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Pineapple meringue cake

April 6, 2010

Pineapple Meringue Cake

Until I began this post, I honestly didn’t know the name of this cake.  For so long, this has simply been known as “my birthday cake.”  That’s it.  This has been and always will be my favorite cake on the planet.  The recipe comes from a 1973 edition of the Better Homes and Garden Golden Treasury of Cooking.  The page is splattered and stained and very well-used.  It makes me happy.

This cake was the first cake to grace the 1930 edition of the cookbook and was originally called “Lindy’s Cake,” named for Charles Lindbergh, the young pilot who first soloed across the Atlantic in 1927.  And by coincidence (or is it?), that solo flight happened to fall on my birthdate.  Granted, many years ahead of my time, but still.   My birthday cake has a history!

The secret ingredient of our annual throwdown this year was pineapple, and we all expected my mom to bake this gorgeous cake because it’s one of her specialties.  I was even on the receiving end of a few good-natured threats concerning the fact that I may never see this cake again if I didn’t toss my vote her way.  Lots of laughing and plotting later, my mom decided to try something new.  Now the plotting took a whole new turn.  My sisters and I were downright giddy over the idea of someone else baking this cake instead.  No one said a word to Mom, and I sent my sister Dani the recipe on the sly.  Dani baked the cake and presented it for the throwdown instead.  {I’m smiling just thinking about it!}

When it came time for the voting, my vote was 100% emotion-driven, and I did vote for “my birthday cake.”  It is so amazing, this cake.  Would you just look at that pillowy meringue?  Picture two layers of that on top of a lovely cake, and a thick filling of sweetened cream and pineapple nestled in between.  Oh, I can’t tell you how much I wish I had a big slice of it right now.

But, even with it’s stunning beauty, this cake did not win the throwdown.  You’ll have to stick with me for a few days to find out the final results…

Recipe:  Pineapple Meringue Cake

Cake Layer:

1/4 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. granulated sugar

2 egg yolks

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. milk

Meringue Layer:

2 egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/3 c. chopped pecans or walnuts


(Original layer calls for half the amount of filling.  My mom always doubles it and it makes a big, beautiful cake.)

2 c. heavy whipping cream

4 Tbsp. powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple, drained

In a mixer bowl, cream together butter and 1/2 c. sugar; add egg yolks and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.  Beat with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.  Pour into two greased, parchment-lined 8″ round cake pans.

Beat egg whites and 1 tsp. vanilla until soft peaks form.  Carefully spread egg white mixture over unbaked layers.  Sprinkle chopped nuts over egg whites.  Bake at 350 degrees until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Carefully remove from pans.  Turn cake layers meringue-side up; cool completely.

Meanwhile, for filling, combine whipping cream, powdered sugar, and 2 tsp. vanilla.  Beat until soft peaks form.  Fold in pineapple.

Place one layer, meringue-side up, on serving plate.  Top with filling.  Place second layer on top. Chill.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. Dani permalink
    April 6, 2010 2:29 am

    I have to admit that this cake was soooo much fun to make, probably because I smiled the entire time while imagining what mom’s reaction would be. She did not disappoint when she saw it and yelled, “THAT’S MY CAKE!!!”

    It was easy to make and tasted amazing!

  2. April 6, 2010 5:15 am

    Holy cow. That is one gorgeous, fabulous, magazine-worthy cake!! I want a piece right now!

  3. grandy permalink
    April 6, 2010 7:37 am

    Needless to say i never dreamed anyone else would bake my cake! I’m still in shock!

  4. April 6, 2010 9:20 am

    This is very much like a traditional Norwegian cake that’s been around for centuries, but the cake layer is very thin and it’s filled with just a vanilla cream and topped with almonds. It’s one of my favorites!

  5. April 6, 2010 10:31 am

    i haven’t seen this before, but it’s gorgeous! it makes me rue my lazy, hate-beating-egg-whites attitude. :)

  6. April 6, 2010 6:52 pm

    I’ve never seen a cake quite like this but it looks delicious and so interesting. This definitely looks like something my MIL would love. I’ll have to make this for her sometime.

    PS. I love that you sent this recipe to your sister to make. ha ha!

