My pretty Knitted Pink Sweater Cake is made with delicate meringue. And vanilla meringue cake layers are sandwiched together with delicious orange cranberry cream filling. It’s a perfect perfect dessert for Holidays.
HOW TO MAKE KNITTED MERINGUE SWEATER CAKE
- TABLE OF CONTENTS
- How to make Meringue
- Sweater Template
- Pipe Meringue Cake Layers
- Knitted Pattern
- Bake Meringues
- How to Store Meringues
- Meringue Troubleshooting
- Cranberry Puree
- Cranberry Orange Cream Filling
- Fill the Cake
- How to Cut a Meringue Layer Cake
MERINGUE CAKE LAYERS
HOW TO MAKE MERINGUE
First we have to prepare meringue. Meringue is made from egg whites.
In a clean and heat proof bowl whisk together egg whites, granulated sugar and strained lemon juice.
Place the bowl with egg whites, sugar and lemon juice over a pot of simmering water.
Whisk egg whites mixture constantly using a wire whisk. Until all of the sugar is completely dissolved. It is important that sugar is dissolved. Undissolved sugar crystals can cause sugar beading on the baked meringues.
To test if sugar is dissolved rub the mixture between your fingers. It has to be smooth. If you feel graininess keep heating the mixture until all of the sugar is dissolved.
Mixture will be white and soapy. This is normal.
Once sugar is fully dissolved return the bowl to your mixer and whip the mixture using a wire attachment. Start at the low speed and then increase it to medium high.
Try not to beat meringue at high speed. Beating meringue at high speed can cause cracks in baked meringues. Beat it until medium peaks are formed. Then beat in Vanilla Extract and corn starch.
WHY ARE YOU ADDING CORN STARCH?
I’m adding corn starch in this recipe so stabilize meringue. Corn starch also make it easier to cut through the layers of baked meringue layers.
Continue beating meringue until stiff peaks are formed. Meringue should be glossy and smooth. Grainy meringue is a result of overbeating.
Now it’s time to color the meringue. Add few drops of Electric Pink food gel coloring and beat meringue till combined, 30 seconds or so.
Then fit a large piping bag with a star tip #21 and fill the bag with stiff pink meringue.
Print Sweater Template and trace the outline onto the parchment paper. You’ll need 2 sheets of parchment. Trace the template 4 times.
Turn parchment with sweater outlines upside down so the ink side is facing down. Adhere parchment onto a baking sheet with a little bit of meringue. Pipe a small dot of meringue into each corner. Then press parchment onto the meringue.
HOW TO PIPE MERINGUE CAKE LAYERS
First pipe a shell border around the perimeter.
HOW TO PIPE SHELL BORDER?
Hold a piping bag at about 45 degree angle and slightly above the surface. Squeeze the piping bag and let a generous amount of icing come out. Gradually move piping tip lower, toward you and easy the pressure on the piping bag. Pull the tip to a point. Then repeat, start at the shell point by putting more pressure on the bag and slightly covering the point end of the shell design.
After you have a shell border you can start piping the inside of the sweater. Pipe straight lines across to fill the sweater area. Make 4 meringue cake layers.
PIPING KNITTED PATTERN
With a piping tip #21 pipe the bottom and neck hem using zic zac line.
Starting at the top middle continue piping shell border alternating left and right shell across the length of the sweater. Pipe the line from the middle top/neck to bottom.
Continue piping shell borders on left and right.
Then with a round piping tip #3 pipe straight lines between shell lines and on the ends. Finish by piping small dots along straight thin lines.
And lastly, sprinkle hem sections with white nonpareils.
BAKE MERINGUE CAKE LAYERS
Bake meringue layers at 175F for 4 hours. Leave meringue layers in the oven till the oven cools.
Once cool peel off parchment paper from baked and cooled meringue cake layers. Store immediately in an airtight container, layered between sheets of parchment.
Store meringues in an airtight container. To keep meringues crisp place a small container or a bag with raw dry rice inside of the container. Rice helps to absorb moisture from the air. And it keeps meringues from going too soft or sticky. Alternatively use food grade silica gel packets.
- Causes : over beating of the meringue or cookies are underbaked.
- Remedy : add more sugar or add 1 to 2tbsp corn starch to the meringue at the end of the mixing. It stabilizes the meringue.
- Causes : meringue is beaten at very high speed. Or meringue was baked at high temperature.
- Remedy : beat it at medium – high speed. Lower the temperature.
- Causes : this can happen when sugar in the meringue is not completely dissolved or meringue was baked at high temperature.
Cook frozen of fresh cranberries with sugar and water. Cranberries will gradually pop and become soft, about 10-15 minutes.
Then process cranberry mixture in a chopper, until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.
Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Cranberry puree can be prepared ahead of time. Up to 5 days ahead is fine. Cranberries contain lots of pectin. As a result cranberry puree thickens to a jelly like consistency as it cools.
CRANBERRY ORANGE CREAM FILLING
Thoroughly wash one orange and dry it. Then with a zester remove the top layer of orange peel.
In a bowl beat heavy whipping cream until soft peaks are formed. Gradually add powdered sugar. Then Vanilla Extract and orange zest. Beat until stiff peaks are formed.
Spoon about 1 cup of whipped cream into a bowl. Pour in thicken cooled and well whisked cranberry puree. Fold puree into whipped cream. Then pour cranberry mixture into the remaining whipped cream and carefully fold it in. Don’t over mix. Leave streaks of cranberry mixture in whipped cream.
