A Recipe For Old-Fashioned New Zealand Louise Cake

New Zealand Louise Cake

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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 1 11-by-7-inch cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
523 Calories
23g Fat
73g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 523
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 16g 81%
Cholesterol 103mg 34%
Sodium 166mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 73g 27%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 41g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 96mg 7%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 160mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Louise Cake is an old-fashioned New Zealand favorite consisting of a thin base layer of cake or biscuit crumbs (cookie crumbs) topped with raspberry jam, coconut meringue and then baked in the oven. There are slight variations from region to region and family to family. It is also called Louise Cake Slice because it’s baked in a rectangular pan and cut into squares.

The cake is said to be named after Princess Louise of England, Queen Victoria’s daughter. I like to add a sprinkling of fresh raspberries for a tart twist to the sweetness of the cake.

Kiwi cooking bible, "Edmonds Classics" rated the Louise Cake sixth in the "Top 10 Favorite Kiwi Recipes." 


For the Cake Base:

  • 125 grams (4.4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence, or pure vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cup raspberry jam

For the Coconut-Meringue Topping:

  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar

  • 1 1/4 cups dried unsweetened coconut

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, or pure vanilla extract

  • Handful fresh raspberries, for optional garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat oven to 150 C / 300 F.

  2. Lightly grease an 11 x 7-inch rectangular cake tin. Line tin with baking paper and allow the paper to hang over the edges a little to facilitate the cake’s removal once it’s baked.

  3. To make the cake: In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add  3 egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

  4. Sift flour and baking powder together. Fold into the creamed butter-sugar mixture. The dough will seem quite crumbly, but this is normal. Press dough into the bottom of the lined cake tin.

  5. To make the coconut-meringue topping: In a clean bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the three egg whites until they form soft peaks.

  6. Gradually add 1/4 cup superfine sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while continuing to beat the whites until they form stiff, glossy peaks. Use a spatula to gently fold in the desiccated coconut and vanilla essence (extract).

  7. Using a spatula, spread a thin layer of jam over the dough in the pan.

  8. Next, spoon and spread the coconut meringue over the jam, making sure the meringue completely covers the jam.

  9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the meringue top is a soft pink eggshell color. It is normal for the meringue to crack, so don't panic.

  10. Remove from the oven and cool in tin for 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the tin by holding onto the baking paper and gently lifting. Cool on a wire rack.

  11. Once cooled, cut cake into squares and serve topped with fresh raspberries, if desired. The Louise Cake can be kept in an airtight container for up to one week.

Recipe Variation

  • Use plum jam as a substitute for raspberry jam.

Edited by Barbara Rolek