Meringue drop dairy-free birthday cake

Meringue drop dairy-free birthday cake

Vanilla cake:

This can be made up to a month in advance and kept in the freezer.

  • 250g Nuttelex, softened (this is a dairy free butter substitute)
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 330g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 450g self raising flour, sifted
  • 250ml lactose-free milk

Raspberry buttercream icing:

This can be made up to two months in advance and kept in the freezer or made fresh and frozen for next time. (The leftover icing is a great back up for those unexpected school fundraisers!)

  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 125g Nuttelex, softened
  • å_ cup raspberry powder
  • 2 tsp lemon juice


  • 2 egg whites
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • Food colour ‰ÛÒ pink and yellow
  • Pink edible glitter


  • 1 pkt large marshmallows
  • Yellow and pink sprinkles
  • 30cm round cake board, found in cake decorating stores
  • åÊpins or wide packing tape to secure fabric to cake board
  • 1 m spotty fabric, a strip cut 15cmx 45cm and a square piece cut at least 40cm x 40cm
  • 1m Happy Birthday ribbon
  • 1m blue and white spotty ribbon 2.5cm wide
  • åÊFabric pins
  • åÊThin candles

Equipment and other items needed:

  • 20 cm springform tin
  • Greaseproof paper to line tins and use with rolling out of the icing
  • Piping bag and plain 1cm nozzle
  • Pallet knife

Approximate timings:

  • To make the cake: 15 minutes preparation time, approximately 30-40 minutes baking time
  • Buttercream icing: 5-10 minutes to make, 20-30 minutes to fill and cover the sponge, 20 minutes in the fridge to set
  • Meringues: 15-20 minutes to mix and pipe. At least 3 hours to dry in a warm place
  • Decorating: allow 30 minutes

1. Cut the cake in three and spread the bottom layer with buttercream 2. Cover the buttercream with marshmallows 3. Cover the marshmallows with a thin layer of buttercream

4. Top with a layer of cake 5. Repeat the buttercream, marshmallows, buttercream layers 6. Cover the cake with buttercream

7. Add sprinkles to the sides of the cake and decorate with mini meringues 8. Add fabric collar 9. Add ribbon and candles

Vanilla cake:

Preheat oven to 175å¡C.

Line tin with greaseproof paper.

Beat together Nuttelex, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy for approx 10 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, until combined.

In two batches, gently fold in flour and milk until just combined.

Spread into tin and bake until sponge springs back when gently pressed.

Keep the sponge in the tin for approx 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack.åÊ You can freeze your sponge at this point, wrapped tightly in cling film.

If the top is uneven, carefully trim to make it flat ‰ÛÒ this will become the base of the cake.

When the sponge is totally cooled, cut into three.åÊ If you had previously frozen your sponge, this stage will be made easier if it is still a little frozen ‰ÛÒ that way it will hold much easier while you are cutting.

Now the sponge is ready for decorating!

Buttercream icing:

Place the icing, Nuttelex , raspberry powder and lemon juice in a kitchen mixer. Place on low speed to combine all ingredients – if it‰Ûªs on high you may lose a lot of the mix when it flies out of the bowl!

Once combined, turn up on high and allow to mix for a further 5-10 minutes until fluffy. You may need to scrape the bowl occasionally so it whips all of the mix.

Before spreading the butter cream, divide into three so that you will have enough for two fillings and the outside of the sponge.

Spread half of one third of the butter cream evenly over the bottom piece (which was originally the top) of the sponge using a flat edged knife or pallet knife.

Arrange marshmallows around to cover.

Spread with the remaining half of the first third of buttercream.

Lay the middle sponge on top and press gently to secure.

Repeat steps 4-6 with the next layer before placing the top sponge on, ensuring it is sitting flat.

Use the remaining buttercream to cover the sides and top of the cake.


Place icing sugar, egg whites and lemon juice into a mixer and mix for 10-15 minutes until the egg whites come to a stiff peak.

Divide the meringue into three bowls and colour with yellow and two tones of pink.

Place into a dry piping bag with a plain nozzle and pipe meringues onto a tray with greaseproof paper. Dust with edible glitter.

Allow to dry in a warm place before placing on top of cake.

Fabric collar:

Using the strip of fabric, fold in each edge by approx 2cm, depending on the width of your collar, and iron to flatten.

Allow the fabric to cool before placing around the cake and securing with fabric pins.

Cake board:

Lay the square piece of fabric on a table and place the presentation board, face down, so it sits in the middle.

Secure with pins or with tape. Use a little pressure to make sure the fabric is tight before securing with more tape. Finish off the other two sides. You could also use fabric pins, fabric glue or tacks to secure the fabric to the board but I find it is easier to remove the fabric from the board if it is tape and re-use both!

Finishing the cake:

Before the buttercream sets, throw sprinkles around the edges. I would recommend this done over the sink!

Place in fridge for 20 minutes to allow the butter cream to become firm before transferring onto cake board. Arrange meringues on top.

Arrange spotty collar around the cake followed by the Happy Birthday ribbon and blue and white spotty ribbon, secure with pins.

Finish with thin candles.


  • I have used raspberry powder with the Nuttelex as I found the butter substitute had a strong flavour. You can use vanilla essence instead just leave out the raspberry powder and lemon juice.
  • Chocolate buttercream can also be made using 40g of sifted cocoa powder with the Nuttelex and icing sugar.
  • This recipe was created for Kidspot byåÊSonia Anthony.

From Chef Sonia

Although I am a qualified chef, I‰Ûªve had no formal cake making training. What I have learned is through trial and many errors. I hope that by sharing my knowledge, you can become as confident and as excited about cake making as I am! (without the mistakes!). I think the most important thing is to ‰Û÷give it a go,‰Ûª you‰Ûªll be producing amazing cakes before you know it!

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