Lemon Meringue Cake

Lemon Meringue Cake


DifficultyIntermediateYields8 Servings

This lemon meringue cake recipe is a great step up from my favourite lemon loaf recipe.

It’s three lemon sponge cake layers sandwiched with a sweet lemon cream, then finished with a stunning italian meringue topping. It’s sort of like a lemon meringue pie in cake format!

If you love the lemon flavour, you could make a lemon curd to sandwich in between the cake layers too.

Watch the video and follow the step-by-step recipe to make this stunning lemon cake with lemon meringue frosting.

Looking for more recipes? Try my triple chocolate layer cakeΒ for a challenge, or my lemon blueberry loaf cake if lemon cakes are your thing!

 


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Ingredients


Lemon Cremeux
 50 g Lemon Juice
 90 g Icing Sugar
 2 g Lemon ZestRoughly the zest of 1 lemon
 35 g Whole EggsCrack the eggs, whisk them, then weigh 35g
 50 g Egg Yolks
 30 g White Chocolate
 145 g Double/Heavy Cream, Cold
Lemon Cake
 120 g Unsalted Butter
 205 g Caster/Granulated Sugar
 3 g Lemon ZestRoughly the zest of 1.5 lemons
 1 Fresh Vanilla Podor 1 Tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
 205 g Cake Flouror Plain/All-Purpose Flour
 13 g Baking PowderYes, 13!
 ½ tsp Salt
 205 g Whole EggsCrack the eggs, whisk them, then weigh 205g
 95 g Vegetable Oil
 70 g Whole Milk
 1 tsp Lemon Extract
Unsweetened Whipped Cream
 150 g Double/Heavy Cream
 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
Italian Meringue
 110 g Egg Whites
 70 g Water
 300 g Caster/Granulated Sugar
Equipment

Method


Lemon Cremeux
1

Into a medium saucepan, add the freshly squeezed lemon juice, zest & icing sugar. Whisk it to combine.

2

Add in the eggs and egg yolks and place the pan over a medium low heat.

3

Whisk constantly, until it reaches a temperature of 85C/185F on a digital thermometer. This temperature is important for the consistency, but be careful not to overcook it or you will scramble the eggs (really whisk the edges of the saucepan so nothing scrambles around the outside too). Once at temperature pass it through a sieve (placed on top of a bowl) with a spatula to get rid of any lumps.

4

Add in the white chocolate, and whisk to combine until the chocolate has completely melted.

5

Finally, pour in the cold cream and blend (or whisk) until you have a smooth emulsified mixture. Place a sheet of clingfilm directly on the surface and chill it for 3-4 hours in the fridge. It needs to be cold to the touch when ready.

Lemon Cake
6

Pre-heat the oven to 190C/375F, Non-Fan Assisted.

7

Into a small saucepan, add the unsalted butter and melt it over a low heat, then set it to one side to cool slightly.

8

Into a medium bowl, add the sugar, lemon zest and the beans scraped from a fresh vanilla pod (if you are using vanilla bean paste, do not add it here, add it with the wet ingredients). Massage the vanilla and lemon zest into the sugar for a minute to release the citrus oils.

9

Place a sieve over the top, and sieve in the flour, baking powder and salt. It is very important to sieve these to prevent lumps in the cake batter. Whisk these through the sugar mixture to combine. Note - cake flour has a lower protein content so it will give you a softer sponge, but plain flour it fine too.

10

Into a separate jug, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and lemon extract (and vanilla bean paste if using).

11

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk just until there are no more dry bits. Don't overbeat it. You can also do this in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.

12

Finally, pour in the melted unsalted butter and again whisk until just combined and you have a smooth cake batter.

13

Lightly grease a baking tray and line it with a sheet of parchment paper. Pour the cake batter into the tray and spread it out evenly. Bake it for 20 minutes, or until golden on top.

14

Remove it from the oven, and allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature, before flipping it over onto a sheet of parchment or silicon mat, which is on a baking tray. Peel off the parchment and cover the cake loosely with clingfilm. Place it in the fridge to cool for 1 hour.

Assembly Part 1
15

Remove the chilled cake from the fridge and use a serrated knife to trim the rough edges of the cake and then to cut it into 3 equal rectangles. I like to cut mine slightly smaller, so I actually cut it into 4 pieces, but I keep the 4th piece spare as scraps to eat! There is enough cream in the recipe to make it a 4 layered cake but I think it makes it too tall, so I only use 3 of the layers.

16

Meanwhile, remove the chilled lemon cremeux from the fridge and add it into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk this for around 3-4 minutes, until it has thickened and is paler in colour. It should hold a medium/ medium soft peak. See the thickness in the video for reference.

