This homemade Himmelstorte recipe has such a fitting name. Translated from German, Himmelstorte – Heaven Cake, is the perfect name because each bite tastes like a slice of heaven.

The light and fluffy texture of the soft, yellow cake layers with alternating meringue and raspberry whipped cream resemble the airy clouds in the sky. Topped with sliced golden almonds for a bit of delicate crunch and flavor, this cake is memorable and is absolutely a celebration cake.

Himmelstorte layered with cake, whipped cream, and raspberries on a cake platter sliced to serve

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We love meringue recipes from Boccone Dolce Cake, melt-in-your-mouth Meringue Shell Cookies, or even a simple Eton Mess– they are so delicate and satisfying. If you are a fan of delicate, sweet meringue, you have got to make this Himmelstorte – Heaven Cake recipe!

Himmelstorte (Heaven Cake)

My husband and I first tried this cake while on vacation for our 20th wedding anniversary (Wow, 20 years of marriage has gone by so quickly, time sure flies when you’re having fun!). This Himmelstorte was love at first bite. After finding a recipe (in English – that was tricky!) and adding our own touches to the recipe, here is why we love it:

  • Light and airy dessert, which is great during the summer or after a large meal
  • Make ahead – The cake layers can be prepped ahead of time
  • Easy to assemble and decorate
  • Customizable – The fruit in the filling can be easily changed to your taste

Himmelstorte -Meringue Cake Video

Between the cake, meringue, and whipped cream, there might seem like there is a lot of mixing, but you will be surprised at how easy it is to make this Himmelstorte recipe. Your stand mixer does most of the work – Watch Natasha make this recipe and see for yourself!

What is Himmelstorte?

Himmelstorte is a German cake recipe with many names and closely related variations. It is also called Heaven Cake (in German Himmel- sky/heaven + torte- cake), Hannchen-Jensen Torte (giving credit to the recipe’s creator), or even Schwimmbadtorte (Swimming Pool Cake). Hanna Jensen ran a Bed and Breakfast on Germany’s North Sea coast. She was known to serve tea and this two-tier meringue, fruit, and whipped cream cake to her guests- and the happy guests shared her recipe around the globe.

As with many recipes, there can be discrepancies in the origin, ingredients, or flavors and this recipe is no different. No matter what you call this dessert, the essential features of Himmelstorte are the light and airy layers of cake, meringue, whipped cream, and fruit.

This recipe Is loosely based on Luisa Weiss’ recipe from her cookbook, Classic German Baking.

A slice of Himmelstorte on a plate with a bite loaded on a fork. Each slice shows the layered meringue, cake, and whipped cream

Ingredients

Pull your eggs and dairy out to bring to room temperature and get your stand mixer ready because there is a lot of mixing to do in this Himmelstorte recipe.

For the meringue cake layers:

  • Butter – unsalted, softened
  • Sugar – for sweetness
  • Eggs – room temperature, separated into egg whites and egg yolks
  • Vanilla – we like to use our homemade vanilla for the best taste
  • Flour – all-purpose or gluten-free if you prefer
  • Baking powder – leavening ingredient
  • Salt – fine sea salt to enhance the flavor of the cake and meringue
  • Milk – room temperature, and you can use whole milk or low-fat
  • Confectioners’ sugar – to sweeten the meringue, plus more to dust the top
  • Sliced almonds – add a delicate crunch to this light and airy recipe

For the raspberry whipped cream:

  • Heavy whipping cream – the fat content adds structure and light and airy texture after whipping
  • Sugar – to sweeten the whipped cream
  • Vanilla – for the signature flavor of whipped cream
  • Raspberries – divided, keep a handful to garnish the top of your cake
Ingredients for the whipped cream filling: Heavy whipping cream, vanilla, sugar, raspberries

Pro Tip:

Use light-colored metal baking pans. Darker pans will brown the cake too much. If using dark pans, bake for 28-30 minutes.

