home! Beautiful work!

    • Gabriel

      Thank you Melissa! And yes! You gotta give it a go, it’s actually not that hard at all and tastes amaaazing.

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  • Sharon

    Thank you for introducing me to this recipe! In addition to being beautiful it is a decadent and wonderful dessert. I prepared for party yesterday and replaced the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour as well as replacing the butter with organic cold press coconut oil. It was completely gluten-free and dairy free and a huge hit!

  • Elizabeth @

    WHAT is going on. This cake is crazy beautiful! I just found your blog but I’m a little bit obsessed and not even embarrassed about it. So fantastic to find an original voice in the food blogging world!

  • Sofía

    Lástima que no puedo conseguir frutas del bosque tan frescas pero tendré que trabajar con lo que tengo, está hermoso el pastel. Congrats!

    • Gabriel

      Gracias Sofia! Si no encuentras ese tipo de frutas, tambien puedes utilizar otras como duraznos, chabacanos, etc. Saludos!

  • Stephanie

    I can’t wait to make this gorgeous cake! I have one question — what kind of “chopped dark chocolate” do you use for the cake recipe? Are some better than others? I want it to taste as perfect as yours looks. Sooooo gorgeous!!

    • Gabriel

      Oh and yes, some are better as they have more cocoa in them (cocoa mass). I would avoid any “hersheys” kind of stuff as they usually have flavourings, sweeteners, etc and they aren’t real chocolate.

  • Stephanie

    Typed my e-mail wrong in my previous comment. Want to make sure I hear back. Thanks!

  • Stephanie

    I had asked what kind of “dark chopped chocolate” you used for your cake. There are so many different kinds, and I want mine to be as delicious as yours looks! Sooooo gorgeous!!

    • Gabriel

      Hi Stephanie! The chocolate I used is callebaut dark chocolate (66% cocoa) if you can find a darker one go for it! I got the chunk and I shaved it and melted it myself. Enjoy!

  • Jane

    Hi. I tried this cake last night for company and unfortunately it did not turn out. I took the cake part out as described in the directions while it was still under done . The meringue was nice and firm when I put it on but it was nowhere near cooked after 20 minutes even after turning the temp up. When I do a regular meringue it takes 50-60 minutes to set. The cake had a good flavour but had dried out by the time the meringue was set.

    • Gabriel

      Hi Jane! This recipe is a bit different from the regular meringues (which are dry all the way through). By elevating the temp you make it safe to eat it but yes, it’ll still be chewy/gooey in the middle, which makes it kinda fudge-y. Keeping the cake in the oven for that long will definitely dry it though! I’ll add a note in case it’s not clear. Thanks for the feedback!

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  • irym

    hi am i able to make the cake the day before and leave in fridge overnight?

    • Gabriel

      Hi! Yes, you can do that, though the meringue on top will soften a bit but not to worry, it’ll be ok. I did that with mine and it turned out great. What I would suggest is to leave it at room temp for about 10 min. enjoy!

  • Shikha @ Shikha la mode

    I’m having that EXACT “now-what” problem with a bunch of figs I bought yesterday from the farmer’s market. And I have a ton of chocolate at home, so I’m thinking of recreating this cake with some figs on top!!

    • Gabriel

      oh my lawd! that would be fantastic! I may have to repeat the recipe with your idea..for testing purposes of course :P

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  • Nanette


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  • Renelle

    I followed the directions to the letter and found the meringue raw and runny when I peeked inside the cracks on top! *gasp!*

    • Gabriel

      Hey Ranelle! Oh no! Hmm..I’m going to look into that, I have a feeling it may be because it needs to be on the top rack of the oven. did you leave it a bit longer with the oven off? Or did you bake it more?

      • Renelle

        It was cooling on the counter when I noticed it was not cooked enough. I returned it to the oven for another 20 minutes … I will let you know how delicious it is after my son blows out his 19 candles ;)

  • Renelle

    It was perfection. Instead of fruit, I topped it with whipped sweetened cream/mascarpone. Delightful sweetened crispy meringue dotted throughout what he called brownie cake. In his words, “Awesome.” Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Gabriel

      Perfect!! I remember now the recipe does yield a runnier meringue and it’s not the usual hard one, it’s fudgier per-se, thanks for your comments and so happy he liked it!

  • Murielle

    This cake was absolutely AMAZING! I made it for my boyfriend’s birthday and everyone loved it! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe; I will be remaking it in the future for sure!!

