Donna Hays’ Chocolate Meringue Cake

chocolate meringue cake

I like a fancy cake. You know, the pretty decorated swirls and swooshes kind, they have a soft spot in my heart. But when it comes to what a chocoholic like me really craves it is this Chocolate Meringue Cake. It is deeply chocolatey, fudgy, but not too sweet with a thin crackly layer of cocoa dusted meringue that adds so much in terms of both flavor and texture. My favourite part about this cake is that since it is neither too sweet nor too rich I can truly enjoy an entire slice without feeling like it is too much. As you can imagine that makes this Chocolate Meringue Cake a little dangerous too!

chocolate meringue cake donna hays

It is definitely a cake for dark chocolate lovers, I used Lindt dark chocolate bars for mine, but generally you can use any brand that you like to eat. It also keeps well at room temperature. In fact it seems to improve for the first few days which makes it a fantastic do ahead dessert for when you’re hosting a big dinner or lunch. You could serve it with some berries and lightly sweetened whipped cream or creme fraiche.

You could also always just eat it from a box standing over your kitchen island, because if you’re like me then there is a part of you that is convinced that if you eat a cake standing up the calories don’t count. 

chocolate meringue cake donna hays

Shh people, this is not time for logic. If it was I wouldn’t have rushed to the store the moment I saw this recipe on pinterest! This was my first time trying a recipe by the legendary Donna Hays, but it definitely won’t be the last.

Donna Hays Chocolate Meringue Cake


  • 240 G Dark Chocolate chopped
  • 180 G 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter, chopped
  • 2 Eggs
  • 4 Eggs extra, yolks and whites seperated.
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • CUP 50G Flour (sifted)
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • cup 40G Almond Meal (Ground Almonds)
  • 1 cup 220G sugar
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 3 tsp cornflour/cornstarch sifted
  • ¼ cup 25G Dutch Cocoa (sifted) + additional for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 9 inch springform cake tin, line the base with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a saucepan and let it cool a little.
  4. Whisk the eggs, extra egg yolks, brown sugar and vanilla for 3–4 minutes or until pale and thick. Add the chocolate mixture, flour, baking powder and almond meal and fold gently to combine. Be thorough though!
  5. Pour the cake mix into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  6. Take the cake out of the oven and increase the temperature to 350.
  7. Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl on high speed until soft peaks form and then gradually add the sugar whisking till it dissolves.
  8. Now in goes the vinegar. Mix for another 2–3 minutes. The meringue will be thick and glossy. Fold through the cornflour and cocoa (don't forget to sift both!) and gently spread the meringue onto the cake.
  9. Bake for another 20–25 minutes or until the meringue is golden and crisp.
  10. Let the cake cool at room temperature for 30 minutes and then run a knife between the cake and pan to loosen the sides. Remove the springform ring.
  11. Refrigerate for two hours to meld the flavors together.
  12. Serve at room temperature lightly dusted with cocoa powder.

Recipe Notes

My cake looked decidedly uneven after the meringue bake, but settled into a rustic evenness once it cooled. You can always gently press down, but don't worry if it isn't entirely smooth!

chocolate meringue cake

Hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Write to me and let me know what you think!


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    1. Thanks Farah! It’s been a while since we connected – hope you are well!

    1. yay! hope you make it someday! thanks for popping by 🙂

  1. I am completely with you… if you’re standing up the calories don’t count. lol! One more reason to make this cake.

    1. lol now if only I can get my jeans on board with this philosophy! thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Hello! Hope all is well. I was wondering if you have done a post on Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken? Nandos is place far away from our home as compared to our kitchen, which is just a giant leap away but we still prefer to walk to it, as we all know, safety comes first! 🙂

    If you havent done the post, would you like to do it please? 🙂

    1. GH I actually haven’t but there is a recipe I have been meaning to try. Let me know if you want me to send it your way! Also apologies for the late response, my dear notebook finally got back from the tech store!

  3. One look at this cake and I want to make it. It looks so good. Pinning it and hopefully trying it soon!

  4. Hi, thanks for sharing this recipe. With the oven temperature, was this fan forced or no fan? My oven is fan forced and known for being quite hot, so I’d probably drop it 20C if you didn’t use the fan! Thanks!

    1. Hi Nat! I have been away so I am just seeing this but I am really not sure because mine’s not fan forced. So sorry I couldn’t be more help

  5. My daughter requested a gf chocolate cake for her birthday tomorrow. It’s in the oven as we speak. I have 8 people for lunch tomorrow so will be busy preparing lunch in the morning, so making the night before. I hope it will be okay if left in the fridge overnight. Will let you know tomorrow

    1. Happy Birhdya to your girl! As long as it is wrapped it will be just fine 🙂 Remember to pull it out of the fridge a few hours before as it is best served at room temperature. Little ones may find it a little dark, but I found sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream helps with that! Excited to hear how it worked out!

  6. Looks amazing! Want to make it for Christmas Day but would be good to make it ahead. Do you think I could make it on 23rd and it still be ok on 25th? In fridge or out? Thanks so much! X

    1. Totally!! I would wrap it super well and keep it in the fridge, but then take it out Christmas morning so it softens by the time you eat. Have a happy delicious Christmas! Less than 30 days away!

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