- 4 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 1 cup cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons 2% milk
- 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated orange peel
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two greased 8-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 2 teaspoons vanilla.
- In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Transfer to prepared pans.
- With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Add remaining vanilla; continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form. Spread over batter in pans; sprinkle with pecans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, for filling, combine cranberries, sugar, orange peel and orange juice in a small saucepan. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat 7-10 minutes or until berries pop, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor; pulse until cranberries are coarsely chopped. Cool completely.
- In a bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar and extract; beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in cranberry mixture.
- Loosen sides of cakes from pans with a knife. Carefully invert each cake onto a plate (meringue will crack); remove paper. Invert again onto a wire rack; cool completely.
- Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Gently spread with filling. Top with remaining cake layer, meringue side up. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Cranberry Meringue Cake in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2014
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