Hey hey hey! I’m super excited to share with you today this Chocolate Meringue Layer Cake recipe that’s from Gemma Stafford’s new cookbook, Bigger Bolder Baking: A Fearless Approach to Baking Anytime, Anywhere. This is Gemma’s first cookbook, and it has a ton of really good recipes like Devil’s Food Cupcakes, Baked Cinnamon Sugar Churros, Chocolate Lava Pie, and of course this beauty! I loved this cake and I have no doubt you will too!
about the recipe
This chocolate meringue layer cake is quite different from your typical chocolate cake, but trust me it is very, very good! This recipe is made up of 2, 10-inch round layers of light and crunchy chocolate meringue, Gemma’s three-ingredient creamy chocolate mousse, homemade whipped cream, and chocolate shavings. It is the perfect combination of crunchy and creamy textures in every single chocolatey bite!
suggested tips for making Gemma’s chocolate meringue layer cake
- Make sure you can fit 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets (or jelly roll pans) side-by-side in your oven before getting started. I was able to fit 2, 15″ x 10″ x 1″ jelly roll pans into mine.
- I couldn’t quite fit the suggested 10″ round disc of chocolate meringue onto my jelly roll pans, so I went with a 9″ round disc instead.
- If you want your meringue discs to be close to near perfect circles like I did, use an old school compass to draw the circles onto both sheets of parchment paper. Then flip the parchment paper over and place them onto the cookie sheets or jelly rolls pans. If you have trouble seeing the pencil line, you can always go back over it with a black permanent marker. This was helpful when it came time to spreading the chocolate meringue onto the prepared pans.
- When making both the chocolate meringue and chocolate mousse, it’s a good idea to run a paper towel that’s been soaked in a little distilled white vinegar over your mixing bowl and whisk attachment (and any other equipment you’re planning to use with your egg whites). This will help remove any traces of grease, oil, or any fats.
3-ingredient chocolate mousse
- The ingredient amounts listed below for Gemma’s chocolate mousse recipe have been cut in half. If you’d like to make the chocolate mousse as a stand alone recipe, you will need to double it.
- After making the the chocolate mousse, I covered it tightly with some plastic wrap, then placed in it the fridge while I waited for the chocolate meringue discs to dry out.
- When you’re ready to put the chocolate meringue layer cake together, remove the chocolate mousse from the fridge and give it a good quick whisking.
- I also made the whipped cream while the chocolate meringue discs dried out. Then I placed it in the fridge and re-whipped it quickly before adding it to the top of the cake. This isn’t required, just something I like to do with whipped cream.
- If you’d like for the whipped cream to be a little sweeter, you can add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2-3 tablespoons of sifted confectioners sugar.
chocolate meringue discs
- After you make the chocolate meringue discs, you have to turn off your oven and leave them in there for 3 hours to dry out. I’ll be honest, the waiting part was tough, but it was worth the wait after I had a slice of the assembled cake!
- And as tempting as it was, I did not open the door at all while the chocolate meringue discs baked. Nor did I open the turned off oven while they were drying out.
assembling the chocolate meringue layer cake
- Be careful removing the chocolate meringue discs from the parchment paper after they’ve dried out. Think of them as if they were Fabergé eggs. Handle them with care as you move them to the serving plate.
- I used an offset spatula to apply the chocolate mousse. I added a little at a time instead of all at once. I recommend doing the same with the whipped cream that you’ll add to the top.
- The chocolate meringue discs may crack as you add the chocolate mousse and whipped cream…that’s totally normal and okay. It’s still going to taste amazing! Trust me!
- To make the chocolate shavings, use a vegetable peeler to shave off small pieces of chocolate. I found that a room temperature bar of chocolate was easier to peel, and I started with the long side of the bar.
final tip for making this chocolate meringue layer cake
- Go out and buy (or order online) Gemma’s new Bigger Bolder Baking cookbook! Just like this recipe, you will LOVE it and all of the other recipes! Gift it to yourself or buy it for a family member or friend that loves to bake!❤️
This Chocolate Meringue Layer Cake from Gemma Stafford’s first cookbook, Bigger Bolder Baking: A Fearless Approach to Baking Anytime, Anywhere is made up of 2, 10-inch round layers of light and crunchy chocolate meringue, with a layers of creamy chocolate mousse and whipped cream in between. Then it’s delicately topped off with some more whipped cream and chocolate shavings. It is the perfect combination of crunchy and creamy textures in every single chocolatey bite!
chocolate meringue layer cake
- 6 large (240 grams) Egg Whites, at room temperature
- 2 cups (450 grams) Sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon Distilled White Vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted
- Chocolate Shavings
three-ingredient chocolate mousse
- 1 cups (6 ounces/170 grams) Chopped Bittersweet Chocolate
- 1/4 cup (57 milliliters) Whole Milk
- 3 large (120 grams) Egg Whites, room temperature
- 2 cups (450 milliliters) Heavy Cream
chocolate meringue layer cake
- Preheat the oven to 275ºF (135ºC). Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a handheld electric mixer, bet the egg whites on low speed for 2 minutes, until bubbles start to form.
- Increase the speed to medium-high and whip until the egg whites start to thicken, roughly 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it is all incorporated. The egg whites will double in volume and become shiny.
- Add the cornstarch, vinegar, and cocoa powder and mix for 2 minutes more.
- Spread a flat 10-inch round disc of meringue on each prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Turn off the oven but leave the meringue in the oven to dry out for 3 hours.
- Meanwhile, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake.
- To make the three-ingredient chocolate mousse: see the instructions in the section below.
- To assemble the cake: Set one meringue disc on a serving platter and generously spread the chocolate mousse over top, followed by half of the whipped cream. Place the other meringue disc on top and finish with the remaining whipped cream. Garnish with chocolate shavings (see notes in the section below). Keep refrigerated and enjoy within 2 days.
three-ingredient chocolate mousse
- Put the chocolate and milk in a large heatproof bowl and gently melt in the microwave or over a bain-marie (see notes section below) or a double boiler. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or handheld electric mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Fold a spoonful of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until fully incorporated, taking care not to overmix.
- Keep refrigerated and covered tightly with plastic wrap until you’re ready to assemble the cake.
- Prep time was not noted in the cookbook and is approximate. The 45 minute prep time includes the chocolate meringue discs, chocolate mousse, and whipped cream.
- Instructions in italics were added by Beyond the Butter.
- A bain-marie is a french technique that uses gentle heat to cook more delicate food like chocolate or custard. To create a bain-marie bring some water to a simmer in a saucepan. Set a heatproof bowl, bigger than the mouth of the saucepan, over the simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Put the ingredients in the bowl as directed in the recipe above and allow the heat of the steam below to melt the chocolate and milk together slowly and evenly.
- To make the chocolate shavings, use a vegetable peeler to shave off small pieces of chocolate.
- Reprinted with permission from Bigger Bolder Baking cookbook publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
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