Unsweetened Whipped Cream
17

To a medium bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment), add the cream and vanilla. We're not adding sugar as we have sweetness coming from other elements of the cake.

18

Whisk the mixture until you have a medium stiff peak. Don't over whisk it so it splits but we do want it slightly thick so that it holds a nice strong border. Add the mixture into a piping bag. Note - this will make slightly more than you need but it can be hard to whisk a lower quantity!

Assembly Part 2
19

Take two layers of lemon cake, and pipe a border of whipped cream around the outer edges. Then scoop some of the lemon cremeux into the middle, and smooth it out so you have an even layer.

20

Place the cake layers into the freezer, just for 15-20 minutes to firm them up just slightly, then remove them from the freezer and stack them on top of each other (chilling them will make the stacking process a little easier). Take the third layer of cake and place this on top.

21

Use a palette knife and take some of the whipped cream, and spread a thin layer around the outer edges of the cake, filling in any gaps. Place the entire cake into the fridge for 30 minutes - 1 hour (cover it lightly with some cling film just to stop the cake drying out)

Italian Meringue
22

Into a small saucepan, add the water, then pour the sugar on top. Place it over a medium heat.

23

Meanwhile, add the egg whites into a stand mixer fitted a whisk attachment. Whisk it on a medium low speed.

24

Once the water and sugar mixture has started to boil, cook it until it reaches a temperature of 118C/244F on a digital thermometer. By this point, the egg whites should be bubbly and frothy.

25

Immediately remove the sugar syrup from the heat, increase the stand mixer speed to medium high, and slowly drizzle the sugar syrup in, aiming to pour it in between the whisk and the bowl. Just make sure not to pour it on the whisk or it will splatter everywhere.

26

Continue to whisk for 6-7 minutes, or until the bowl is cool to the touch and stiff peaks form on the meringue.

Final Assembly
27

Remove the cake from the fridge and place it onto your serving plate.

28

Scoop the meringue in heaps onto the cake, covering the top and the sides. Use the back of a spoon, or a palette knife to swirl and swoop the meringue into a decorative, flowing pattern.

29

Take a blow torch, and carefully brown the outer edges of the meringue until it is an even golden colour. If you don't have a blow torch, you can briefly place it under a hot grill, but it will be very difficult to brown the sides of the meringue, so I would highly recommend a blow torch!

30

Allow the cake to sit for 15 minutes before serving so that it can warm up slightly. Once blow torched, you can also simply leave it at room temperature for a few hours before serving - the meringue will hold nicely once torched. I would just avoid refrigerating it again once you've coated it in meringue and torched it.

Ingredients

Lemon Cremeux
 50 g Lemon Juice
 90 g Icing Sugar
 2 g Lemon ZestRoughly the zest of 1 lemon
 35 g Whole EggsCrack the eggs, whisk them, then weigh 35g
 50 g Egg Yolks
 30 g White Chocolate
 145 g Double/Heavy Cream, Cold
Lemon Cake
 120 g Unsalted Butter
 205 g Caster/Granulated Sugar
 3 g Lemon ZestRoughly the zest of 1.5 lemons
 1 Fresh Vanilla Podor 1 Tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
 205 g Cake Flouror Plain/All-Purpose Flour
 13 g Baking PowderYes, 13!
 ½ tsp Salt
 205 g Whole EggsCrack the eggs, whisk them, then weigh 205g
 95 g Vegetable Oil
 70 g Whole Milk
 1 tsp Lemon Extract
Unsweetened Whipped Cream
 150 g Double/Heavy Cream
 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
Italian Meringue
 110 g Egg Whites
 70 g Water
 300 g Caster/Granulated Sugar
Equipment

Directions

Lemon Cremeux
1

Into a medium saucepan, add the freshly squeezed lemon juice, zest & icing sugar. Whisk it to combine.

2

Add in the eggs and egg yolks and place the pan over a medium low heat.

3

Whisk constantly, until it reaches a temperature of 85C/185F on a digital thermometer. This temperature is important for the consistency, but be careful not to overcook it or you will scramble the eggs (really whisk the edges of the saucepan so nothing scrambles around the outside too). Once at temperature pass it through a sieve (placed on top of a bowl) with a spatula to get rid of any lumps.

4

Add in the white chocolate, and whisk to combine until the chocolate has completely melted.

5

Finally, pour in the cold cream and blend (or whisk) until you have a smooth emulsified mixture. Place a sheet of clingfilm directly on the surface and chill it for 3-4 hours in the fridge. It needs to be cold to the touch when ready.

