This was a new traybake for me. But at the same time there is something familiar about these Yum Yum Cakes. Perhaps I have eaten it in the past or maybe it’s just the combination of ingredients. Or maybe the meringue layer made me start to think about pavlova.
This has a soft base layer, akin to a shortcake. Then it is topped with a meringue mixed with cherries and walnuts. So the whole traybake is a combination of soft, crunchy and sweet.
The meringue cracked when I cut this into squares, but don’t worry about that. It’s meringue and that’s supposed to happen. If aesthetics are your thing, cut as carefully as you can and you can avoid the worst of the crumbles.
Now, you are making meringue for these Yum Yum Cakes, which can be bit daunting for some. Just take a deep breath and go for it. My best advice is to make sure that your bowl is completely clean and dry. And that there is no egg yolk mixed in with the whites. Any grease in the bowl or egg yolk will be the most likely culprits for whites that don’t whisk properly.
When adding the second half of the sugar to the meringue, use a metal spoon – a large one, if you have it – and fold gently. You want to keep as much air in the meringue as possible. The same goes for when you are spreading the meringue mix over the base. Go gently and don’t press down too hard.
The rest of the bake is pretty straightforward. Walnuts are traditional here, but, as usual, don’t panic if you only have some other kind of nut available. The cherries are also traditional and I don’t have any recommendations here if you don’t like those.
Yum Yum Cakes
- 2 oz or 55g soft brown sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 oz or 85g butter
- 6 oz or 175g self-raising flour or plain/all-purpose flour + 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 egg whites
- 4 oz or 110g sugar
- 1 oz or 30g glacé cherries chopped
- 1 oz or 30g walnuts chopped
- Preheat oven to 325F/160C (conventional oven) and line a 20cm/8inch square tin with baking parchment.
- Cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla and then gradually mix in the flour.
- Spread the mixture into the base of the tin.
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Beat in half the sugar. Then fold in the remainder of the sugar with the chopped nuts and cherries. Spread this mixture over the base.
- Bake in a preheated 325F/160C oven for 25-30 minutes until golden.
- Leave in the tin and, when cool, cut into squares.