How to Make Himmelstorte

To make the cake and meringue layers:

  • Prepare – Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and line the bottoms and sides of two, 9-inch round cake pans or springform pans with parchment paper. Add a little butter under the parchment strips where they overlap to keep them in place.
  • Mix the cake ingredients – In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Next, add vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Combine – Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on medium/low speed just until well incorporated. While mixing, drizzle in the milk and mix until blended. Divide the batter between your prepared cake pans and spread evenly in the bottom. The batter will be thick.
  • Make your meringue – Clean the bowl of your stand mixer and beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Increase to medium-high speed and add a pinch of salt then gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat until smooth, glossy, and thick with nearly stiff peaks, about 3-4 minutes. Divide meringue into your 2 cake pans and spread evenly. Using the back of a spoon, make peaks and mounds then sprinkle the top with almonds.
  • Bake – Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until meringue and almonds are golden. The meringue will not be fully dried out. Remove from the oven and cool the pans on wire racks until room temperature then remove the cakes from the pans.
Step by step images showing how to make golden cake layers

Pro Tip

Use a kitchen scale to help divide the batter and meringue evenly between your cake pans. This will ensure even-sized layers and an even baked time.

Step by step photos how to make meringue layers for Himmelstorte

Raspberry whipped cream filling and assembly:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine cold heavy whipping cream with granulated sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes until it starts to thicken then increase to medium-high speed and beat another 2-3 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Don’t overbeat or it will turn buttery. Fold in most of your raspberries, setting aside a handful to use as garnish.
  2. To assemble, first, place the bottom cake layer on a cake platter meringue-side-up and cover it with all of the whipped cream filling, spreading it evenly over the surface. Place the next layer on top. Dust the top lightly with powdered sugar and scatter the reserved raspberries over the top.
Raspberry filled whipped cream for Himmelstorte layered between meringue and cake layers

Pro Tip:

If your whipped cream becomes stiff from over-beating the heavy whipping cream, try adding more whipping cream to the mixer to help loosen the mixture and bring it back to a soft, smooth texture. Start with a small amount and check the consistency every 10-20 seconds and add more as needed. If it is pale yellow in color, it is probably too far gone to save. Embrace it, and keep whipping it. Congratulations, you just made butter.

Variations of Himmelstorte

While there are many variations of this recipe, the most commonly found version is Himmelstorte mit himbeeren, or Heaven Cake with Raspberries. Other delicious substitution options based on your taste include:

  • Berries – blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries (pitted and halved), or poached gooseberries
  • Citrus fruits – the original recipe used 2 cans of drained and halved mandarin oranges
  • Tropical fruits – kiwi, pineapple, mango cut into small bite-sized pieces
  • Stone fruits – apricots, peaches, nectarines
  • Fruit compote – a mix of your favorite fruits reduced to a compote, or use your favorite jam
A full Himmelstorte garnished with whole raspberries on top

Common Questions

Can you save over-mixed meringue?

Beat meringue just until nearly stiff peaks form. If you over-mix the egg whites they will lose moisture which affects the meringue’s crispness and could cause it to collapse.

Does the meringue need cream of tartar?

I have tested this recipe with 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and without it. The finished product remained the same so I concluded it wasn’t necessary in this recipe. If you prefer to add it, add it to the egg whites right away, before you start beating.

Can I use frozen fruit?

This recipe really tastes best with fresh or canned fruit.

What is the best way to loosen a cake from the pan?

To ensure the cake comes out of the pan easily without breaking it, use a cake release tool or a plastic knife, or a thin-edged spatula and run it around the edges for easy removal.

Sliced almonds sprinkled on top of the meringue layer of Himmelstorte before baking in the oven

Make-Ahead and Storage

You can make the cake layers twenty-four hours ahead of time. Let them cool to room temperature in their cake pans. After they have cooled, loosely cover them with plastic wrap and leave them at room temperature in a low-humidity environment.

Make the whipped cream filling and assemble your Himmelstorte preferably within 2 hours of serving the cake.

  • To Refrigerate: Cover any leftover cake and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • Freezing: We do not recommend freezing this cake, as the meringue is quite fragile and the moisture could damage it when thawing.
A slice of Himmelstorte being served on a cake platter

Make this Himmelstort recipe for a birthday, baby shower, bridal shower, anniversary… or any excuse you can find to taste your own slice of heaven.