Lemon Cake
6

Pre-heat the oven to 190C/375F, Non-Fan Assisted.

7

Into a small saucepan, add the unsalted butter and melt it over a low heat, then set it to one side to cool slightly.

8

Into a medium bowl, add the sugar, lemon zest and the beans scraped from a fresh vanilla pod (if you are using vanilla bean paste, do not add it here, add it with the wet ingredients). Massage the vanilla and lemon zest into the sugar for a minute to release the citrus oils.

9

Place a sieve over the top, and sieve in the flour, baking powder and salt. It is very important to sieve these to prevent lumps in the cake batter. Whisk these through the sugar mixture to combine. Note - cake flour has a lower protein content so it will give you a softer sponge, but plain flour it fine too.

10

Into a separate jug, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and lemon extract (and vanilla bean paste if using).

11

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk just until there are no more dry bits. Don't overbeat it. You can also do this in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.

12

Finally, pour in the melted unsalted butter and again whisk until just combined and you have a smooth cake batter.

13

Lightly grease a baking tray and line it with a sheet of parchment paper. Pour the cake batter into the tray and spread it out evenly. Bake it for 20 minutes, or until golden on top.

14

Remove it from the oven, and allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature, before flipping it over onto a sheet of parchment or silicon mat, which is on a baking tray. Peel off the parchment and cover the cake loosely with clingfilm. Place it in the fridge to cool for 1 hour.

Assembly Part 1
15

Remove the chilled cake from the fridge and use a serrated knife to trim the rough edges of the cake and then to cut it into 3 equal rectangles. I like to cut mine slightly smaller, so I actually cut it into 4 pieces, but I keep the 4th piece spare as scraps to eat! There is enough cream in the recipe to make it a 4 layered cake but I think it makes it too tall, so I only use 3 of the layers.

16

Meanwhile, remove the chilled lemon cremeux from the fridge and add it into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk this for around 3-4 minutes, until it has thickened and is paler in colour. It should hold a medium/ medium soft peak. See the thickness in the video for reference.

Unsweetened Whipped Cream
17

To a medium bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment), add the cream and vanilla. We're not adding sugar as we have sweetness coming from other elements of the cake.

18

Whisk the mixture until you have a medium stiff peak. Don't over whisk it so it splits but we do want it slightly thick so that it holds a nice strong border. Add the mixture into a piping bag. Note - this will make slightly more than you need but it can be hard to whisk a lower quantity!

Assembly Part 2
19

Take two layers of lemon cake, and pipe a border of whipped cream around the outer edges. Then scoop some of the lemon cremeux into the middle, and smooth it out so you have an even layer.

20

Place the cake layers into the freezer, just for 15-20 minutes to firm them up just slightly, then remove them from the freezer and stack them on top of each other (chilling them will make the stacking process a little easier). Take the third layer of cake and place this on top.

21

Use a palette knife and take some of the whipped cream, and spread a thin layer around the outer edges of the cake, filling in any gaps. Place the entire cake into the fridge for 30 minutes - 1 hour (cover it lightly with some cling film just to stop the cake drying out)

Italian Meringue
22

Into a small saucepan, add the water, then pour the sugar on top. Place it over a medium heat.

23

Meanwhile, add the egg whites into a stand mixer fitted a whisk attachment. Whisk it on a medium low speed.

24

Once the water and sugar mixture has started to boil, cook it until it reaches a temperature of 118C/244F on a digital thermometer. By this point, the egg whites should be bubbly and frothy.

25

Immediately remove the sugar syrup from the heat, increase the stand mixer speed to medium high, and slowly drizzle the sugar syrup in, aiming to pour it in between the whisk and the bowl. Just make sure not to pour it on the whisk or it will splatter everywhere.

26

Continue to whisk for 6-7 minutes, or until the bowl is cool to the touch and stiff peaks form on the meringue.

Final Assembly
27

Remove the cake from the fridge and place it onto your serving plate.

28

Scoop the meringue in heaps onto the cake, covering the top and the sides. Use the back of a spoon, or a palette knife to swirl and swoop the meringue into a decorative, flowing pattern.

29

Take a blow torch, and carefully brown the outer edges of the meringue until it is an even golden colour. If you don't have a blow torch, you can briefly place it under a hot grill, but it will be very difficult to brown the sides of the meringue, so I would highly recommend a blow torch!

30

Allow the cake to sit for 15 minutes before serving so that it can warm up slightly. Once blow torched, you can also simply leave it at room temperature for a few hours before serving - the meringue will hold nicely once torched. I would just avoid refrigerating it again once you've coated it in meringue and torched it.

Lemon Meringue Cake