This is the perfect spring dessert to feed a crowd! Ultra-thin moist cake topped with fluffy meringue and crunchy almonds, layered with pineapple and strawberry whipped cream! The crispy edges are so irresistible you will want to eat the entire perimeter single-handedly.
The car that I drive is one of those kind where the headlights are always on. Day or night, if the car is on, the headlights are on. And when you turn the car off the lights stay on for at least a full minute. Who knows why. Perhaps to light the way if your destination happens to be in front of the car?
This feature is single-handedly restoring my faith in humanity. At least once a week when I turn off my car, a random stranger will come up to me, “Your lights are on!” And I say, oh yeah, they turn off by themselves. But thanks! I honestly like it. It makes me feel good and human to have other people try to save me from a dead battery.
The lights-on-all-the-time feature is especially handy since I have only been pulled over twice in my life, and BOTH times it was because I was driving at night with no headlights (a family trend, apparently). I’ve never had a speeding ticket, but I’ve definitely had a cop do the follow-my-pen-with-your-eyes test to see how drunk I was. (Who else would drive around at midnight with no lights on?) “I don’t drink! I’m Mormon!” I’m sure he’s heard that line before, except this time it’s actually true. Have you ever been pulled over?
So let’s break this Strawberry Pineapple Meringue Cake down a little bit:
On top you have the crispity crunchy sliced almonds, which are baked on top of the fluffy meringue, which is baked on top of a super duper thin cake. The almonds melt into the meringue which melts into the cake and it unifies into this amazing, amazing thing. THEN, you take these two crunchy-yet-soft-and-moist cakes and layer them with some dreamy strawberry-pineapple whipped cream. THEN you let it sit in the fridge overnight so that the layers melt into each other and I’m telling you guys, it’s heavenly.
Spread the meringue right on top…
Sprinkle with almonds and bake until golden. It’s hard not to just eat it at this point.
This is yet another recipe from my beloved mother-in-law Kris. Her mom used to make this for family events. Now that her mom is getting older, she wanted the recipe so that she could make it herself, but couldn’t find it in her mother’s stacks and stacks of recipe collections. She described the cake to me numerous times and we even tried to recreate it once, but it just wasn’t the same. Finally she called me one day and told me that she had found the old clipping, it was actually in her own recipe stacks. So the next time she came to visit we made it and ate the whole thing and it was glorious.
This is the perfect dessert for Easter. It is light, springy, and fresh. You can make it a day ahead so that you can spend time with your family instead of in the kitchen. Plus it makes a HUGE amount, so if you are feeding a crowd everyone will get a piece! To make it you will need two 10×15 inch jelly roll pans.*
I only have one, so I used one disposable pan. To serve it, you will also need a large rimmed platter that the cake can sit on comfortably (the cake will be 10×15, so just make sure it’s a little bigger than that.) You can certainly half the cake and make it in one pan, and serve it on a square or large round platter.
Have you guys figured out your Easter menus yet? I HAVEN’T! Gah. (Click here to see all my Easter recipes on the blog). I think I will make this cake though. It’s just such a winner. Let me know if you make it too! Snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #TheFoodCharlatan. I’d love to see it!
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Strawberry Pineapple Meringue Cake
For the cake:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 & 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the meringue:
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups sliced almonds
For the whipped cream:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, (1 pint)
- 1 tablespoon Dream Whip**
- 1 (20-oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 cup sour cream
- strawberries, more to garnish
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare TWO 10x15 inch jelly roll pans: grease well with butter or nonstick spray, and sprinkle with a generous amount of flour, tapping it around to make it even. If you are nervous about the cake sticking, you could line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, beat the butter until soft. Add 1 cup sugar and beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Beat in 4 eggs yolks one at a time.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the dry mixture alternately with the 3/4 cup milk, beating in between each addition.
- Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat for 1 more minute, scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Spread the batter evenly into the 2 prepared pans.
