The secret to the smoothness of this vanilla and apple sauce cake with meringue icing comes is all in the apple sauce. This simple ingredient not only adds a wonderful flavour dimension, it gives the cake a special velvety texture. Top with delectable meringue icing and you’ve got an elegant treat for teatime.
Vanilla and apple sauce cake with meringue icing
- 360g (3 cups) cake flour
- 7,5ml (1½ tsp) baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 360g butter, soft
- 440g (2 cups) castor sugar
- 30ml (2 tbsp) vanilla paste
- 4 large eggs
- 250ml (1 cup) buttermilk
- 500ml (2 cups) ready-made smooth apple sauce
- 4 large egg whites
- 140g ( cup) sugar
- 5ml (1 tsp) lemon juice
- pinch of cream of tartar
- pinch of fine salt
- 60ml (¼ cup) flaked almonds, toasted
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease 3 x 22cm deep cake tins or line with some baking paper.
For the cake, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
In another bowl, cream the butter and castor sugar using an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 4 – 5 minutes. Whisk in the vanilla, eggs, buttermilk and dry ingredients until smooth.
Divide the mixture between the 3 tins and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the middle, about 20 – 25 minutes.
Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes and then turn out onto cooling racks.
For the meringue icing, gently heat the egg whites, sugar, lemon juice, cream of tartar and salt over a double boiler. Keep whisking until the sugar has just dissolved and the mixture is warm without cooking the egg whites. Transfer the mixture to an electric mixer. Whisk on high until the meringue is cool and forms stiff peaks, about 3 – 4 minutes.
Assemble the cake by spreading the apple sauce between the 3 cake layers (excluding the top layer). Place generous spoonfuls of the meringue on top and sprinkle with the almonds.
Allow to set for 30 – 60 minutes to ensure easy slicing.