Updated: Sep 15
Buttery and tender shortcrust covered with tart raspberries wrapped in a raspberry jelly. All this goodness is sitting under a cloud of light vanilla cream and crunchy meringue. This Raspberry Cloud Cake is epic. Serve chilled and try to resist reaching out for that extra slice! It definitely tastes like… ‘more’.
You can find Malinowa Chmurka in sweet shops (cukiernia) all around Poland. It’s a classic sweet treat. You can prepare it with different types of fruit. It looks finicky but in reality it’s a very easy bake - all that is needed is good planning. Below you can find hints which will help to make this bake easy and enjoyable.
For a good bake:
Crust - the base is a traditional shortcrust used in many Polish bakes. It’s egg yolk rich (whites are used for meringue) and it has a smidgen of baking powder. Both ingredients are producing soft and delicate shortbread which pairs very well with the rest of textures in this bake. Preparation here is easy - mix dry ingredients, then incorporate cold butter, egg yolks and vanilla bean paste. For best texture - grate cold (or frozen butter) and try to be brief when working the butter into flour. As the pastry is rich in egg yolks it will have fairly loose texture - wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for 30 min before lining the baking tray. You may also opt to bake this crust using wholemeal spelt flour (50/50 spelt/plain) - freshly milled spelt pairs lovely with the rest of the flavours in this bake.
Raspberry layer - use fresh or frozen raspberries in this bake. If using frozen - don’t thaw. This bake can be done using other fruit - strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, sour cherries. Generally - soft fruit or tinned fruit work really well.
Jelly (Jello) - raspberries are mixed with cooled jelly and, when semi-set, are lined on top of blind baked crust. I’m using jelly in granules for this bake - but you can use whatever you find available. Just make sure to use 50-60% of required water. I’m using 3x70g packets of jelly in granulates which require 1500ml boiling water - so I used 750ml boiling water. By doing this you will make sure that the layer is firm and holds its form. Also - make sure to chill raspberries with jelly until semi-set. This way, the jelly is not going to leak out. Depending on the timing, you may get some jelly soaking into the crust - don’t worry! The crust is soft and fairly bulky - it only gets better with a bit of moisture (so the recipe is written in a way that the crust can absorb some level of moisture).
Vanilla Cream - chill cream and Mascarpone before using. To make sure the cream holds its shape - follow the recipe. Beat chilled cream first until fluffy and firm, then add confectioners’ sugar, and just then - start adding Mascarpone. If you are planning to travel and want this cream to be even firmer - you can opt to add 1 gelatine sheet. Another trick is to melt mini marshmallows and whip into the cream as a last step. The cream on the pictures in this post was done without marshmallows or gelatine (so as you can see - it’s fairly firm already).
Meringue - make sure the bowl is free from any fat residue (egg whites won’t whip well). Whip egg whites on low-medium speed for 1-2 minutes and then start adding sugars, slowly. Incorporating sugar will take about 10 minutes. When checking meringue texture - you should feel no sugar residue in-between your fingers. Draw the shape of your baking tin on the parchment paper and place meringue within the shape - free form (you may opt to keep 1-2cm space free, as meringue will spread slightly when baking). If meringue spreads too much - simply cut it to fit the baking tin. You may also opt to add 1/8 tsp (scant tsp) ground cardamom to break the sweetness of meringue.
Assembling and timing - it’s a simple bake. To make it enjoyable and as quick as possible - read the recipe in full and plan the timing. This cake tastes best when refrigerated overnight - the cream will have a chance to set and all flavours will blend in nicely. Good time to start preparing would be an evening before you plan to serve (set aside 2 hours for prep). Start with preparing the crust and blind baking. Then, whip up meringue, which takes the longest to prepare (about 1hr 40 min, prep and baking). When meringue is baking, prepare jellies and raspberries, when semi-set place on top of shortcrust and refrigerate until ready to fill with vanilla cream and meringue. Refrigerate assembled cake overnight and serve the next day.
Tin - you may opt to prepare this cake in a round tin - in a form of a torte - or in a baking tray (at least 5cm deep).
Raspberry Cloud Cake Recipe (Malinowa Chmurka)
Time: 2hrs prep + chilling (min 4 hrs)
Yield: 16 slices
Tin: 26cm round tin (with removable base) or 22cmx33cm tray (at least 5cm deep)
For the base:
200g all-purpose (plain) flour
60g confectioners’ (icing) sugar
1/8 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
130g unsalted butter, cold
4 egg yolks (80g)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
4 egg whites (160g)
120g confectioners’ (icing) sugar
120g caster sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
3-4 Tbsp almond flakes
500g raspberries (fresh or frozen, if using frozen - don’t thaw)
3 packets of raspberry jelly (3x70g in granules/ each dissolves in 500ml - read notes above if using different)
750ml boiling water
400ml cream (36-38% fat), chilled
250g Mascarpone, chilled
2-3 Tbsp confectioners’ (icing sugar) - to taste
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Prepare the base: Whisk flour with confectioners’ (icing) sugar, salt, baking powder. Grate cold butter into flour mixture and working with palms of your hands and finger tips work butter into flour (keep it brief). Add egg yolks and vanilla bean paste and with few quick moves bring the dough together. It will be fairly loose and that’s ok. Wrap in the cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. In that time, preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan forced) and line the baking tin with parchment paper. When ready, line the bottom of the form with the shortcrust (you can opt to patch it and even out using Tablespoon), dock the pastry (make few holes using fork) - you may opt to refrigerate the tin for 15-30min or bake straight away. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. When done - cool down and set aside until ready to use. Lower the oven temperature to 110C (90C fan forced).
Prepare meringue: Place egg whites in clean and dry bowl (make sure there is no fat residue). Using whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low-medium speed for 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Mix confectioners’ sugar with caster sugar and start adding to egg whites (1 tsp at a time), beating at high speed. This should take about 10 minutes - when checking meringue texture you shouldn’t feel any sugar residue in-between fingers. At the end, add lemon juice and mix briefly. On the parchment paper draw shape of your tin, place the paper on a large baking tray and using Tablespoon place meringue within the shape. Sprinkle with almond flakes. Bake at 110C (90-100C fan forced) for 1 hour 30 minutes. Cool down fully before assembling/placing on top of the cake.
Prepare raspberry layer: Mix 3 packets of jelly with boiling water - use half of the water required (so for 3 packets which usually should be diluted in 1500ml - use 750ml boiling water). Cool down the mixture fully, add raspberries and refrigerate until semi-set (you want it to thicken slightly so that it stays on top of the shortcrust layer). When ready, transfer raspberries onto cooled crust and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
Prepare vanilla cream: When meringue is ready and you are ready to assemble the cake, start preparing the cream. Place chilled cream in a mixing bowl and mix for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Add confectioner’s (icing) sugar, mix for few seconds, then start adding Mascarpone 1-2 Tbsps at a time. At the end add vanilla bean paste and mix briefly.
Assemble: Place freshly whipped vanilla cream on top of raspberry layer, cover with meringue and refrigerate for minimum 4 hours before serving. Store this cake refrigerated in-between servings, for up to 2 days.