Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake for the Daring Bakers

“The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.”

I made a savory and sweet version of this yeasted coffee cake, and boy, did the cakes taste good! The dough is silky and smooth, and very pleasant to work with. I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge.

Recipe Source: Jamie found this recipe on a piece of yellowed paper in her dad’s collection of clipped out and hand-written recipes from the 1970’s, no source, no date, and she tried the recipe and it was brilliant!

Preparation time:
For the dough:
10 - 15 minutes preparation of the dough
8 – 10 minutes kneading
45 – 60 minutes first rise
10 – 15 minutes to prepare meringue, roll out, fill and shape dough
an additional 45 – 60 minutes for second rising.

Baking time: approximately 30 minutes

Equipment required:
Measuring cups for dry ingredients
Measuring cup for liquid
Measuring spoons
Cutting board and sharp knife for chopping nuts & chocolate if using
2 large mixing bowls
1 small mixing bowl
1 medium mixing bowl for beating egg whites, preferably plastic or metal
1 medium saucepan
Electric mixer or stand mixer
Wooden spoon
Rolling pin
Clean kitchen scissors or sharp knife
Plastic wrap & clean kitchen towel
Parchment paper
2 medium-sized baking trays (or 1 large if your oven is large enough)
Cooling racks
Serving platter
Vegetable oil to grease bowl

Makes 2 round coffee cakes, each approximately 10 inches in diameter. The recipe can easily be halved to make one round coffee cake. I made two cakes, one sweet with the original challenge recipe and one savory, with my own recipe. 

For the yeast coffee cake dough:

4 cups (600 g / 1.5 lbs.) flour
¼ cup (55 g / 2 oz.) sugar
¾ teaspoon (5 g / ¼ oz.) salt
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons / 7 g / less than an ounce) active dried yeast
¾ cup (180 ml / 6 fl. oz.) whole milk
¼ cup (60 ml / 2 fl. oz. water (doesn’t matter what temperature)
½ cup (135 g / 4.75 oz.) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature

For the meringue:

3 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup (110 g / 4 oz.) sugar

For the filling:
Sweet Coffee Cake:
1 cup (110 g / 4 oz.) chopped walnuts
2 Tablespoons (30 g / 1 oz.) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (170 g / 6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate

Savory Coffee Cake:

¼ cup Tomato & Basil Garlic sauce, from a jar
¼ cup Parmesan, grated
¼ cup Mozzarella, grated
¼ cup Green bell peppers, sliced
¼ cup Onions, sliced
¼ cup Cauliflower, thinly sliced florets
2 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Chilli flakes
Salt to taste

Egg wash: 1 beaten egg
Cocoa powder (optional) and confectioner’s sugar (powdered/icing sugar) for dusting cakes
1 tsp each Parmesan & Oregano, for the savory cake

Prepare the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups (230 g) of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.

In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted. Ria’s version: add the 10 saffron threads to the warmed liquid and allow to steep off of the heat for 10 minutes. This will give the mixture a distinct aroma and flavor and a yellowish-orange hue.

With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beating until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Add the eggs and 1 cup (150 g) flour and beat for 2 more minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface (use any of the 1 ½ cups of flour remaining) and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth, sexy and elastic, keeping the work surface floured and adding extra flour as needed.

Place the dough in a lightly greased (I use vegetable oil) bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until double in bulk, 45 – 60 minutes. The rising time will depend on the type of yeast you use.

Prepare your filling: In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar for the filling if using. You can add the chopped nuts to this if you like, but I find it easier to sprinkle on both the nuts and the chocolate separately.

Saute onions, peppers and cauliflower in oil until almost done. Add the chilli flakes and season with salt. Cool completely before using as filling. 

Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue:
In a clean mixing bowl – ideally a plastic or metal bowl so the egg whites adhere to the side (they slip on glass) and you don’t end up with liquid remaining in the bottom – beat the egg whites with the salt, first on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high and continue beating until foamy and opaque. Add the vanilla then start adding the ½ cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.

