• Layered cashew meringue cake (sans rival) (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

Chewy layers of cashew meringue are sandwiched with a rum-spiked buttercream to create this traditional Filipino dessert. 






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (216 votes)

Be warned: this cake is rich, unashamedly sweet and not for the faint-hearted. I promise a thin slice is all that is required!

This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Meringue column. Read tips on how to make the perfect meringue in her column.


  • 155 g (1 cup) unsalted raw cashews, toasted and chopped, to decorate
  • icing sugar, to dust


Cashew discs

  • melted butter, to grease
  • 6 eggwhites, at room temperature
  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 1½ tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
  • 155 g (1 cup) unsalted raw cashews, toasted and coarsely ground 


Rum buttercream

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 165 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) water
  • 200 g unsalted butter, cut into 12 equal portions, softened
  • 1 large pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp dark rum

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 30 minutes

Chilling time: 2 hours

Equipment: four 18 cm springform cake tins

Cashew discs

1. Preheat oven to 150°C (130°C fan-forced). Brush four 18 cm springform cake tins with melted butter. Place a square of non-stick baking paper over the base of each pan and clip the sides in place, allowing the excess paper to overhang around the outside. Brush the sides and bases with melted butter to grease.

2. Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the eggwhites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With the motor running on medium-high speed, gradually add the sugar, a large spoonful at a time and whisking well after each addition, until very thick and glossy, the sugar has dissolved and a trailing peak forms when the whisk is lifted. Whisk in the vanilla. Use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold in the ground cashews until evenly combined. Divide the mixture among the four pans and spread evenly.

3. Bake for 35 minutes, swapping the tins around halfway through baking, or until the discs are crisp on top. Remove from the oven, place the pans on wire racks and set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Run a palette knife around the outside of each meringue disc and then release the outside rings. Use the baking paper to remove the discs from the bases and transfer to the wire racks. Set aside to cool completely.


Rum buttercream

4. Put the egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil. Boil for about 8 minutes, occasionally brushing down the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to dissolve any sugar crystals, until the syrup reaches 110°C on a sugar thermometer.

5. Meanwhile, just before the syrup is ready, whisk the egg yolks on high speed until thick, pale and creamy. Remove the syrup from the heat and stand for about 1 minute or until the bubbles subside. With the stand mixer motor running on high speed, gradually add the sugar syrup to the egg yolks in a thin steady stream until all the syrup has been incorporated. Continue to whisk on medium speed for another 10 minutes or until the mixture has cooled to room temperature.

6. Replace the whisk attachment with the paddle beater. Beat on medium-high speed, adding a portion of butter, one at a time and beating well after each addition until completely incorporated and smooth before adding the next portion of butter (this will take about 10 minutes). If the mixture becomes lumpy or looks slightly curdled, increase the speed to high and beat until smooth again before adding the next portion of butter. Reduce the speed to medium-low and beat for 3-4 minutes or until all the excess air has been beaten out and the mixture is smooth and creamy. Beat in the salt and rum.


To assemble

7. Place a meringue disc on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread with one-fifth of the buttercream and then place another meringue disc on top. Continue to layer with the buttercream and meringue discs, finishing with a meringue disc. Spread the remaining buttercream around the sides of the cake. Press the chopped cashews onto the side of the cake to decorate. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.

8. Dust the top with icing sugar and serve in wedges.


Baker’s tips

• This torte will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve chilled.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish. Creative concept by Belinda So.


This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Meringue column. Read tips on how to make the perfect meringue in her column.


View previous Bakeproof columns and recipes here.


Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook,TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.