- Now make the meringue. In a new large bowl (or clean the one you just used; dry it very well) beat the 4 eggs whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form (see photo above).
- Gradually add 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until stiff.
- Spread the meringue evenly over each pan of cake batter.
- Sprinkle 2 cups of almond evenly over the 2 pans. (1 cup per pan)
- Bake at 325 for 25 to 30 minutes. The cake is done when the meringue and almonds have started to turn golden. When a toothpick is inserted in the center, it should come out dry.
- Cool cakes completely in pans.
- Now make the whipped cream mixture. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the cream and Dream Whip until it is stiff.
- Fold in the DRAINED pineapple, 2 cups strawberries, and sour cream.
- To assemble: Loosen one of the cakes carefully with a thin spatula. If you can, get someone to help you. Flip the cake almond-side-down onto the serving platter that you are using.
- Spread all of the whipped cream mixture on the cake evenly.
- For the cake that goes on top, you will need to loosen the cake and flip it almond-side-down onto a piece of foil, or onto other cake pan that is now empty. Then flip it back on top of the whipped cream mixture, almond-side-up.
- Cover the cake loosely with foil (You want the top to stay crunchy). Store in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Cut into squares and garnish with more strawberries.
Other cakes that would be perfect for Easter!
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Maple Pecan Frosting:
Blackberry Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting: << this recipe is so, so easy.
Coconut Layer Cake << doctored box mixes ftw
More recipes you will love from other bloggers!
Lemon Meringue Cake from The Cake Blog
Blitz Torte from Good Dinner Mom
Hibiscus Strawberry Curd Tarts with Toasted Meringue from Snixy Kitchen
Oh-my-god… it looks really delicious!
I was thinking about preparing this cake for my family at Christmas… I’m sure they love it!
Thanks for the recipe!
OH MY GOSH this is so gorgeous. I loved that feature about my last car, except they turned off when you opened the door. Most of the time, fine. But if you’re sitting for any time at pick-up you kill the battery. #truestory
I can’t get over how beautiful this is!
I haven’t been pulled over – yet! I’m always afraid today’s the day :/ You think if I had a slice of this awesome cake I could persuade the officer to go easy on me? (Just kidding – sorta.)
This has to be the most epic looking dessert I have seen! Love the contrasting layers! I too have driven with my lights off and didn’t realize until I got out of town. How I didn’t get pulled over is beyond me!!
This is such a unique and heavenly looking dessert. What a great dessert for Easter. The meringue looks so light and crisp. Wow!
Thank you Amanda! Light and crisp is the perfect description!
I am so amazed and intrigued that the meringue goes in the refrigerator! This is a cake I have to try!
Yeah, this is definitely a different recipe Julia! It’s not quite as fragile as a regular meringue because it’s baked into the cake and has almonds on top. And it’s so good cold from the fridge! :) :)
Oh my, great pictures! Love the recipe :)
Thank you Mary! I so appreciate that! Let me know if you try it out :)
This looks light, flaky and perfectly delicious. I always enjoy your stories and I’m suddenly glad my car has automatic lights too.
Haha! Thanks Karen! I’m so glad you enjoy reading my stories. It’s the real secret reason I write my blog :)
So glad you blogged this Karen! Now I can never lose it again! This does make a perfect Easter dessert. I think I’m going to make it for Easter Sunday. My mother will be happy to see another one of her great recipes on your blog. Just for reference, the original recipe came from an upscale grocery store in Minneapolis called “Byerly’s” back in the 70’s when she got the recipe. It’s still around but renamed “Lunds & Byerlys”. Chip and I stopped there once on a trip just because I was curious. It was so much fun and I picked up a number of interesting ingredients I can’t get at home. The store would offer cooking classes and a newsletter and that’s how my mother ended up with this recipe. Just thought you’d want to know – for posterity. Your blog is becoming “home” for all our family recipes. What a great gift to our whole family. Thank you Karen, my most beloved (and only) daughter-in-law.