Enjoy the perfect blend of tangy and sweet in this delightful lemon meringue cake recipe as lemony and satisfying as my lemon curd cupcakes.
Best Lemon Mascarpone Cake
For all the lemon lovers out there, this lemon meringue cake is the perfect balance between tangy and sweet, creating a symphony of flavors that will leave your taste buds craving for more.
Crafted with a soft and tender cake my perfected Molly Cake recipe, filled with luscious homemade lemon curd filling, and a whipped mascarpone frosting to mellow its tangy essence, all crowned with an elegant and fluffy meringue glaze.
Similar flavors to classic lemon meringue desserts like lemon meringue pie, this lemon curd tart or these mini lemon meringue tartlets, the combination of lemon curd is perfect with the soft, silky texture of the meringue.
Why you'll love this recipe
- A perfect harmony of sweet and savory, yielding flavors that burst in the mouth for an extraordinary culinary experience.
- An easy recipe with my detailed step-by-step instructions and a video demonstration, perfectly suited for baking beginners as well as those more experienced.
- A lemon layer cake perfect as a birthday cake and other celebratory occasions, offering a delightful feast for the eyes and the taste buds alike.
More lemon desserts
Ingredients you need for this recipe
Here is the delicious composition of this lemon meringue cake and the other possible frosting options, scroll down the page to see the recipe card with the quantities.
- Eggs: Use large, room-temperature whole eggs. Take them out of the fridge in advance, or leave them in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes.
- Sugar: Extra-fine white granulated sugar if possible, not brown sugar so as not to alter the lemon flavor.
- Lemon flavor: Preferably use freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest, but you can also use lemon extract or bottled lemon juice.
- Whipped cream: Whipped cream is made with full-fat, cold heavy cream or unsweetened heavy whipping cream, replacing butter for a light, tender sponge cake.
- Cake flour: Only cake flour is required for this sponge cake.
- Baking powder: More suitable here than baking soda, baking powder in the right proportions will give the sponge cake a softer texture.
- Vanilla and salt: Pure vanilla extract and table salt are essential to bring out the flavors.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar only.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon juice or bottled lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Eggs: Whole eggs, which you can replace with roughly the same quantity of egg yolks only if you want a richer, thicker, yellower cream.
- Butter: It's essential to use unsalted butter to have control over the salt content in the curd, it gives a creamier, more stable texture.
- Mascarpone: Use cold, full-fat mascarpone cheese.
- Heavy cream: Use cold, heavy cream with at least 30% fat content or heavy whipping cream.
- Powdered sugar: Only very fine powdered sugar, so as not to feel the grains of sugar in the icing.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean seeds.
- Sugar syrup: A mixture of granulated sugar and water to make syrup at 244°F/118°C.
- Egg whites: Egg whites at room temperature. Be careful not to leave any traces of yolk, use an egg separator.
⚠️ You will find the quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page.
How to make Lemon Meringue Layer Cake
Lemon cake batter
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the eggs with the sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and fresh lemon zest and beat on high speed for about 5 to 7 minutes until the mixture doubles in volume.
- Meanwhile, beat the heavy cream in a medium bowl until it becomes a thick whipped cream, then set aside.
- Lower the speed of the mixer and add the dry ingredients, flour, salt and baking powder, then mix at medium speed just until incorporated.
- With a spatula, gently fold in the whipped cream until the mixture is well blended.
- Divide the cake batter in 3 and pour it in each cake pan previously lined with a sheet of parchment paper only in the bottom of the pan.
- Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 320°F / 160°C for about 40 - 45 minutes until it is slightly domed and golden brown on top.
- Allow the cakes to cool in their pans before gently unmolding them and placing them upside down on a cake rack until they cool completely.
Tips: At the end of the baking time, insert a toothpick in the center of the cake to check the baking, if it comes out clean it's done. You can also delicately remove the crust of the cake with a small knife to have nice layers of white sponge cake without demarcation.
Lemon curd filling
- In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, fresh lemon juice, sugar and fresh lemon zest.
- Then heat in a double boiler over a saucepan with a little water and cook until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly with a whisk.
- Remove from the heat and add the butter pieces and stir to incorporate them.
- Then let the lemon curd cool completely in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
- Place all ingredients, cold mascarpone cheese, cold heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.
- Mix with an electric mixer at medium speed for about 3 minutes until smooth and firm.
- Keep in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
Tip: Make the mascarpone whipped cream at the last moment of setting up and be careful not to whip it too much as it may be grainy.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the room-temperature egg whites and beat on medium-slow speed.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sugar syrup in a saucepan by mixing the water and sugar powder and heat over medium heat.
- Monitor the temperature, which should be at least 244°F/ 118°C.
- Lower the speed of the mixer and pour the sugar syrup over the egg whites, which should be just foamy at this point.
- Resume fast speed and mix until the meringue is shiny and completely cooled with stiff peaks form.
Assembling the cake
- Place the first cake layer on a cake board on a turntable.
- Cover with a layer of mascarpone frosting, then use a piping bag to make a sausage and fill the center with lemon curd filling.
- Cover with a new layer of mascarpone frosting and place the second layer of cake and repeat this step until the last layer of cake.
- If possible, cover the whole cake with a very thin layer of mascarpone whipped cream and smooth it with an angled spatula.
- Finish the cake with the Italian meringue and then blow the meringue with a blowtorch to burn it.
- Decorate with lemon slices and place the lemon meringue cake on a plate and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Serving and Recipe Variations
Serve with extra lemon filling and homemade whipped cream and a few crunchy shortbread crumbs such as a crumble or graham crackers.
Fill the cake with meringue instead of mascarpone frosting, so you'll need less preparation and it'll be perfect inside the layer cake.
Storage and Preparation Tips
In the fridge: Lemon meringue cake rest can only be stored in the refrigerator in a storage box or under plastic wrap for about 3 to 4 days.
Ho to freeze? You can freeze the leftover lemon cake, cut it into slices, and place in an airtight container or in storage bags for up to 3 months.
Make it ahead of time: You can make cake layers 1-2 days in advance and store them either in the fridge or at room temperature wrapped in plastic wrap.
Homemade lemon curd can also be made 2-3 days in advance and stored in the fridge in a jar with a lid or under plastic wrap.
Make the mascarpone whipped cream frosting at the last minute just before assembling and decorating the lemon layer cake.
You will also love
- Chocolate birthday cake
- Vanilla birthday cake
- Lemon Muffins
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Easy Key lime pie
Did you like this recipe? Don't forget to rate it and leave me a review in the comments! And to not miss any recipes follow @sweetlycakes on Instagram and tag me to share it if you make this recipe 😊!Print