recipes + tutorial: toasted lime meringue cake
There is EVERYTHING to love about this cake – 5” lime cake, lime curd, lime buttercream and toasted meringue frosting. It’s a play-off of a lime meringue pie (that I make myself for my birthdays)! I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about my curds so I’m excited to share the best ever homemade lime curd (which balances perfectly with the cake and meringue). What I love about these 4 recipes is that they’re all staples - just pick and choose what you’d like.
For the full video tutorial: https://youtu.be/axWoTBIDb7g
What pairs well with this lime curd meringue cake?
The fruit toppings for pavlova are endless but what is super nice about this dessert is that you can customize it in so many ways. My favorite options are:
Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries
Oranges, grapefruit, kumquats
Stone Fruit: cherries, peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines
· Whipped cream
· Edible gold leaf ;)
Most asked questions:
I don’t like lime; is there another filling I could use? Yes! I have an amazing lemon curd recipe that would be stellar! It’s a little less tart. Check it out here - www.roxstarbakes.com/post/recipe-lemon-curd. I also have a full tutorial on YouTube.
Can I make the cake in advance of decorating? Yes! In fact, I recommend you bake the cakes them a day or two before, wrap them really well in saran/ plastic wrap and keep them frozen. The cakes will stay moist and there’s something about this process that makes the cakes tastier (flavor development).
How many people does this cake serve? 10-12 people
Mixing bowl (anything but plastic)
5” or 6” round cake pans
Kitchen scale (optional but great for accuracy)
All-purpose 1 ¼ cup (170 grams)
Cake flour 1 ¼ cup (170 grams)
Baking powder 1 ½ tsp (6 grams)
Baking soda 1 tsp (5 grams)
Salt ½ tsp (2 grams)
Unsalted butter 1 cup (228 grams)
Granulated sugar 1 cup (200 grams)
Large eggs 2
Vanilla extract 1 ½ tsp (6 ml)
Milk 1 cup (240 ml)
Lime juice 4 TBS (30 ml)
Lime curd filling
Make 2 cups of this recipe
Swiss meringue + lime buttercream
Egg whites 7 (210 grams)
Granulated sugar 2 cups (400 grams)
Pure lime extract 2 teaspoons (10 ml)
Salt ½ tsp (2 grams)
Room temp, unsalted butter 3/4 cup (171g)
How to bake the Lime Cake (can be done up to 2 days before and frozen)
Step 1 – prep for making lime cake batter. Make sure everything is room temperature and your oven is preheated 335F/168C. Line four, 5-inch cake pans and don’t grease the sides so when the cake bakes, it can crawl up the sides and get some height. Sift all of the dry ingredients and set them aside.
Tip: I use a 50/50 cake to all-purpose flour mixture for this recipe because I want a slightly less gluten structure to get a light airy crumb. If you don’t have cake flour – use all-purpose flour. It’s still super delicious.
Step 2 – how to make lime cake batter. Add a paddle attachment to your mixer to combine your butter and sugar for five minutes. It almost doubles in size and lightens quite a bit. Scrape down the sides. Add the eggs one at a time for 20 seconds each until just incorporated on low speed (about speed 2 to 3). I add the extract with the last egg. My mixer is at about speed 2 to 3. Add a third of the dry mixture to the batter and mix to just incorporated. Add half of the liquid slowly and mix until just incorporated. Repeat, alternating additions of flour and the liquid until both just incorporated. If the batter curdles then the ingredients might not be a room temperature.
Note: If the batter curdles then the ingredients might not be a room temperature.
Step 3 – distributing the batter for baking. Distribute the batter across four, 5-inch cake pans and use a knife or angled spatula to pull the batter to the sides. Then bang the batter to release any extra-large air bubbles and also fill in the edges. Bake for 28-30 minutes or use a toothpick to see if the baking is complete - there should be about 5 crumbs.
Tip: It’s best not to grease the sides so the cake batter can climb the sides of the pan as it bakes. I love tall and fluffy cakes!
Tip: Loosen the edges with a thin knife or angled spatula and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Tip: Make sure the cakes are cooled before releasing and decorating.
