Eton Mess Cake

By Clare Longley - June 14, 2013

Eton Mess Cake.... it's the cake that gained me first place in the Vintage category of the Great Leeds Bake Off :) :) :) (Still buzzing from that news yay!)

It really is a surprisingly easy cake to make but the muppet that I am I forgot to photograph the stages of me making it. I hope my instructions are clear enough but if you are confused please do get in touch!

The cake consists of a layer of Victoria sponge, a layer of buttercream, a layer of jam, a layer of meringue pieces and white chocolate chips, another layer of Victoria sponge, a layer of homemade meringue, a big load of berries mixed with buttercream then sprinkled on top with more meringue pieces. Reading over that it really is calorie overload but then again it is cake!

Start with your sponge cake first. I used Mary Berry's recipe as its always so light and fluffy. I did think about creating my own but let's be honest, Mary Berry is the Queen of cakes, so if it aint broke why fix it? This sponge will not let you down!

225g stork
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
2tsp baking powder
4 eggs

Now Mary says this is an all in one mix but I prefer to cream the butter and sugar first. It's just personal preference.

  • Grease and line two 20cm cake tins.
  • Preheat the oven to 160C (fan)/180C (no fan)
  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Crack eggs into a jug and give a quick beat with a fork.
  • Mix the baking powder and flour in a bowl then add about half of this to the butter and sugar mixture.
  • Mix this on a slow speed then add the egg mixture slowly.
  • Mix in the end of the flour mixture and make sure you scrap the bottom of the bowl so it is all combined.
  • Divide the mixture between the two tins and place in the oven for around 25mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Now while the sponge is baking you can make a start on the meringue. Once again I used a Mary Berry recipe but I reduced as few of the quantities cos I didn't need as much meringue.

3 eggs whites
170g caster sugar
1.5 tsp cornflour
1.5 tsp white wine vinegar

  • Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan
  • Lay a sheet of baking parchment on a tray and draw round the shape of your 20cm cake tin
  • Put the egg whites in a bowl and whisk until stiff
  • Add the sugar to the mixture a teaspoon at a time while whisking at the same time
  • Stir the cornflour and vinegar in a dish and whisk the the meringue mixture
  • Fill a piping bag with the meringue mixture and snip off the end.
  • Pipe a series of blobs within the circle shape you have drawn but give the outer edge a bit more height (basically pipe it as if you were making the meringue for a pavlova).
  • Also pipe a series of random blobs around the other bits of the greaseproof paper (these can be any shape or size as they will be broken into pieces later)
  • Place the meringue in the oven and turn it down to 130C (fan) for one hour.
  • Once cooked the meringue should be a creamy/very light brown in colour and the shell will be form to the touch.
  • Leave to cool in the oven with the door closed for an hour or two for a chewier meringue.

Now everything had cooled it's time to make the buttercream. You could use fresh cream but I worry about it going off.

160g unsalted butter softened
500g icing sugar
A few tbsp of milk

  • Place everything in a bowl/mixer, cover with a tea tower to avoid an icing sugar cloud and beat until smooth - this usually takes a good 5 mins.

Cake assembly time!

  • Take one layer of sponge, spread some buttercream on top, then add some jam.
  • Remember the random wee bits of meringue from before? Well pop them in a sandwich bag and give them a quick bash with a rolling pin. Not too much cos you do want some nice chunks.
  • Sprinkle over the meringue pieces and white choc chip pieces (the choc chip is optional!) then add another later of sponge.
  • Spread some jam or buttercream on top of this but not too much, just enough for the large meringue to stick.
  • Add a mixture of chopped strawberries, raspberries and the meringue pieces to the buttercream. The amount is entirely up to depending on your buttercream to fruit ratio preference. 
  • Stir the fruit in gently as you don't want the raspberries to turn into a pulp.
  • Add this mixture to the top of the meringe, add a few more bits of fruit on top sprinkle more meringue pieces over it and if like me you are a chocoholic I added some white choc chips.

And that's it - Eton Mess Cake!

I know the instructions are long but I forgot to photo the stages and I promise you it really it is a pretty simple cake to make.

Enjoy!



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