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Four Layer Meringue Berry Dessert (Red, White & Blue)

by on July 3, 2008 · 13 comments

This morning’s dessert recipe is from Pat, who linked to it in the comment section. Pat was sorry Cooks Recipes didn’t include pictures, but promised me it was a good dessert. As to its name, it has flour layers. The first layer is a crumbly crust made of vanilla wafers. The second layer is a thick pile of meringue, the third layer is fresh sweetened whipped cream and the last layer is mixed berries. As a bonus, it’s made in an 8 inch square glass pan and perfect for small groups. If you like it, you can double it and use a 13×9 inch pan.

Here’s the recipe as I made it. What’s great is, the base and meringue can be cooked head of time and topped with cream and berries at serving time.


Four Layer Meringue Berry Dessert

Butter for greasing dish
1 1/2 cups Nilla Wafer crumbs, regular or reduced fat
4 tablespoons butter (regular salted type), melted
4 egg whites, room temperature — large
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint assorted berries, sweetened to taste with sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rub bottom and sides of baking dish with butter.

Stir together Nilla Wafer crumbs and melted butter. Press this mixture into bottom and slightly up sides of the greased dish.

Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Slowly add the 1/2 cup sugar to the egg whites. When whites are stiff, beat in the vanilla and pinch of salt. Spread egg white mixture over crust, doing your best not to let it touch sides of pan.

Bake crust & egg white mixture for 16-18 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack until ready to serve.

Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Spread over cooled meringue. Arrange berries on top.

Serves 4-6 people

Note: the meringue is chewy and soft and billowy in the center. If you like chewier, thicker meringue, you could probably dry it out a little more in the oven by letting it sit with the heat off for 30 minutes. I might try making it with an Italian meringue or the no-weep meringue I used on my last lemon pie.

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Published on July 3, 2008

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Carole R. July 3, 2008 at 8:04 am

What a wonderful sounding dessert. It is at the top of my “to try” list. Already committed to a trifle for the 4th but will try next week.

VeggieGirl July 3, 2008 at 8:16 am

That is a GORGEOUS dessert – the whipped topping looks so fluffy!

Pat July 3, 2008 at 8:38 am

Anna, I’m so happy that you tried the Strawberry Scrumptious! It has long been a favorite and every time it’s served, someone asks for the recipe. I think the softer meringue adds to the “cloud-like” consistency and keeps it on the light side. Enjoy!

P.S. I originally got the recipe from Better Homes & Garden encyclopedia cookbooks which the supermarkets sold one book each week, at least 30 years ago.

Cathy - July 3, 2008 at 8:39 am

This looks so lite and yummy!! Will be perfect here in mayberry where it is over 100 degrees.

Happy 4th


PS – Thanks for visiting our site…please do come back and play.

giz July 3, 2008 at 9:46 am

Wow – this one looks like such a winner and I love the fact that it can be made ahead of time and just topped at the last minute – bonus.

Therese B. July 3, 2008 at 12:58 pm


Is the topping like SCHAUM TORTE?

Looks yummy…strawberries are really good and in abundance here is Wisconsin this year!

A good way to use them up!


HoneyB July 3, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Looks delicious!!!

Gina July 3, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Sorry to nitpick (I am a teacher after all), but shouldn’t the title of the recipe read FOUR layer and not FLOUR layer? I can’t imagine a layer of flour would be good eats! ;-)

Happy Independence Day, Anna! –Gina

Heidi July 3, 2008 at 3:24 pm

pavlova with nilla wafers!

Anna July 3, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Carole, that’s exactly what I thought when I saw the recipe.

Veggiegirl, it was very pretty. I guess there’s not vegan substitute for meringue, eh?

Pat, thanks again! Todd loved the soft meringue. I liked it too, but since I’m always experimenting, I will have to try it with an Italian meringue as well.

Cathy, I like how your blog is done by a group. I would have a lot more recipes if this were a group blog.

Giz, the make ahead factor is a huge benefit.

Therese, yes! Schaum Tart! I knew it reminded me of something That, or as Heidi mentioned, pavlova. I was thinking “Housewife Pavlova”

Gina, thanks! And feel free to point out critical spelling errors or typos. Forget grammar errors because I am way past that point ;).

Veronica July 3, 2008 at 6:07 pm

That looks very tasty…the meringue sounds really good.

Sue July 5, 2012 at 10:10 am

I don’t remember seeing this but now that I’ve seen it I really want to make it. Why do you not want the meringue to touch the side of the pan? I’m hosting something in August and am wondering about making individual portions in ramekins.
I love your reference in the comments to “Housewife Pavolova”. haha!

Anna July 5, 2012 at 11:29 am

Hi Sue,

With berries in season, this is a great summer dessert. And to answer your question about the meringue, it’s just to avoid sticking. The world won’t end if the egg white touches the side of the pan (especially since it’s greased!), but at the time I thought it seemed wise to add that note.

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