Step 4 – level the cakes. Once cooled, level the cakes if necessary (varies by oven). I use a bread knife but there is no one way to do this.
How to make lime meringue (and then buttercream)
Step 5 – prepping for meringue making. Make sure all the equipment is clean and dry (mixer bowl, whisk, two spatulas, sugar bowl, spoons, bowls to separate egg yolks and whites etc.). Carefully separate the yolks from the egg whites.
Tip: Use super fresh eggs.
Tip: It’s way easier to separate eggs when they’re cold. If your egg whites are not at room temperature, place them in a bowl and set over a second bold of warm water for 15 minutes.
Tip: If the yolk breaks for some reason, start over with a new egg (doing this will ensure the meringue will come together). Don’t throw out the broken eggs – you can use this for curd.
Tip: Store the egg yolks in an airtight container
Tip: Make sure your mixer bowl is SUPER clean when making the meringue. I recommend washing your bowl and whisk attachment with alcohol and a degreasing soap. Even a tiny amount of oil/fat will make the meringue fall flat and you’ll never get those stiff peaks.
Step 6 – cooking the meringue. Mix the egg whites and granulated sugar in a metal mixing bowl. In a pan over medium heat, simmer about an inch of water. I use a bain-marie technique to cook the egg whites and sugar. Place mixing bowl over simmering water and continue whisking and mix for about 3-5 minutes. When mixture starts to get opaque, check if it’s ready by rubbing mixture between fingers. Stop cooking if sugar is fully dissolved. If you need to use a thermometer - get the mixture to 160˚F but this isn’t necessary. Wipe the bottom of the bowl and then transfer to an electric mixer mixing bowl so no water drips in.
Step 7 – transferring to stand mixer. Fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the mixture on very low until you start to see the first bubbles – then add cream of tartar. Then on medium-high, mix until the bowl is room temperature, this takes about 10-15 minutes, to get to stiff and glossy peaks. Now add the salt and optional citrus extract and mix for a couple more minutes. Remove 2/3 of the meringue and set it aside for the outside of the cake.
Tip: These instructions are for a stand mixer – I find it’s the most effective way of mixing. If using an electric hand mixer, you may need to add a couple minutes to the mixing time for stiff, smooth and glossy peaks to form.
Tip: How to check if the sugar has dissolved - take a small amount of the meringue mix between your fingers and rub it. If you don't feel any granules or grittiness, then the sugar is completely dissolved.
Tip: The goal here is to help dissolve the sugar but not to deflate or over-beat the egg whites.
How to make lime Swiss meringue buttercream
Step 8 – make buttercream filling with remaining meringue. With the remaining meringue, switch to paddle attachment and turn onto medium speed. Add chunks of room temperature butter one at a time until each is incorporated. Keep beating until thick.
Tip: If the mixture looks lumpy keep going. This can vary based on your climate based on time of year.
How to make my lime curd
Step 9 - make the citrus lime curd recipe.
How to assemble the toasted lime curd meringue cake
Step 10 – fill and crumb coat. To assemble the cake, place 1 cake layer on a cake stand and adhere with buttercream or meringue. Build a buttercream damn, a buttercream border, to help prevent the curd from leaking. Spread the lime curd over the cake inside of the buttercream border. Top with a second cake layer, build a buttercream damn, and spread the more lime curd over the cake. Continue building until the all layers are placed. Then place in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.
Tip: You can use a level to ensure the cake is leveled.
Tip: Make sure the cake is completely cold.
Tip: Make sure to press gently between each cake layer to ensure the cake is secure.
Step 11 – frosting the cake. Take an angled spatula and spread around the meringue. Toast the cake with a cooking torch.
Tip: Allow the cake to chill in the refrigerator before attempting to move it or serve it. The meringue will be very soft at first but will set more.
Tip: The cake is fresh for three days and can be kept in the fridge. Allow to get to room temperature before serving for best flavor.
Tip: Once you’ve sliced the cake, if you place plastic wrap where the slice is removed, it keeps the cake fresher and prevents drying.
Toast to your liking! I like it super toasty (:
Toasted lime meringue cake success!!!