This Cake Is Made of Waffles, You're Welcome

Beth Kirby is a food & travel photographer, writer, and recipe developer hailing from Tennessee. She writes about nesting & wanderlust, curating everyday life, and seasonal Southern cooking on her blog, Local Milk. Visit the Lonny blog all month long for her posts!

Long, leisurely Sunday mornings are one of life's chief joys, one of the few spaces in our hectic modern lives that still remains carved out for simple pleasures. It's a time for crispy bacon and fresh squeezed juice, hot coffee, and lounging around with the one you love. So why not invoke those idyllic Sunday mornings at your wedding by serving brunch instead of a formal dinner

Bring out the works—Eggs Benedict, a coffee & juice bar, and top it all off with this coup de gras: the Brown Butter Waffle Cake. You can make this meringue buttercream any flavor you can dream up, but I think the southern flavor of sorghum goes perfectly with these rich waffles. Garnish with fresh, seasonal fruit for a bright finishing touch.

(Photo courtesy Beth Kirby)Brown Butter Waffle Cake with Sorghum Meringue Buttercream

Waffle Ingredients:

300 grams (2.4 cups) all-purpose flour
180 grams (1.4 cups) cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
110 grams (2/3 cup) light brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
12 tablespoons brown butter, cooled to room temp
1/2 cup maple syrup (real stuff, please!)
480 grams (2 cups) buttermilk, room temp

For Buttercream (double or increase by half for a 3 layer):

2 large egg whites at room temp
scant 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup sorghum syrup
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temp and cut into tablespoon size pieces

Note: You'll need a mixer, a candy thermometer and a waffle iron for this recipe. Mix all dry ingredients well with a whisk. Make sure all wet ingredients are at room temperature and whisk together to combine. Stir wet ingredients into dry to just combine. Don't overmix or the waffles will be tough. Heat your waffle iron.

Mix egg whites, cream of tartar, & salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed until they hold soft peaks. Add in sugar one teaspoon at a time, beating, until they just hold stiff peaks.

Boil the syrup without stirring in a small sauce pan until it reaches 238°F-242°F on the candy thermometer. Immediately remove from heat and stream down side of bowl into egg whites, beating constantly on high. Beat until meringue is cool, 6-10 minutes. Add butter one tablespoon at a time beating well between additions. If mixture looks curdled, just keep beating, it will come together.

**If the meringue is warm when you add the butter it will melt and become soupy. Save it by chilling the bowl briefly in the freezer before continuing. If you add all the butter and it's too soupy, stick in the freezer for about 5 minutes, whip, set in the fridge for another 10-20 minutes. Whip again until desired consistency.

Buttercream can be made up to one week ahead chilled and covered. To revive just bring to room temp and whip back to life with your mixer. Pour two ladles of batter onto a well oiled waffle iron. Cook 4 minutes or until golden brown. Cool fully on a rack. I like to then chill them for about 10 minutes in the freezer before proceeding just to make sure the icing doesn't melt.

Stack two waffles to form one "layer" of your cake. Spread half the frosting on this layer. Top with another two waffles, the rest of the frosting, and garnish with seasonal fruit.

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