Vanilla Bean Cake with Italian Meringue Butter Icing

This simple, but exceptionally tasty vanilla bean cake with Italian meringue butter icing is sure to become and instant favourite.

This simple, but exceptionally tasty vanilla bean cake with Italian meringue butter icing is sure to become an instant favourite. This recipe uses simple flavours, and only 11 ingredients, to create a delicious cake that is quite simply a pleasure to eat! 

vanilla bean cake

Vanilla Bean Cake with Italian Meringue Butter Icing

Serves 10-12 | Baking time 45-55 mins | Preparation time 50 mins plus cooling


For the cake:

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  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g soft light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 200g self raising flour, sifted
  • 100g clotted cream
  • 200g raspberry jam
  • 25g caster sugar

For the meringue butter cream:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g butter, softened
  1. For the meringue butter cream, put the egg whites in a large grease free bowl and whisk until they form stiff peaks. Add 50g of the sugar and whisk until the meringue is glossy.
  2. Place the remaining 150g of caster sugar in a heavy based saucepan along with 50ml water. Bring to the boil slowly and once the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat. Allow to boil until the syrup starts to tinge brown around the edges - do not stir the syrup just gently shake and move the pan over the heat to swirl the syrup around. Simmer the syrup and keep moving it around the pan until it has turned into a rich caramel both in colour and texture. Remove from the heat.
  3. Very carefully pour the hot caramel into the meringue, add the butter and whisk well until smooth and fully incorporated. Set aside in a cool place to firm up.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C/gas mark 4. Grease a deep 20cm loose bottomed cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
  5. For the cake, cream the butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time mixing well after each one.
  6. Halve the vanilla pods lengthways, scrape out the seeds and add to the cake mixture. Mix in the vanilla seeds to evenly distribute them throughout. Set aside the vanilla pods for use later on.
  7. Fold in the flour using a metal spoon then add the clotted cream and mix well to create a smooth cake batter. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45-55 mins until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for a few mins, then turn out onto a cooling rack and leave until cold.
  8. Cut the cake horizontally two times to create three even layers. Spread the top of the bottom and middle layers with jam then spread 2-3 tbsp of meringue butter cream on top of the jam. Stack the layers then carefully cover the entire cake with the meringue butter cream working gently as the cream is quite soft.
  9. Coat the vanilla pods set aside in step 6 with the 25g of caster. Tie the vanilla pods in a knot then place on top of the cake.

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