Lemon meringue cake

Ah, the Almafi coast! Ravello, Positano and Capri have the most amazing views, turquoise sea and old-school glamour, that is why it has always been our favourite family holiday destination. This lemon meringue cake is a souvenir of what I love most on the Amalfi coast – lemon trees and delizie limone, a local speciality sponge cake filled with lemon cream. Whenever I want to splurge, spoil and be spoilt, this is the cake I have in mind. I love how the voluptuous baked meringue icing wraps the entire cake like a fluffy cloud, as if there was a secret message inside saying that you have achieved sweet nirvana. For this is what this cake is all about – heaven.

Ingredients:(serves 6)

For the sponge cake:
6 eggs (separated)
200 g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
200 g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 180°C/350 F. Butter and flour two cake pans (approx 20 cm/8-inch). Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Beat the egg whites until stiff, fold in very gently to the egg yolk mixture. Finally, sift the flour, add the baking powder and fold in to egg mixture. Spoon batter gently into cake pans and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and test-knife comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack, then remove from pans and set aside to cool completely. When cool, slice each cakes with a long knife to make 4 layers of cakes. Set aside.

For the lemon custard
2 eggs
150 g sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
Grated zest of 1 lemon
40 g unsalted butter

In a large saucepan or double boiler combine sugar, lemon juice and zest over simmering water. In a bowl, beat the eggs and add to the sugar/lemon mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened (about 8 minutes). You can alternate and take on/off heat while whisking away. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Set aside to cool completely and refrigerate for one hour.

For the meringue topping
4 egg whites (room temperature)
1/2 lemon juice
220 g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large glass bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy, add lemon juice and vanilla extract. Gradually add the sugar until egg whites become glossy with stiff peaks.

Assembling the cake:
200 ml double cream – whipped

Preheat the oven to a 240°C/ 460 F

Whip cream until stiff and incorporate to lemon custard. Place a layer of the cake on parchment paper, generously spread a layer of lemon filling on cake, add the other cake on top. Repeat procedure for each layers. With a spatula, spread meringue mixture covering cake entirely, forming decorative peaks by lifting spatula as if you were forming waves.

Place cake in the oven for 2-3 minutes or until meringue browns slightly on top. Check constantly as the browning can be very fast. Take the cake out and place on a serving dish. Chill before serving.

23 thoughts on “Lemon meringue cake

  1. Oh come on, the photo of the littlest with meringue on her nose is priceless!

    Bon weekend,

    PS. Elizabeth Minchilli has been doing a series over on her blog about Positano. Might be worth a looksee…

    1. Hello Jennifer! The green cups and saucers are heirlooms from my grandmother’s collection. The white cake plates are Royal Stafford from England. Warm regards from Médoc, Mimix

  2. Super love lemon meringue, I will try your version this weekend. Been following your brilliant blog, thanks for sharing all these lovely recipes!

  3. I have just discovered “Manger” and am truly inspired …..your photos are beautiful and I am going to try at least one of your recipes every week…..starting with this divine cake.

  4. Hello,
    This looks a gorgeous cake. Could you please clarify what is meant by 1/2 lemon juice in the meringue topping? Is it the juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice??? It would be helpful if you could let me know.
    Many thanks, Angela

  5. Just made this cake for the family as I had a lot of egg whites left over from making something else.

    Everyone loved the flavour of it. But, my lemon filling and meringue didn’t seem to set very well (meringue browned nicely), it was a little bit like a land slide while I was trying to serve it up! Was quite funny. But any tips on how to help the filling set more?

    Loving the blog, discovered it on the weekend and could not wait to try some of the recipes!

  6. Bonjour Mimi,
    Après facebook et IG, je tente ma question sur votre blog en espérant avoir une petite ou grande réponse…
    J’ai réalisé le gâteau au citron (à découvrir sur ma page facebook ou IG bricolecasserole) il est presque aussi beau que le votre, je confirme donc qu’il est plutôt simple à faire et c’est un vrai plaisir à réaliser.
    Toutefois nous l’avons trouvé un peu sec, pensez vois qu’on pourrait imbiber légèrement la génoise d’un sirop de citron léger ? Ou alors d’ajouter de la crème de citron. D’ailleurs votre recette est dans le Elle à table et ils ont modifieé la recette en proposant de découper en deux chaque génoise pour mettre plus de crème. Mais c’est impossible vue la fine épaisseur des génoises.
    Mais.ce qui est sûr c’est que ce gâteau est tout de même bon, magnifique et que ce fut un beau moment de partage avec ma fille pour le réaliser. Enfin, vos vidéos sont très jolies et poétiques.
    Alors merci Mimi,
    À bientôt

      1. Bonjour Barbara,
        Désolée pour mon absence! Pour la génoise, vous pourrez doubler la recette et diviser les génoises en plusieurs disques. Ou alors un peu plus de crème, ou même un peu de sirop de citron. Personnellement, je préfère diviser les génoises afin qu’elles soient plus fines. Bonne dégustation! Mimi x

        1. Merci Mimi pour votre réponse même tardive, ça me fait vraiment plaisir, c’est une grande qualité de répondre aux questions de vos lecteurs, certaines blogeuses influentes ne s’en donnent plus la peine. Merci à vous et bonne continuation dans vos projet.

  7. Dear Mimi,

    I just wanted to thank you for all your wonderful recipes. Your blog is absolutely fabulous and I’ve tried a few ones so far, including the lemon meringue cake and, not only the explanations are clear and precise, but also the photographs that go with each of the recipes are very elegant and give motivation to bake!

    I enjoy so much cooking and baking now, just because I found exactly what I was looking for!

    Thanks again so much and keep on being inspiring please.

  8. Found you today in German TV..RTL Living..I liked it very much! Saw in Facebook that you gave birth to a little son- Wish you all the best!

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