Meringue Cake

Meringue Cake

Pastel de Merengue
10 to 12 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cake, egg whites, lime, mascarpone, Meringue, mexican vanilla, pati's mexican table, requesón, strawberries, whipped cream
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Meringue Cake recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 4, Episode 11 “Family Favorites”


For the meringues:

  • 7 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted

For the whipped cream filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) mascarpone or requeson cheese, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries, plus more for garnish

To Prepare

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and trace two circles, 8-inches in diameter, on each piece of parchment paper, four circles altogether between the two pans.
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and lime juice on medium speed until frothy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Continue beating and start adding the granulated sugar slowly, about 2 tablespoons at a time, until completely combined and the mixture holds stiff peaks, about 2 to 3 more minutes. The meringue should appear white and glossy.
  • Remove the bowl from the stand, sift the cornstarch into the meringue, and use a rubber spatula to gently fold and completely incorporate the cornstarch. Transfer the meringue to the prepared baking sheets, dividing evenly between the 4 8-inch measured circles. Use the spatula to spread it into even circles; you will be able to make some nice wavy shapes.
  • Bake for 1 hour, then reduce the temperature to 175 degrees. Let the meringue dry in the oven for another 4 to 6 hours. The outside should be crisp, and they should be easy to remove from the parchment. Set aside to cool completely.
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and mascarpone cheese until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Transfer 1 1/4 cups of the whipped mascarpone cream to a medium bowl and fold in the sliced strawberries. Set aside.
  • To assemble the cake, place a round of meringue on platter and spoon about 1 1/4 cup whipped cream onto the center, then spread to cover. Top with the second meringue and spread on the strawberry and whipped cream mixture. Top with the third meringue and another 1 1/4 cup whipped cream. Top with the final meringue. Serve in slices with more fresh strawberries.

55 comments on “Meringue Cake

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  1. Hello Pati! I am such a fan of your show. It is so informative and interesting. I am so intrigued in learning about the various regions of Mexico and the authentic cuisine. Thank you for what you do and your passion for it! I want to make this cake. Are there any variations on the cake filling that you recommend? Also I wanted to compliment you on your fashion style. You are always wearing the prettiest tops. Is there any place in particular that you enjoy shopping for the beautiful clothes you wear? Thank you again Pati!

    1. Hey Jewel, you can really fill this cake with anything you like, just your favorite fresh fruit, some jam, and why not maybe even some dulce de leche and nuts! About my tops, I don’t shop in just one particular place, I get them as I travel mainly in Mexico 😉

  2. Hello Patti. Is there another spice I can substitute for saffron in the drunken rice recipe. Create not available in my area so I go on line to look for your great recipes

    1. Hi there Dotty! Unfortunately saffron is a basic ingredient in this recipe; its flavor is so unique it has no substitute. Now, if you really cannot get any, I would recommend to use a bit of turmeric instead basically for the color because the flavor would be a little Middle Eastern now, but not bad at all. Enjoy!

  3. So sad. I tried so long and hard to make these egg whites stiffen😔. I didn’t have an egg beater though. only my immersion blender and a whisk which I tried. Other recipes I looked at said you need to incorporate the sugar fully each time you add more and that you should check the consistency of the egg whites before to make sure it’s not grainy at all. I also read that your utensils shoyld be squeaky clean without any grease and dry. I wish i would’ve done my homework ahead of time. I’ll admit I washed my immersion blender right before and i didn’t dry it. I may try this again someday. I used the strawberries and cream to make licuados😋

  4. Hola Pati! I’m so excited to make this cake! Generally speaking I’m more of a cook rather than a baker and I really enjoy marking savory dishes. This may actually be my first cake🤔. Anyway I’m wondering if i can make this without a standing mixer. I have a blender, an immersion blender and a whisk. Thoughts?

  5. Hi Pati,
    I often make “normal” cake layers when I have a day off and store them in the freezer until I’m ready to thaw and use them for a special occasion. Do you know if a meringue layer would survive being stored in the freezer?
    Thank you!

    1. I really don’t think so…meringues are so delicate and capricious, they’re best used freshly made. You could make, cool, and tightly store outside of the fridge for one or two days though. Have fun making the cake, Emily!

  6. Pati, if my merengue turned tan did I over cook them? They pulled off the parchment and had a good texture and were not too soft to the touch, cut well!

  7. Hello Pati
    Made this cake for my daughter’s birthday and it was beautiful! I did have a hard time cutting it. Any suggestions? It was a big hit with all the 13 year olds.
    Thank you 😘

  8. My son and I like watching your show on APT’s Create. He saw this recipe and knew he had to have it for his birthday. I had to make a substitution on the marscarpone but it came out wonderfully. We put strawberry slices in with each layer. He lived it! It’s become a new favorite, definitely one to add to my grandmother’s recipe box.

  9. Hello Pati,

    I was wondering, if I reduced the amount of sugar in the meringue, would it affect the consistency? Thanks!

    1. Hi Fran, It may affect the consistency, but you are welcome to give it a try with less sugar. Let me know what happens if you do!

  10. How far in advance can this cake be assembled? I don’t want it to become soggy but I don’t want to have to leave the table early to assemble dessert.

  11. on the meringue cake, am I to understand to bake at 200 for an hour and then for another 4 to 6 hours at 175? I am a bit confused…thank you…love your show, you and your family! thank you for being there!

  12. Pati! Thank u so much for your chili rellenos recipe. I am so looking forward to making the dish and i will let u know how everything comes out. I love your show so very much that it is like visiting with a friend. Again, thank u. U inspire me.

  13. My grandson helped me make this cake today. This episode really touched my heart and I did cry a bit seeing how happy you are with your family. I rarely cook or bake anymore because of work, but after this episode, I cleaned off the dining room table and made drunken rice too! Thanks!

  14. Pati , muchisimas gracias por tu aclaracion de los merengues , creo fui yo la que no entendi mucho y pregunte algo que estaba ahi
    Otra vez muchas gracias todas las recetas son increibles y disfruto mucho del programa Nellie


  16. Pati,
    My little boy,who is 7, watched you and your little boy make this cake so we wanted to try it, however he is allergic to cornstarch. Could you suggest a substitute in the recipe?

    1. Just skip the cornstarch! The meringues may be just a tad more chewy but in a really good way. You won’t miss a thing!

  17. Hi Pati!

    I saw you make this meringue cake on your TV show on PBS and want to try it. However, I’m wondering how well it lasts at room temperature or in the fridge overnight. Does it get soggy or less crunchy with time, especially if refrigerated? I am thinking of making it for a lunch b-day party at work, but afraid it might not be an ideal choice, since I would probably make it the night before. I thought of the possibility of leaving the meringues in the oven overnight, refrigerating the filling and assembling it the next morning. What do you think?

    Gracias por todas las fabulosas recetas… soy una gran fanatica.


    1. Good idea: make meringues a day ahead and keep them covered outside of the refrigerator. The day off, beat cheese with heavy cream and fill and stack. You can also refrigerate the filling. You will love it.