It’s a cakkkeeeeee (like they say in My Big Fat Greek Wedding). It never fails that every time I make a cake Mikey says, “It’s a cake” in his best greek accent.
So now whenever I see cake I think or say the same thing. And no, this is not a paid advertisement for the new My Big Fat Greek Wedding movie. Although I do still want to see it despite the bad reviews. The first one is literally so freaking good. Its weird how many things are quoted from that movie on a weekly basis in our family. The other one we say allllll the time is, “You don’t eat no meat? It’s ok, I make lamb”.
SO, about this cake!
Disclaimer: I am not the one to title this as the worlds best cake. It was the name of it in the recipe I found so I went with it. It’s a good cake, not the worlds best. I’ll be honest, I baked mine a bit too long and the cake layer was a little dry. I wish I would have known it was a bit dry because I would have soaked it in a bit of sweetened milk/liquid (similar to a tres leches, yum). This was a good cake but lacking a bit of moisture and sweetness. Do not fear, I adjusted the sweetness in the recipe below so you should be all set. I also added almond extract (sorry Mom) and that was super delicious/I wished I had added more.
Despite those couple flaws, I think this cake is super beautiful!
If you can’t tell from the pictures-it’s huge (height-wise). It is stacked up super high from the meringue and the massive amount of (delicious) vanilla bean whipped cream. It looks like a giant sandwich. Yum. The meringue stays a bit squishy like a marshmallow and the almonds add some toasty crunch. The original recipe made this cake in two 6 inch springform pans but I didn’t have 2 of the same size so just made one big one (9×13) and cut it in half.
I brought this beauty to our Easter dinner with Mikey’s family and my niece kept running around signing about the “Easter cake”. It really did seem like a perfect easter dessert (I almost made a coconut bunny cake. Almost). Also, side note: We celebrated the birth of my newest nephew, Quinn woooooooo! My bro-in-law and sis-in-law have two little girls so we were all so happy when we found out it was a BOY!
I am SSSOOOOO glad that we are headed into a new season and that the world is beginning to sprout open here in Chicago! I’m over the cold and the snow and love the little weeds that are coming up through the sidewalk and the birds that are distracting our puppy on every walk. I hope you had a great Easter and have some type of celebration/excuse to make this beautiful cake very very soon (it will impress people, I promise)!
Worlds Best Cake
10 1/2 Tablespoons (1 Stick plus 2 1/2 Tablespoons) Butter, softened
1 2/3 Cups Granulated Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/3 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
5 Large Eggs, Separated
1/3 Cup Whole Milk
1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Vanilla Bean
1/4 Teaspoon Almond Extract (Optional)
2-5 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar (to sweeten whipped cream to taste)
Preheat oven to 350 with rack in the center. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine butter and 2/3 cups sugar until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
Add the flour and baking powder and mix on low until combined. Mix in egg yolks, milk and vanilla extract again mixing until just combined.
Spread batter as well as possible into lined pan (it’s a little sticky and so it may be a bit hard to spread, just do your best to make it an even layer).
In a large, clean bowl, combine egg whites and remaining 1 cup of sugar on high speed until soft peaks form. Spread meringue over the batter and sprinkle top with almonds. Place into oven and let bake for 25-30 minutes (note: I baked mine for 30 and it was dry. maybe try to check at 25 and see, although it was a little hard to tell with the thick layer of meringue. I would maybe use about 1/2 cup less of meringue if you’re worried about the cake layer getting dry. I also may just have a hot oven?).
Once top has puffed and browned, remove from oven and let cool. While it cools, make the whipped cream. In a large bowl combine milk, seeds of 1 vanilla bean, almond extract and 1 tablespoon sugar. Whip on high until soft peaks form, do NOT over beat. Add sugar to taste until a desired sweetness is reached.
Once cake has cooled, pull out by parchment paper and slice in half. Place one half on serving plate and add whipped cream to top of meringue. Place second half of the cake on top of the whipped cream layer and let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.
NOTE: This cake is slightly sweet. I added sugar to the whipped cream (there was none in the original recipe. I would also perhaps add more sugar to the meringue or I would add a bit of almond extract to the cake batter itself. This recipe was adapted from the Bakers Royale blog.