Vanilla Poppy Seed Cake with Rum Meringue


Spring is awesome. It is about all things fresh and new, about growth and rebirth. There is definitely truth to the saying a “spring in my step.” I feel renewed, alive, and happy. The beautiful days and warmer weather, planting new herbs for the garden, and fresh produce in every market puts a smile on my face. Are you with me?

After long winter days, I just want to be outside in the warm sun. I don’t know about you, but as soon as there are a few days of sun, I’m thinking about BBQ’s and having get togethers on our patio. Setting up a table full of fresh desserts and yummy finger foods, along with nice cool drinks…yup–that’s the life!

With Easter only a few weeks away, I wanted to test out a cake recipe I’ve been thinking about. Rum flavored meringue was something I’ve been wanting to try for a while.

This recipe is super easy, nothing too elaborate. I am very pleased with the outcome. This cake was the star at our spread this weekend. I mean c’mon, just look how cute (and delicious) it is!

The batter itself calls for cake flour but if you happen not to have it on hand, don’t go out and buy it. The conversion is easy. Basically, spoon and level a cup of all purpose flour, then remove two tablespoons of it. Then, replace it with two tablespoons of cornstarch and sift. Do this for each cup you will use. It’s important that you sift it all together at least twice just to make sure it’s all incorporated. Trust me, it works.

As for the meringue, well, what can I say other than I absolutely love it. Anytime I can have a meringue frosting in one of my recipes, I’m ecstatic about it! I know that many cake recipes call for buttercream but, who doesn’t love a torched meringue? It is light, fluffy and sweet. This little cake will be perfect for your Easter gathering or any other spring or summer event.

I decided to try a rum-flavored emulsion instead of vanilla sometimes used in meringue. I must say I will be using it again. It is very subtle in flavor, and since it’s an emulsion, there is no alcohol smell or taste. It’s different, and I love different. 😉

Once I saw my finished cake topped with the fresh blueberries and raspberries, I instantly fell in love with it. I hope you do too. Let’s eat.

Here is the recipe:

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45-50 minutes

Servings: 8-10 (I used three 6 inch cake pans)


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
  • 1 Tbsp of vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 1 ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of baking powder
  • 2 ¾ cup of cake flour (Conversion: for every 1 cup of All purpose flour, remove 2 Tbsp. Then, add 2 Tbsp of cornstarch to the cup of All purpose flour and sift together.)
  • ½ Tbsp of poppy seeds
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Fresh blueberries

Ingredients for meringue:

  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • cup of water
  • ½ Tbsp of rum flavored emulsion

Directions for the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Grease the cake pans with baking spray and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, add the sugar and unsalted butter. Beat them together on medium speed until they’re well combined. This will take about 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the eggs one at a time and allow them to incorporate before you pour in the next one. Then add the vanilla extract and poppy seeds.
  5. Slowly add half the cake flour (or the conversion flour) and baking powder. Mix. Then, pour the milk and the rest of the flour. Mix all the ingredients together until smooth.
  6. Pour the batter evenly into the cake pans. Bake for 35 minutes.
  7. At the 27 minute mark, check the batter with a toothpick. If it comes out clean it’s done. If it doesn’t, continue to bake until the set time.
  8. Remove the cake pans from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the baking pans.
  9. Place the cakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting them.

Note: You will need a kitchen torch for the meringue.

Directions for the meringue:

  1. Using an electric mixer, add the egg whites and rum emulsion. Beat them together until it becomes frothy. Start on low speed to give yourself time for the next step.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the water, sugar and cream of tartar. Cook until it starts to bubble and the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Switch the electric mixer setting to medium and slowly pour the sugar mixture to the egg whites. Whip for about 10 minutes, or until you have stiff peaks.


  1. Take your favorite decorative plate or cake stand and place the first cake layer.
  2. Dollop the meringue and spread it over the top.
  3. Add the next layer of cake and repeat.
  4. If you want to add the blueberries and raspberries between layers please do so. I kept it simple with just the meringue and opted to garnish the outside only with fruits.
  5. Now, use a cake spatula and spread the meringue over and around the cake. I kept it rustic, but have fun with this part. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
  6. Use a torch to toast the meringue, and add the fruits on top for decoration.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s