A popular Latvian meringue dessert often made at home for birthdays and other celebrations. Recipe courtesy of Chef Arturs Trinkuns of 3 Pavaru Restaurant in Riga, Latvia.

Read more about Latvia in Cravings, Courage and Culinary Discovery in Latvia by Barbara Balfour.

Wagtail Cake

Latvia Wagtail Cake has a delicate hazelnut meringue, a rich cream filling and dark chocolate glaze. Perfect with your afternoon coffee or tea.


For the 3 meringue biscuits

  • 400 grams sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp potato flour
  • 250 grams hazelnuts
  • pinch of salt
  • Parchment paper, butter for greasing, two baking trays

For the cream filling

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 40 grams water
  • 300 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 3-4 tbsp cocoa
  • 150 grams condensed milk
  • 25 grams liqueur such as rum, cognac or brandy

For the glaze

  • 100 grams dark chocolate
  • 50 ml cream
  • 50-100 grams hazelnuts


For the meringue

  • Use a food processor or a knife to roughly chop the nuts.
  • Turn the oven on at 150° C (300° F) in fan mode. Line three baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Draw a circle 26 cm in diameter in the middle of each baking tray.
  • Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Place the yolks in the refrigerator. Add egg whites to a large bowl and begin to foam with a hand beater. Add a pinch of salt. When it becomes white and thick, gradually add in the sugar. Finally, mix in the potato flour and chopped nuts.
  • Spoon the meringues within the circles on your baking trays, then put in the oven. After 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 110° C (230° F) and bake for one more hour. Leave the biscuits to cool overnight in the oven.

For the filling (to be made the next day):

  • Boil the water and sugar until it becomes dissolved into a thin syrup. Add the hot syrup to a bowl with the egg yolks and whisk together, then add butter, cocoa, condensed milk and liqueur of your choice. Cool the cream in the refrigerator.


  • Remove the baking paper from the base of each meringue and gently flip them over. Start with one meringue on the bottom of your serving platter of choice and spread 1/3 of the filling on it leaving a 2 cm border from the edge. Put the second meringue on top and repeat, then add the remaining layer on the third.

For the glaze

  • Combine the chocolate and cream in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of hot water, then keep stirring until smooth.
  • Decorate cake as desired and leave in the fridge for 3 hours before serving.