Assemble the Coffee Cakes:

Line two baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, working one piece of the dough at a time (keep the other half of the dough wrapped in plastic), roll out the dough into a 20 x 10-inch (about 51 x 25 ½ cm) rectangle. Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch (3/4 cm) from the edges. Sprinkle half of your filling of choice evenly over the meringue

For the Sweet Cake: Half of the cinnamon-sugar followed, by half the chopped nuts and half of the chocolate chips/chopped chocolate. If you are making two sweet cakes, then use remaining half for the other cake.

Now, roll up the dough jellyroll style, from the long side. Pinch the seam closed to seal. Very carefully transfer the filled log to one of the lined cookie sheets, seam side down. Bring the ends of the log around and seal the ends together, forming a ring, tucking one end into the other and pinching to seal. Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife (although scissors are easier), make cuts along the outside edge. I shaped into a crescent, and slashed the dough on top with a sharp knife. 

For the Savory Cake: Spread the meringue, and then the sauce. Top with roasted veggies, parmesan and mozzarella. Roll into a log and transfer to prepared cookie sheet. Make slits on top with a sharp knife.

Cover the 2 coffee cakes with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Brush the tops of the coffee cakes with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown. The dough should sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheets onto the table. Very gently loosen the coffee cakes from the paper with a large spatula and carefully slide the cakes off onto cooling racks. Allow to cool.

Just before serving, dust the top of the sweet coffee cakes with confectioner’s sugar as well as cocoa powder if using chocolate in the filling. These are best eaten fresh, the same day or the next day. Serve the savory cake as is. 

Thanks to Ria and Jamie for a delicious challenge, the yeasted meringue coffee cake recipe is a keeper!


  1. the crust looks delicious. and so do the layers, btw. bookmarked it from Deeba's blog earlier today :)

  2. Thanks Nags, do try it, I'm enjoying a slice of the sweet cake now, tastes very good! Not too sweet, just right. :)

  3. They look just gorgeous dear..loved both the versions...

  4. WOW two version one sweet and one savoury well done I like the idea of cauliflower in a cake that is so clever and the total flavour profile of the savoury version sounds delicious. Great crumb on the cakes also.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  5. both versions look delicious!

  6. Both are absolutely mouthwatering! I specially love your savory version. Stunning photos too!

  7. I love your shapes...and your savory option looks phenomenal! Mmmmm....

  8. Both your sweet and savory versions look SO delicious! And your photos are really fantastic. Wonderful work on the challenge!

  9. I have got to try this savory version! It's a pizza all wrapped up and yummy :D

  10. Wow the filling is awesome.. outstanding.. great job on the challenge. Fabulous !!! both the versions looks so so so delicious.


  11. Totally addictive cake, both versions looks wonderful..

  12. YOur coffee cakes look lovely. I specially like the savoury one.

  13. Your photos are so beautiful! I'm drooling! I want the savoury one - mozzarella and parmesan cheese are my two most favourite cheeses :) I'll have to give it a try sometime :)

  14. I love the idea of a savory version! Both your cakes look very nice. This was a fun challenge.

  15. Thank you for the warm welcome to the Daring Bakers! I'm so excited. Both of breads look incredible - I really liked working with this dough. Looking forward to the next challenge!

  16. I am drooling all over my laptop! They both look amazing but I was instantly drawn to your savory version. Thanks for commenting on mine :)

  17. Beautifully done on both versions! I will gladly test-taste for you any time! Your photos are great, and the cakes look so tempting. Thanks for sharing your hard work!

  18. Fantastic job!!! I love both the sweet and savory versions, they look perfect! Excellent choice on not making them into rings, I am enamored with the shape yours took on!

  19. Beautifully done on the challenge the glazed. Your cakes are as pretty as they are perfect. Loving the roasted veggies too!

  20. Well done! I definitely want to try a savoury version.

  21. Both of your versions are amazing, but I am so on the tomato, cheese and veggie savory one. It's just calling to me loudly! Fantastic job!

  22. awesome pics..and i totally love ur fillings...

  23. yumm I can't decide wich one is more delicious! The sweet or savory coffee cake! Both flavours are awesome!

  24. Yum! Both of your versions look great! I want to make a savory version too but haven't yet. Nice job on the challenge!

  25. Thanks for visiting!
    Now when I see all the savory versions of coffee cake, I am sorry that I didn't make one savory cake. Yours is excellent! :)

  26. loved the savory version!

  27. Woah, it looks so amazing and delicious both from the inside and outside!


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