Very lemony meringue cake

Very lemony meringue cake

All-in-one lemon cake

The Birthday Cake Book
Laura Edwards

A true citrus hit, laced with a lemon syrup and with a creamy lemon curd filling. Of course, you can always omit the meringue for a simpler, equally delicious cake.

For the meringues


Quantity Ingredient
2 egg whites, at room temperature
120g white icing sugar, sifted

For the lemon cake

Quantity Ingredient
250g unsalted butter, softened and diced, plus more for the tins
250g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large unwaxed lemons, finely zested
1 large unwaxed lemon, juiced
250g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten

For the syrup

Quantity Ingredient
1 lemon, juiced
5 tablespoons caster sugar

To fill and decorate

Quantity Ingredient
300g good lemon curd, preferably home made
100g flaked almonds, lightly toasted
1 unwaxed lemon, finely zested
300g creme fraiche
or 300g mascarpone


  1. To make the meringues, preheat the oven to 140°C/fan 130°C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Place the egg whites and icing sugar in a scrupulously clean and dry metal or glass bowl and, using an electric hand-held whisk, whisk until they form soft, shiny, marshmallowy peaks. This will take eight to 10 minutes. Drop tablespoons of the mixture on to the prepared tray and bake for 35–45 minutes. They are ready when they are crisp on the outside and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. They can be stored for a few days in an airtight tin.
  2. Increase the oven temperature to 180°C/fan 170°C. Butter two 20 cm round sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment. For this batter, I use an electric mixer and beater attachment, but do use a food processor, or a bowl and an electric whisk, if you prefer.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, then add the lemon zest, sugar, butter and eggs. Beat together and lastly add the lemon juice. Do not over-mix.
  4. Divide the batter between the two tins. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until a skewer emerges clean. Meanwhile make the syrup by mixing the juice and sugar in a bowl. As soon as the cakes come from the oven, prick them all over with a cocktail stick and spoon over the syrup. Allow to cool in the tins on a wire rack. When cold, remove the papers. Trim each cake level, and split in half horizontally.
  5. Mix the crème fraîche lightly with the lemon curd, so that it is marbled, not completely blended.
  6. To decorate, place one of the cakes on to a plate or cake stand. Spread with some of the crème fraîche mixture, and repeat to make four layers. Spread the crème fraîche mixture all over the top and sides. Lightly press the almonds all around the sides. Place the meringues on top, you may not need them all. Finish with a sprinkling of lemon zest.
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