I get to make this one every year on demand, for my son's birthday. He's a great traditionalist. I first made it when he was 6 as he grew out of the Bob the Builder/Batman phase. The time had come to get back in the kitchen, rather than rely on store-bought birthday cakes, and I have been making it ever since.

Makes 1 x 9-inch cake


  • 12 large egg whites
  • 1/3 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 2/3 cups white all-purpose flour, sifted
Raspberry cream filling:
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup raspberry jam
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups full-fat cream cheese
  • A few handfuls of M&M's
Special equipment:
  • 2 x 9-inch nonstick cake pan with removable bases, 3 inches deep
  • Bread knife
  • Small offset spatula


Preheat the oven to 300°F convection oven/325°F conventional oven.

This is a large quantity of meringue to whisk, so you may prefer to do it in two batches in two separate bowls; otherwise use your biggest mixing bowl. Whisk the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form using an electric mixer.

Now whisk in the sugar, a couple of tablespoons at a time, sprinkling it over the egg whites and whisking for about 20 seconds with each addition. Fold the sifted flour into the meringue in three batches. Divide the mixture between two unbuttered 9-inch nonstick cake pans with removable bases, 3 inches deep.

Bake the cakes for 35 to 40 minutes until lightly golden on the surface and springy to the touch. Invert the pans and set the cakes aside to cool, without running a knife around the edge.

To make the filling, blend the mascarpone with the jam in a bowl.

To make the frosting, beat the butter in a large bowl for about 1 minute using an electric mixer, then add the confectioners' sugar and continue beating for another minute or two until really fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, and then blend in the cream cheese using a large spoon.

Run a knife around the sides of the pans to remove them. Using a bread knife, split one of the cakes in half. Slice the top off the other one, then cut the cake off its base to make up the middle layer of cake. Spread half the raspberry mascarpone filling over the base of the cake, lay the middle section in place, spread with the remaining raspberry filling and then lay the top on. Smooth the cream cheese frosting over the top and sides of the cake using a small offset spatula. Transfer the cake to a 10-inch cake board, keeping it on the base of the ban. Store in the refrigerator for up to two days, removing it from the fridge 30–60 minutes before serving. Decorate with M&M's and candles, or sparklers, close to the time of eating.

From Annie Bell's Baking Bible by Annie Bell © 2013 Kyle Books.

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