When thinking of desserts to make for Passover I came up with the traditional flourless chocolate cake. Cheesecake also came to mind (it was fabulous!), but I had been thinking about a meringue dessert and wanted to try something new.
I thought that I could do meringue cookies with cream and fruit, or I could try a meringue stack cake. The second option was definitely more adventurous, so that’s what I chose.
This Strawberry Mascarpone Stack Cake is the perfect dessert for strawberry season and happens to be gluten-free!
The base of this recipe is two layers of meringue. The key to meringue is to bake it at a very low temperature for an extended period of time. These meringue layers will be crisp on the outside but have a marshmallow-like center.
The meringue discs are layered with an addictive mascarpone whipped cream and macerated strawberries! Together this makes an amazing dessert that looks gorgeous and tastes even better.
Quick tip: In order to get perfect discs that will stack neatly, trace a 9-inch cake pan on two sheets of parchment paper. Flip the paper so the pencil lines are facing downward.
Begin the meringue by beating the room temperature egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixture on high speed. Whisk until the egg whites are foamy. Then, with the mixer running slowly add the sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Quick tip: You know the egg whites have reached stiff peaks when you can hold the bowl upside down and the egg whites stay as peaks!
Once your egg whites are at stiff peaks, evenly divide it between the two baking sheets, placing it in the center of the 9-inch circle. With the back of a spoon or offset spatula evenly spread the meringue to fill in the circle.
Place meringue in your preheated oven for 2 and ½ hours. Halfway through, rotate the baking sheets to ensure even cooking of the meringue. Do not let the meringue brown.
Then with the meringue in the oven, turn off the oven and let it cool for an hour. Remove the meringue from the oven. Once it has fully cooled, you should be able to gently peel the parchment paper away from the meringue. Either use immediately or store in plastic wrap.
While the meringue is cooking, macerate the strawberries. Gently mix the sliced strawberries and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl and set aside for at least 30 minutes. They will develop a syrup, which works perfectly for this dessert.
To make the mascarpone whipped cream, place the mascarpone cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until softened and fluffy, ~1 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly add the cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Once that has been incorporated increase the mixer to high speed and beat until soft peaks have formed.
Now it is time to put all the cake components together!
Quick tip: Place a dollop of mascarpone cream on your serving plate. This is a trick I always use to make sure the cake, or in this case the meringue, stays in place. Place the first layer of meringue on your serving dish.
Gently spread half of the mascarpone cream on the meringue and top with half of the macerated strawberries.
Repeat one more time so you end up with two layers of everything. If the meringue begins to crack, do not worry. Due to the weight of the mascarpone cream, this may happen, but it gives the dessert a nice rustic look!
Slice and enjoy 🙂 Serve immediately or within 3-4 hours of assembling. The cake will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
This delicious meringue stack cake combines two layers of meringue with macerated strawberries and a luscious mascarpone whipped cream. This Strawberry Mascarpone Stack Cake is also the perfect gluten-free dessert and one that everyone will love!
- 8 large egg whites room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 pound strawberries sliced
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 16 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 200ᵒF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On each baking sheet, trace a 9-inch cake pan with a pencil. Flip the parchment paper over so the pencil marks are face down.
To make the meringue, whip the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer on high speed until foamy. With the beater on high speed slowly add the sugar. Continue to whip until stiff peaks.
Place half of the egg whites in the center of each circle on the baking sheets. With the back of a spoon or offset spatula evenly spread the egg whites into a circle.
Place in preheated oven for 2 and ½ hours, rotating the pans halfway through. Then turn off the oven and let the meringues cool for an hour. Remove meringues from the oven and cool.
Peel the meringue from the parchment paper, it should come off easily. Either use immediately or wrap in plastic wrap.
Place the sliced strawberries and 1 tablespoon sugar in a mixing bowl. Gently mix and set aside for at least 30 minutes. This allows the strawberries to macerate, creating a thin syrup.
Place the mascarpone cream in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the mixer on medium-high speed, whisk the mascarpone to soften, ~1 minutes. Slowly add the heavy cream and granulated sugar. Continue to beat on medium-high to high speed until the cream comes to soft peaks, ~1-2 minutes.
To assemble the meringue stack cake, begin by placing a dollop of mascarpone cream on your serving dish. This will adhere the meringue to your plate, preventing it from slipping off. Place one of the meringues on top, then spread half of the mascarpone cream over the meringue. Top with half of the macerated strawberries and repeat until all of the components have been used. The meringue stack is best if served immediately but can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.