More Meringue Recipes

If you love this Himmelstorte – Heaven Cake recipe, then you won’t want to miss these other meringue recipes.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Himmelstorte- Heaven Cake Recipe (VIDEO)

4.99 from 55 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Himmelstorte layered with cake, whipped cream, and raspberries on a cake platter sliced to serve
Our Heaven Cake recipe has light and airy layers of cake, meringue, and raspberry whipped cream. This Himmelstorte is truly heavenly.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients 

Servings: 12 slices

For the cake and meringue layers:

  • 10 Tbsp butter, unsalted, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, separated into yolks and whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, or gluten free
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt, plus a pinch for meringue
  • 1/4 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, plus more to dust
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, divided

For the whipped cream filling:

  • 1 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 oz raspberries, divided (keep a handful for garnish)

Instructions

To make the cake and meringue layers:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and line two, 9-inch round, preferably light-colored cake pans with parchment paper. Line the bottom with a round of parchment and line the sides with parchment strips. Add a little butter under the strips where they overlap to keep them together.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Beat in the yolks one at a time and beat to incorporate with each addition then add vanilla. Scrape down the bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on medium/low speed just until well incorporated. While mixing, drizzle in the milk and mix until blended. Scrape down the bowl then divide the batter between your prepared cake pans* and spread the thick batter evenly in the bottom.
  • In a separate very clean mixing bowl (preferably the bowl of your stand mixer), add egg whites. Beat on medium speed until foamy. Increase to medium-high speed and add a pinch of salt then gradually add the powdered sugar by the spoonful. Continue to beat until smooth, glossy, thick, and nearly stiff peaks form, 3-4 minutes. Divide the meringue between your 2 cake pans and spread to the edges. Use the back of a spoon to create peaks and mounds. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top.
  • Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until meringue and almonds are golden. The meringue will not be fully dried out. Remove from the oven and cool the pans on wire racks until room temperature then run a cake release tool around the edges to loosen the cake and remove from the pans.

To make the raspberry whipped cream filling:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine cold heavy whipping cream with granulated sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes until it starts to thicken then increase to medium-high speed and beat another 2-3 minutes or until stiff peaks form – don’t overbeat. Fold in most of your raspberries (Be sure to set aside a handful to use as garnish).

To assemble:

  • Set the bottom cake layer on a cake platter meringue-side-up and cover it with all of the raspberry whipped cream, spreading it evenly over the surface. Place the next layer on top, meringue-side-up. Dust the top lightly with powdered sugar and scatter the reserved raspberries over the top. Serve immediately (or within 2 hours). Cover and refrigerate any leftover cake in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Notes

*Pro Tip: For even portioning of the cake batter and meringue, use a kitchen scale.

Nutrition Per Serving

1slice Serving418kcal Calories42g Carbs6g Protein26g Fat15g Saturated Fat2g Polyunsaturated Fat8g Monounsaturated Fat0.4g Trans Fat119mg Cholesterol157mg Sodium206mg Potassium3g Fiber28g Sugar900IU Vitamin A8mg Vitamin C83mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Himmelstorte- Heaven Cake Recipe (VIDEO)
Serving Size
 
1 slice
Amount per Serving
Calories
418
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
26
g
40
%
Saturated Fat
 
15
g
94
%
Trans Fat
 
0.4
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
8
g
Cholesterol
 
119
mg
40
%
Sodium
 
157
mg
7
%
Potassium
 
206
mg
6
%
Carbohydrates
 
42
g
14
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
28
g
31
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
Vitamin A
 
900
IU
18
%
Vitamin C
 
8
mg
10
%
Calcium
 
83
mg
8
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Keyword: heaven cake, himmelstorte, meringue cake
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 418

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Comments

  • Chris Shackel
    March 28, 2024

    I made this for my bible study group and it was devoured! Your instructions are perfect including when you make it ahead leaving the layers in the pan until you are ready to assemble it. Using a plastic knife the cake came out very easily. Thank you for another dependable and delicious recipe! You never fail me.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 28, 2024

      Hi Chris! I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Mary D Nieto-Reyes
    March 25, 2024

    Question — I may have misread — does the meringue bake on top of the cake batter at the same time?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 25, 2024

      Hi Mary! Yes- that’s correct. I hope you love the recipe!