  • Vanessa De Rossi

    My beautiful daughter, Krystel, made this cake for afternoon tea! What a delightful, beautiful looking cake so delicious with berries and meringue, everyone loved it! So gorgeous.. I’ll be making it for my beautiful family and friends…!!

    Thank you!

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  • Chloe

    Any ideas on how you could make this gluten and refined sugar free? This looks like my dream dessert but my sensitive digestion wouldn’t be so happy with it. I don’t know if honey would work in the meringue?

    • Gabriel

      Hi! I haven’t tried this recipe with other ingredients (meringue is tricky!). I’m sure there are some other substitutions via Google ;)

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  • Lina

    Thank you for this – I made it and it was delicious!

  • Taniqua

    I decided to celebrate teh birthday of two great friends with the great looking cake. So glad we did. Side note, this is a really simple cake, my 5 and 7 year old made it. I supervised and judged when things were ready, but just follow step by step and it works!

  • Katie

    Is this cake good to keep in the fridge and serve the next day?

    • Gabriel

      Hi Katie! It is, but what will happen is that the meringue will be ooey and not as crispy because it’ll get humidity. If you’re fine with it then you can refrigerate it.

  • PeeDee

    Would love to make this chocolate cake however, I have three family members that cannot have nuts in any form. What can be substituted for the Almond meal? I wish people would take into consideration how many millions of people are allergic to nuts and would not put them in food. Frustrating everytime you find a recipe you really want to make and start reading the ingredients and find the turn off word “nuts”, so you have to pass the recipe by. Just putting more flour with a nut product doesn’t eliminate the nut. It is still there and eating it can send a person to ER in a hurry.

    • Gabriel

      Hi Patty. When making my recipes I take everyone into consideration, not just the people with special diets. My recipes are varied, some have nuts, some don’t, some have dairy, some don’t (I, myself, am lactose intolerant but still make recipes for others). I cannot provide with a substitute as I haven’t tested the recipe with other types of nut-free flour (a process that would require to test the recipe at least 5 times to get it right, which is very time consuming and costly). If you visit other sites such as yummly or foodgawker and type “nut-free” you will find thousands of nut-free recipes that are super tasty. I’m certain you will find one that suits your needs. Thank you.

  • Megan Fee

    Good morning,
    This cake is simply beautiful. I am going to make this holiday season. You say serve it room temperature or chill for an hour. I would be making this the night before. Would it be best to keep it at room temperature overnight and chill right before serving? Thank you

    • Gabriel

      Hi Megan! I would keep it in the fridge overnight (covered with plastic film), then take it out at room temp for 1 hour before serving (that way it’ll be ooey gooey and smooth!). Enjoy!

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  • Romi

    I am having someone over in a few days bit want to make the cake in advance and then make the meringue the day I am going to serve it. Would you keep the cake in the freezer or fridge until then? Have you ever done this before? Can the cake and the meringue be made on separate days?

    • Gabriel

      Hi! I wouldn’t recommend making it that way as the cake would dry too much. If anything, maybe top the cake with the meringue and torch it? PErhaps than can save some time!

  • Janette

    Hi Do you think this recipe could work in individual cup cake size portions?

    • Gabriel

      Hi! I haven’t tested the recipe, but I wouldn’t do it with this exact one as the baking times and portions may need to vary.

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  • Sophie Mylne

    Help please!
    I am only new to baking but I tried making this last night and it didn’t work out :(
    I did exactly what the recipe said but the meringue part turned out gooey/ sloppy on the very and then a big airy space then the thin crust. When I tried to cut it up the thin crust of the meringue just flopped down onto the cake.
    There were a few things that may have made it like this:
    I may have over worked my a little bit so it wasn’t as light as it should be when I was putting in the chocolate for the last step.
    The tun that I put the cake in was a bit shallow so the meringue spiled over the side a bit.
    I didn’t add as much chocolate to the cake and meringue. ( maybe 20g less or so)
    Anyway the cake part tasted great!!
    One other thing, how would you recommend storing it for 2-3 nights before eating?
    Thanks so much for this delicious recipe

    • Gabriel

      Hi Sophie! Also check your oven temperature make sure it’s correct, sometimes ovens are a bit on the hotter/colder side (this depends on your oven even though you put it to the set temp, you’ll learn the “hot” spots in your oven as you bake more). I would definitely add the full chocolate as it helps stabilize it. Hope that helps.

  • Isabel

    This is a work of art!

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