FILL KNITTED MERINGUE LAYER SWEATER CAKE
Fit a piping bag with a large star tip #6B. And fill the piping bag with cranberry orange cream filling.
Pipe filling onto meringue layer, then carefully place another meringue layer on the top. Repeat until you are done with all the cake layers.
HOW TO CUT A MERINGUE CAKE
To cut meringue cakes I like to use a serrated knife.
TO MAKE KNITTED MERINGUE SWEATER CAKE YOU NEED
- Get all the supplies at my Amazon Shop
- Sweater Template
- Cookie Baking Sheets
- Star Piping Tip #21 – knitted pattern
- Large Star Piping Tip 6B – to pipe the filling
- Serrated Knife
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- White Nonpareils
- Knitted Meringue Sweater Cake – video with narration
MORE SWEET IDEAS FOR LEFTOVER EGG WHITES :
- Poinsettia Meringues
- Santa Hat Meringues
- Pine Cone Meringues
- White Cake Recipe
- Christmas Meringue Wreath
- Meringue Rose Cookies
- Lily of the Valley Meringues
Vanilla Meringue Layer Cake filled with Cranberry Orange Cream Filling
- 9 egg whites
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon, strained(or use vinegar)
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 12 oz cranberries (fresh or frozen) (340grams)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- zest of one orange
- cranberry puree, cooled, thickened
Trace sweater template onto the parchment sheets. You'll need 2 parchment sheet and trace the template 4 times. Turn the parchment upside down so the ink side is facing down. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 175F, or the lowest oven setting.
Use grease free bowl and tools when preparing meringue.
In a clean, heat proof bowl of your mixer grease free bowl combine egg whites (9 egg whites), granulated sugar (2cups) and freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice(or use white distilled vinegar) (2tsp).
Heat the egg white mixture over the pot of simmering water. Whisking constantly heat the mixture till all of the sugar is dissolved. To check if sugar is dissolved rub the mixture between your finger. If you feel no grainy particles you can remove the bowl from the heat.
Mixer will be white and soapy, this is normal.
Return bowl with heated egg white mixture to the mixer and beat on medium speed for about a minute then increase speed to medium high. Beat until medium peaks are formed. Beat in Vanilla Extract (2tsp) and then beat in corn starch (2tbsp). Beat until stiff peaks are formed.
Then color meringue with electric pink food coloring. Whip till just combined. Don't overbeat.
Fit a piping bag with a star tip #21. Fill the piping bag with stiff pink meringue. Secure parchment sheet with sweater template outline onto the baking sheet. Into each corner pipe a small amount of meringue and then glue parchment on it.
Pipe shell border following the sweater template outline. Then fill the inside with meringue by piping straight lines across. Pipe 4 meringue layers.
On one of the meringue layers pipe knitted pattern as see in instructions. Using star piping tip #21 for shell borders and a round piping tip #3 for small details. Sprinkle white nonpareils over bottom and neck hem.
Bake meringue layers in the preheated oven at 175F for 4 hours. After this time turn off the oven and let the meringue cool in the oven as the oven cools, 2-3 hours. Then remove meringue layers from the oven. Peel of the parchment and store meringues immediately in an airtight container. Prepare meringue layers up to 4-5 days ahead.
In a sauce pan combine cranberries (12 oz, 340grams), granulated sugar (1cup) and water (1/2cup). Bring to boil and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Until cranberries pop and become soft.
Process mixture in a chopper until smooth. Strain cranberry puree through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds. Let cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate over night. Cranberry puree can be prepared ahead, up to 5 days ahead.
In a clean bowl beat chilled heavy whipping cream (3cups), beat until soft peaks are formed. Then gradually beat in powdered sugar (1/2cup or to taste) and Vanilla Extract (1tsp). Then beat in orange zest. Beat till stiff peaks are formed.
Take about a cup of whipped cream and fold in cooled and well stirred cranberry puree. Add cranberry mixture to the remaining whipped cream and fold just till half way combined. Cranberry streaks are awesome!
Fit a piping bag with a large star piping tip 6B. Fill the bag with cranberry orange filling. Pipe filling on meringue cake layer, then place another meringue layer on the top and continue until you have a knitted meringue layer on the top. Filled cake can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 hours.
HOW FAR AHEAD CAN I MAKE THIS CAKE
Meringue Layers – 4 days ahead
Cranberry Puree – 4 to 5 days ahead
Assembled Cake – 4 to 6 hours ahead, stored in the fridge.
I DON’T HAVE HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM, CAN I USE WHIPPED CREAM INSTEAD?
Extra fat in Heavy Whipping Cream makes for a stronger whipped cream. If you don’t have or can’t find Heavy Whipping cream you can use Whipping Cream in place of heavy whipping cream.
However if you plan on filling the cake ahead of time I’d recommend you prepare stabilized whipped cream either using gelatin or ready to use Whip It Cream Stabilizer.
If you don’t have any gelatin or Whit It Cream Stabilizer Packet you can use 1/2 cup full fat sour cream or Greek Yogurt. It adds a bit of tangy flavor and it helps to stabilize whipped cream.
Extra fat in Heavy Whipping Cream makes for a stronger whipped cream.
HOW SHOULD I STORE BAKED MERINGUES?
Store baked meringues in an airtight container with a small bowl or bag or dry raw rice.
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