How much fun is this?!! I’ll tell you – this Wagon Wheel Cake is so much fun and it tastes amazing too. I used those cute Mini Wagon Wheels from last week to top it, of course, but THAT frosting and THAT fluffy cake. Bliss!

A slice of Wagon Wheel Cake on a plate, the whole cake in the background

Why you’ll love this Wagon Wheel Cake

This is so much fun to put together. The sponge is soft, the frosting is like yummy, billowy clouds and it’s topped off with a soft chocolate ganache.

DIFFICULTY – Medium. Most parts are pretty simple but there are a few components to put together and the marshmallow frosting involves whisking egg whites over a pan of simmering water. So worth it!

MAKE AHEAD – You could make this cake the day before you intend to serve. The

STORAGE – Store this cake in the fridge, if possible in an airtight container. If you don’t have a container large enough, place a tall box over the plate it’s sitting on.


Wagon Wheel Cake decorated with mini wagon wheels on a cake stand

I’ve mentioned in my Mini Wagon Wheels post that I’ve decided to make a new spin on Wagon Wheels every year around this time (just in time for Australia Day). Why? Well I grew up on them and, while not technically Australian, they have an Aussie history about them. I think more column A than column B because it actually gives me a chance to be a big kid.

To me, wagon wheels are perfection in a chocolate coated biscuit. Soft biscuit (cookie style), filled with marshmallow and jam is just all kinds of right.

How to make the vanilla sponge cake

The biscuit role in this cake is played by soft vanilla sponge cake. Yep, she’s rustic but I had so much fun putting this cake together so let’s get to it.

2 photos: making cake batter

Start by beating together a fluffy cake batter – creaming butter and sugar first, followed by eggs as normal. The main difference here is that there are no yolks in this batter, just the egg whites. This not only makes the cake soft and fluffy but also keeps it a nice light colour inside. Add some dry ingredients and milk, then divide it evenly between 3x 8 inch round cake tins. Bake them and let them cool before frosting.

A Wagon Wheel Cake on  a cake stand, mini wagon wheels scattered around on a white sheet

How to make marshmallow frosting

Marshmallow frosting is heavenly. Soft, white clouds of sweet frosting that you can spread or pipe with ease. It’s silky smooth, no graininess like a traditional buttercream frosting and beautifully glossy.

Filling a cake with marshmallow frosting comes with serving challenges. It’s a very soft frosting (another reason those light sponges are great in this cake) so I find it best to slice it with a very sharp knife, and straight from the fridge. Also, I wouldn’t slice it in front of your guests – it’s delicate and requires your full attention.

2 photos: beating meringue over a pot of hot water

Meringue in a glass bowl

You’ll notice the method of making it is quite different from a traditional buttercream too. Egg whites, sugar and just a touch of cream of tartar (for stability) get whisked in bowl over simmering water and eventually become thick and glossy. This heating of the egg whites pasteurises them so there is no risk of salmonella. Once the egg whites hit the right temperature, you’ll take them off the heat but continue to whip them for another 5 minutes.

Putting it all together

Spread two of the sponge cakes with raspberry jam. Spread the base cake with frosting, then top it with the other jam covered cake. Top that with some more frosting and spread it gently. Top it with the last cake and pour chocolate ganache over the top, spreading it a little so that it runs down the sides. Pipe some pretty kisses of frosting all around the top and sit halved Mini Wagon Wheels on top.

2 photos: adding jam on top of vanilla cake, a 3-layer cake with jam and white frosting between each layer on a cake stand

Chocolate ganache is poured over a cake on a cake stand

For the Mini Wagon Wheels you can make your own using my recipe or just use shop-bought ones. Easy.

Click here to Pin this recipe for later!

Close up of a slice of Wagon Wheel Cake on a white plate

While it would make a gorgeous Australia Day Cake, this Wagon Wheel Cake would be a wonderful treat for any special occasion. Maybe Mothers Day too?

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This Wagon Wheel Cake with its marshmallow frosting, vanilla sponge cake, jam and mini wagon wheels is so much fun and makes a brilliant Australia Day cake.
5 from 1 rating
This Wagon Wheel Cake with its marshmallow frosting, vanilla sponge cake, jam and mini wagon wheels is so much fun and makes a brilliant Australia Day cake.



  • 260 g (2 cups / 9.2oz) plain (all-purp) flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 226 g (1 cup / 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • 4 large egg whites, room temp
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (notes)
  • 1/3 cup raspberry jam


  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1/3 cup thickened cream
  • 100 g roughly chopped dark (50% chocolate
  • 8 mini wagon wheels, to finish

For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided



  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Grease and line 3 x 8 inch cake tins with baking paper.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, mix, then set aside.
  • Beat together the butter and sugar. Add the egg whites and vanilla beat until it looks light and fluffy. It may look split but that’s ok. (about 3 minutes).
  • Add half the dry ingredients and mix through with a spatula until just combined. Now add the milk and gently mix through followed by the remaining dry ingredients. Mix with a spatula until just combined as overmixing will give you a dense cake.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the cake tins and very gently nudge it to the edges and level it out. Make sure not to knock all the air out of it.
  • Bake for 25-27 minutes. Do not open the oven door before 20 minutes or the cakes may sink.
  • Remove from the oven and allow them to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks.


  • Place the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar into a heatproof glass bowl and sit it on top of a saucepan of simmering water - make sure it is not touching the water.
  • Use a handheld beater to beat the mixture for 5-6 minutes, until it becomes very thick and holds it's shape when moved. If you have a candy or meat thermometer, check the temperature is at 60C / 140F - at this temperature the eggs are pasteurized.
  • Remove the bowl from the saucepan and turn off the heat. Continue to beat the frosting for a further 5 minutes until it has cooled almost to room temperature and is even thicker and glossy. It should be at stiff peak stage.
  • Beat in the vanilla extract.


  • Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it starts to bubble then pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for about 2 minutes to melt a little then stir it together into a smooth ganache.


  • Spread the jam over two layers of sponge.
  • Place the first layer onto your cake plate and top it with the marshmallow frosting to nearly an inch deep but leave a gap of about 2cm from the edges.
  • Sit the second layer and push down lightly to spread the marshmallow frosting a little bit more. Add some more frosting on top of this layer going nearly all the way to the edge.
  • Sit the third layer on top and press down lightly.
  • Pour the ganache over the top and use an offset spatula to very carefully push it towards the edges to so it can drip down.
  • Transfer the remaining frosting to a piping bag and pipe little swirls all around the top.
  • Cut 7 mini wagon wheels in half and sit them on top of the swirls all the way around. Add the last whole mini wagon wheel to the centre of the cake, pipe a swirl on top, then sit another half on top of it.


  1. You can make your own Mini Wagon Wheels using this recipe
  2. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
  3. For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales like these are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).



*Cal count does not include Mini Wagon Wheels
Have you tried this recipe?Don't forget to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you. Nutrition information is approximate and derived from an online calculator. The brands you use may cause variations.

A slice of Wagon Wheel Cake on a white plate, mini wagon wheels scattered around