  7. gcroft permalink
    April 6, 2010 11:32 pm

    Oh wow, this cake looks amazing! I wonder if you could substitute the canned pineapples with fresh srawberries? Yum either way.

  8. oneordinaryday permalink
    April 7, 2010 12:29 am

    Dani – LOL Oh, it was fun!!!

    Hungry Dog – Thank you for the compliment, but I was only the photographer. My little sis made the cake and did a wonderful job!

    Mom (Grandy) – : ) You reacted just like we thought you would. Too funny!

    Andrea – Really? That sounds delicious too.

    Grace – You crack me up. You aren’t beating the eggs by hand, are you? haha

    Monica – I hope you do make it. I promise you will adore it.

    ~ Michelle

  9. oneordinaryday permalink
    April 7, 2010 12:35 am

    gcroft – Ooooh. My mom always followed the recipe and used pineapple, but I bet fresh strawberries would be downright heavenly. Great idea! I may have to give that a try too.
    ~ Michelle

  10. grandy permalink
    April 7, 2010 1:40 am

    I never thought of it but I bet strawberries would be great!

  11. April 7, 2010 5:14 am

    WHAT?! This amazing cake did not win the throw down. Now I WILL be back to see what recipe did win. This cake looks so delicious, I must try it some time.

  12. April 7, 2010 7:14 am

    :) This is the only time I wish I had six sisters instead of six brothers. Then I could have a throwdown.

    Your mom’s cake looks wonderful. It’s seems like an interesting recipe. That meringue sounds good.

    Glad to hear you guys had a wonderful and delicious Easter!

  13. April 7, 2010 3:14 pm

    This cake didn’t win the throw down…what?? It looks fabulous. ” I can’t tell you how much I wish I had a big slice of it right now.” agreed wish I had a giant slice too!

  14. April 8, 2010 5:42 am

    oh my gosh! this looks so fantastically epic, i am going to have to make this ASAP! i feel like everyone is making pineapple cakes right now! i just posted that i loved reading another recipe for pineapple upside down cake and had been making my own, easy cheat, hawaiian wedding cake to get a proper pineapple fix! i’m also trying my hand at pina colada cupcakes later today…

    now i want to make this though! dang you, pineapple, for being such a fantastic spring flavor!!!

    :) thank you so much for posting this, i honestly can’t wait to try it and post my results. if you want to try my easy breezey spring pineapple cake, it’s here

    i doubt it’ll hold a candle to your little beauty, though

  15. sumshay permalink
    April 8, 2010 10:09 am

    As I am the only one that loves pineapple in my family, I rarely make any food with it in. But I have to say that I’m seriously considering making this and eating it all myself!! Summer will eat almost any fruit she can get a hold of, except pineapple–WEIRD.
    And knowing that this didn’t win the throwdown is even more enticing–what better pineapple treats are waiting to be shared?? Oh, how I love pineapple!!

  16. grandy permalink
    April 8, 2010 1:44 pm

    I love reading all of the comments. They make me smile!

  17. April 12, 2010 5:11 pm

    I love the idea of a meringue cake and have wanted to make one for ages. This looks fab!

  18. gcroft permalink
    June 13, 2010 7:11 am

    Hi there

    I made your lovely meringue-cake today using strawberries instead of pineapple and it turned out lovely. Thank you for the recipe.

  19. August 2, 2010 10:20 pm

    Hi I just wanted to leave a comment to say that I enjoy your blog. Congratulations on a very popular site.


  20. Mamie permalink
    October 23, 2014 6:54 pm

    I had gotten this recipe from the LA times about 30 years ago My family loved it, i started looking for it and went through I don’t know how many until I found it here. It will be on the Thanksgiving menu for my granddaughter and her family.

  21. Regine permalink
    November 23, 2014 10:48 pm

    You left out the sugar for the meringue in your instructions.

  22. Carolyn permalink
    April 7, 2017 6:57 pm

    Delish! I have a recipe from my aunt in Germany that is very similar but uses gooseberries (drained jar) mixed in the whipped cream instead of pineapple, and sliced almonds on top of the meringue. I’ll have to try it your way – I love pineapple and gooseberries are so hard to find. I can only find it imported from a German specialty store and it is expensive!


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