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The cake on a cake stand

Earl Grey Meringue Cake

Layer cake with earl grey buttercream and meringue.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: layer cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Servings: 10
Calories: 791kcal


For the Meringue

  • 2 egg whites
  • 60 g / ¼ cup caster sugar

For the Cake

  • 250 ml/1 cup whole milk
  • 4 bags Earl Grey tea
  • 300 g /2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 170 g /3/4 cup butter softened
  • 300 g /1 ½ cups caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 egg yolks large
  • zest of 1 lemon

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 150 ml /6 egg whites
  • 250 g /1 ¼ cup caster sugar
  • 340 g / 1 ½ cups butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp Earl Grey tea strong

For the Earl Grey Rum Drizzle (optional)

  • 100 ml / ½ cup water
  • 3 bags Earl Grey tea
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp rum


For the Meringue

  • Preheat the oven to 100C/200F.
  • Carefully separate egg whites from the egg yolks. In a very clean, grease free mixer bowl begin whipping the egg whites on a low speed. First they will turn frothy and then will start forming soft peaks, at this stage turn the speed to high and start adding caster sugar one tablespoon at a time making sure the sugar is melting into the mix. Continue mixing until all sugar is dissolved and the meringue is thick, glossy and smooth. You can test whether the sugar is all dissolved by rubbing a small amount of meringue between your fingers, it shouldn't be gritty.
  • Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round nozzle with the meringue mixture and pipe 6-7 meringue kisses on small baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake in the oven for 1 hour.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and trace an 8" pan on the paper. Fill the inside of the circle with the remaining meringue mixture but make sure it has about 1 cm space between the meringue and the edge of the traced circle. The meringue should be slightly smaller than your cake layers. Flatten the top and smooth out the sides of the meringue to form a shape similar to cake layers.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 1.5 hours, it might take longer if baking on a humid/rainy day.
  • Remove from the oven, cool completely and store in an airtight container until ready to assemble the cake.
  • PS You can bake both the meringue layer and the meringue kisses at the same time on the same baking sheet.

For the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  • Bring milk to a boil and add 4 bags of Earl Grey tea, let them steep for 5 minutes, then remove the bags and let the milk cool, then strain though a fine sieve.
  • Grease 2 8"/20cm cake tins with some butter and sprinkle them with flour, set aside.
  • In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the softened butter until light and fluffy with a paddle attachment, add sugar and keep mixing until incorporated, about 3 minutes, then add egg yolks one at a time, giving them time to be completely mixed in before each addition, then add vanilla.
  • While the motor of the stand mixer still running add half the flour mixture, then half of the tea infused milk, then the remainder of the flour mixture and finish with the second half of tea infused milk. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides with a spatula, add zest of one lemon and mix for 1 more minute.
  • Divide the batter among two prepared pans and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in cakes comes out clean.
  • Remove on a wire rack to cool, when cool to the touch remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Cut the butter into cubes and set aside. Clean your mixing bowl very well making sure there are no traces of grease left on it from previous use, you can also wipe it and the beater with a bit of lemon juice.
  • Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Set a large pot about ⅓ full of water on the stove on medium heat. Combine egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl with a whisk and set the bowl inside the pot of simmering water to create a double boiler. Heat the mixture while constantly whisking it. Continue whisking until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot.
  • Take the bowl out of the pot and start whisking the eggs whites with a whisk attachment until the mixture is no longer warm and looks thick and glossy. It will take about 10 minutes. The next step is combining the meringue with butter but don’t start putting butter yet if your bowl is still warm to the touch.
  • Switch to a paddle attachment and start adding the cubes of butter one at a time and continue beating until each cube is fully incorporated. Add vanilla and Earl Grey tea last. If at any point your buttercream separates don't give up and keep beating until it's back to smooth and silky.

For the Earl Grey Rum Drizzle

  • Steep 3 Earl Grey tea bags in boiling water for 5 minutes, add sugar until it completely dissolves, then cool and add rum.

To Assemble the Cake

  • Place the first cake layer on a cake stand or a plate and lightly drizzle with the tea and rum drizzle if using. Spread ¼ of the buttercream and smooth it out with an offset spatula, place the meringue layer on top (trim it with a sharp knife if the sides are sticking out, don't worry if it cracks you can seal it with buttercream!) and repeat filling the cake with ¼ of the buttercream, finally finish the cake off with the final cake layer, add more buttercream to the top and sides to fully cover them. At this point we are working on a crumb coating, which shouldn't be thicker than 1-2 cm. Place the cake in the fridge for 10 minutes for the crumb layer to firm up.
  • Take the cake out of the fridge and cover it with more buttercream while making attractive swirls with an offset spatula.
  • Fill a pastry bag fitted with a closed star nozzle and pipe a few rosettes on one side of the cake, fill gaps with meringue kisses. (I brushed some of the kisses with edible paint, which is optional).


Calories: 791kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 190mg | Sodium: 532mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 67g | Vitamin A: 1419IU | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 2mg