      Reply

  • Tanya K
    March 1, 2024

    Can you mix a berry compote with the heavy cream mixture? Or will that make it flat?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 1, 2024

      Hi Tanya! I haven’t tried adding anything like that to the heavy cream. It may get too runny so you’ll have to experiment with it. If you do, I would start in small amounts and add more as the cream allows.

      Reply

  • Yelena
    February 16, 2024

    Omg absolutely delicous!!! Just like all your recipes ❤️

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 16, 2024

      Hi Yelena! Thank you so much.

      Reply

  • Marina
    January 14, 2024

    Hi Natasha,
    The cake recipe looks great. However, as I know that merengue loses its crisp in the fridge and also from the contact with cream, I have a question: is the merengue only crispy if you serve the cake immediately after it is assembled?
    Many thanks!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 15, 2024

      HI Marina, yes, I assemble and then serve the cake, but you can make every part ahead of time so you can quickly assemble and serve. See the “make ahead and storage” section for suggestions.

      Reply

  • Marge
    January 5, 2024

    I have several family members & friends who are allergic to any kind of nuts. Are they necessary? Also can recipe be cut in half, since it probably wouldn’t be eaten entirely as a larger cake? Artificial sweeteners?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 5, 2024

      Hi Marge. You can omit the almonds if you prefer. I have not tested any artificial sweeteners to advise. You can decrease the recipe by changing the number of servings in the recipe card and it will convert the list for you. You’ll have to experiment with the pan size and baking time. I haven’t tried this in various sizes to provide specific instructions. Let us know how it turns out!

      Reply

  • Angela McLaren
    November 14, 2023

    Hi! What should each measurement be when dividing and weighing the batter for the cake and the meringue evenly?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 14, 2023

      Hi Angela! I’m sorry, I didn’t have it measured out that specific. I used visual cues to divide evenly.

      Reply

  • Raquel Pak
    October 28, 2023

    How long should the egg whites be beaten for in total minutes. 10? 15?

    I’ve made it twice and the meringue doesn’t work out for me. I bake it for about 30 min and the meringue is soft and tastes like egg.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 28, 2023

      Hi Raquel. The time can differ depending on the temperature of the eggs and the style mixer you use. A stand mixer does most of the work, this may work with a hand mixer, but it will involve a lot more effort to get those stiff peaks you will have to adjust and increase mix time.
      Some things that can help:
      -If you have any traces of yolk in the egg whites, the fat will prevent it from forming.
      -Use a clean bowl, wipe with vinegar or lemon juice to cut any grease residue.
      -Room temperature eggs work best.

      Reply

  • Oma
    October 25, 2023

    This is similar to the Blitz Torte that my German grandmother made and I still do. We’ve been enjoying it for the last 70 years. The meringue is so light and airy. We fill it with custard and not whipped cream. A different version.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 25, 2023

      I hope you try and love this recipe, Oma! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Christine
    October 25, 2023

    I made this cake last night. It was delicious!! My meringue layer was not crispy at all. It actually seemed gummy and was soft. Is it supposed to be more crunchy? I’m not sure what I did wrong. I followed your video very closely.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 25, 2023

      Hi Christine. The meringue shouldn’t be gummy or wet. This cake should be enjoyed within 2 hrs of assembling. I would look over the recipe again to see where your process looked different. Did you meringue look similar to mine? If not, did you beat your eggs long enough or too long? Also- be sure your oven is fully preheated and that you bake it long enough. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Ellen Manalo
    October 13, 2023

    Hi Natasha! I’m a fan from the Philippines. I baked/cooked some of your recipes 12 of them to be exact and they all didn’t disappoint. I very much appreciate you making videos for us because I am a visual learner. I want to try this recipe but fresh raspberries are rare & expensive here, so if I am using raspberry jam how should I incorporate it to the recipe? Thank you for sharing us your hardworks <3

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 13, 2023

      Hi Ellen, This recipe really tastes best with fresh or canned fruit. If you can find canned fruit, I bet that would work great here.

      Reply

      • Ellen Manalo
        October 15, 2023

        Thanks you for replying, Natasha. Maybe I will try using fresh mangoes because they are abundant here in the Philippines.

        Reply

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