Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Icing and Copper Dusted Meringues

Vanilla sponge is complemented by a rich dark-chocolate frosting; while copper-dusted meringues set a celebratory tone atop of  this decadent cake.


Serves 10+

Preparation Time

Cook time

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Vanilla Cake:

  • 380g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 large eggs
  • 350g cake flour, sifted
  • 180ml full cream milk
  • 5ml vanilla extract
  • 22.5ml baking powder

Chocolate Icing:

  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 300g crème fraiche
  • 150g dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids
  • 300g icing sugar, sifted

Copper Dusted Meringues:

  • 1 large egg white
  • 30ml freshly boiled water
  • 10ml white spirit vinegar
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 10ml baking powder

To serve:

  • Barco powdered food colouring in Copper


Vanilla Cake:

Preheat the oven to 180°C and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

Onto a sheet of greaseproof paper, trace around the base of three 20cm cake pans and cut out the circles. Butter and flour the cake pans and lay a circle of greaseproof paper on the base of each pan.

Add the butter and sugar to a mixing bowl and beat until well combined.

Add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition.

Add the flour and mix well. Add the milk and beat for 5 minutes.

Add the vanilla extract, sift over the baking powder and beat for another minute to make sure everything is well combined.

Divide the mixture between the three cake pans. Lift and drop each one onto the counter a few times to eliminate air bubbles, and smooth over the tops with a palette knife.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Place the cake pans on a cooling rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Run a spatula around the inside edge of the cake pan and turn out the cakes onto a cooling rack with the baking paper facing upwards. Leave to cool completely and then peel off the baking paper.

Chocolate Icing:

Break up the chocolate and add to a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water (the base of the bowl shouldn’t come into contact with the water) and leave to melt. Once the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the pot and leave the chocolate to cool until it’s no longer hot to the touch.

Beat the butter and crème fraiche until just combined. Beat in the chocolate and gradually beat in the icing sugar. Continue beating for a few minutes until well combined and the icing becomes a paler shade.

Once the cakes are completely cooled, ice, assemble and transfer to a Le Creuset Footed Cake Stand. Refrigerate until serving.

Copper Dusted Meringues:

Preheat the oven to 120°C and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

Line a Le Creuset Rectangular Baking Sheet with baking paper.

Beat the egg white in a bowl until frothy.

Add the boiling water and vinegar and beat well.

Continue beating, gradually adding the caster sugar, until it reaches a very thick ‘piping’ consistency.

Add the baking powder and beat until it is well combined.

Fit a piping bag with a plain nozzle and spoon the meringue mixture into the bag.

Pipe meringues onto the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to 40°C and leave in the oven for another hour to dry out. Switch off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven to cool.

When the meringues are cool, paint with copper dust.

Place meringues on top of cake, securing with Chocolate Icing as needed.