This stacked meringue torte is layered with lemon cream and topped with fresh berries for the ultimate light spring dessert!
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When I think of the perfect spring or summer dessert, two things often come to mind....lemon and meringue. I love each of them alone and together they create an amazing light and airy flavor combination!
Meringue has always been one of my favorite sweet treats. I remember eating meringue cookies from the local market's bakery when I was a kid and went grocery shopping with my mom!
I used to think meringue was complicated, however, it just takes a little practice and some patience while waiting for it to bake! Patience is definitely key with this recipe as you want the meringue to be completely cool before you add the lemon cream.
This is a great dessert for a special occasion! Read on to learn more about how to make this Lemon Cream Meringue Torte, or jump straight to the recipe to start baking!
This summery lemon cream meringue torte is…
- Light and flavorful. The bright lemon flavor and the lightness of the meringue give you the optimal warm-weather dessert for just about any spring or summer occasion.
- Requires little hands-on time. Though it takes a while to make this recipe, the actual hands-on time is only about 40 minutes.
The full list of ingredients and quantities can be found in the recipe card below.
- Eggs: You'll need seven large eggs, however, you'll only be using two of the yolks so you can use the other five for something else if you like.
- Lemons: You'll need both lemon zest and juice for this recipe so I'd recommend getting two lemons.
- Butter: Unsalted is best for this recipe.
- Heavy Cream: You only need 6 ounces for this recipe so a small, half-pint container will work.
- Raspberries or strawberries: Both pair well so pick your favorite.
- Sliced almonds: Though this is listed as an optional ingredient, I highly recommend adding them as a topping.
- Pantry staples: Vanilla extract, white wine vinegar, sugar, sea salt
How to make this recipe
See complete instructions and notes in the recipe card below.
As it is with anything meringue, the baking time for this recipe is a bit long, so you'll want to plan in advance. The meringue disks need to cool in the oven for at least an hour, though I recommend leaving them in the oven for closer to two hours if you can plan for that.
First, make the meringue
- Separate the eggs - Separate egg whites into a small bowl to ensure you don't end up with any yolks in them. Reserve 1 yolk for the lemon cream (discard the rest or save for another use). Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Beat the egg whites - Start by lightly beating the egg whites on high until they are foamy. Then you add the vanilla, vinegar and salt and beat on high until stiff peaks begin to form. Once the peaks have started to form you'll add half of the sugar and beat the mixture until its glossy and stiff peaks have formed. Then the remaining sugar gets added and you continue to beat until the meringue is smooth.
- Make the meringue disks - Draw three 8-inch circles on a sheet of parchment paper. Flip the paper over and place it on a large baking sheet. Divide the mixture evenly between the 3 circles on the parchment paper. Using the back of a large spoon, smooth the meringue into circles to fill the outline, ensuring the thickness of each circle is even. Then they go into the oven to bake for about two and a quarter hours. Once the meringue has finished baking, you'll turn off the oven. Leave the door closed and let the meringue cool in the oven for at least one hour.
The initial cooling, in the oven, is important as this is what gives you a nice crunchy outer layer and slightly gooey inside. Try not to open the oven and peek inside while the meringue is cool, as this can let moisture in which isn't great for meringue!
Next, make the lemon cream.
- Make the lemon curd - While the meringue is baking, you'll combine the lemon zest and sugar in a small bowl. Use a fork to mix them together. Then you'll combine the sugar mixture, lemon juice, egg, egg yolk, and salt in a small saucepan. Whisk everything together until smooth together and then add the butter and cook over medium-low heat. You need to whish the mixture constantly while it's cooking. Continue cooking it until it has thickened. This should take 5-6 minutes. Once the mixture has thickened remove it from the heat and pour it into a fine-mesh strainer that has been placed over a medium bowl. Use a spoon to push the curd through the strainer to remove any solids. This gives you a nice, smooth curd. Once you've finished straining it, place plastic wrap directly on top of the lemon curd and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.
- Make the whipped cream - While the lemon curd is cooling, you'll add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer and use the whisk attachment to beat it until medium peaks form. This will give you a sturdy yet light fluffy whipped cream, which forms the base of the lemon cream. Then you'll carefully fold the lemon curd into the whipped cream, mixing just enough to incorporate it. If the meringue disks are still cooling in the oven, refrigerate the lemon cream until you are ready to assemble the torte.
Last, you'll assemble the torte
To assemble the torte, place one of the cooled disks on a large plate or cake stand. Top with one third of the lemon cream. Spread the cream evenly until the entire disk is covered. Repeat this process with the remaining disks and lemon cream. You will end up with three layers of each.
If necessary, the torte can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated, but for best results, I recommend that you leave the meringue and the lemon cream separate until shortly before serving, as the meringue will get a little soggy if refrigerated with the lemon cream on it.
Tools you'll want for this recipe
Stand mixer – I love my KitchenAid mixer! It's such a versatile kitchen tool and when it comes to things like beating egg whites and making whipped cream, a stand mixer makes the task so much easier.
Parchment paper – This is a must when you are making this type of meringue. I prefer the unbleached version.
Fine mesh strainer – Since you want smooth lemon curd, straining out any lemon zest or large clumps is a key step in the process. This strainer also works well for rinsing quinoa and other grains.
Since this recipe is a bit more complex than average, I recommend it for a special occasion. It is best sliced with a sharp knife and I highly recommend using a cake server to transfer the slices to serving plates.
More dessert recipes
If you are looking for more great dessert ideas, check out these reader favorites:
- Mini Lemon Cheesecakes. These mini cheesecakes are infused with a burst of lemon to give them a fresh, summery flavor! The individual desserts give you the perfect balance of sweet, tart and creamy.
- Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries. These cheesecake stuffed strawberries are packed full of creamy no-bake cheesecake and topped with a drizzle of dark chocolate making them the ideal two-bite dessert!
Meringue Torte with Lemon Curd Cream
For the meringue
- 6 egg whites
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoons white wine vinegar
- dash of salt
For the lemon cream
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 whole large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 oz heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup fresh berries
- ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
- Heat the oven. Preheat the oven to 200°F. On parchment paper draw 3 8" circles (depending on the size of your baking sheets you may need to do this on two separate pieces of paper). Make sure the circles are not touching and fit within the edges of your baking sheet(s). Turn the paper over so the circles are on the back. Lay the paper on the baking sheet(s).
Make the merginue
- Separate the eggs. Separate egg whites into a small bowl to ensure you don't end up with any yolks in them. Reserve 1 yolk for the lemon cream (discard the rest or save for another use).
- Beat the egg whites. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg whites on high until foamy. Add vanilla, vinegar and salt. Beat on high until stiff peaks begin to form, approximately 1 minute. Add half the sugar and beat until glossy and stiff peaks have formed. Add the remaining sugar and beat until incorporated and meringue is smooth; 2-3 minutes total.
- Make the disks. Divide the mixture evenly between the 3 circles on the parchment paper. Using the back of a large spoon, smooth into circles to fill the outline, ensuring the thickness of the circle is even. Bake for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Once baking is complete, turn off the oven. Leaving the door closed to let the meringue cool in the over for at least one hour.
Make the lemon cream
- Cook the lemon mixture. While the meringue is baking, combine the lemon zest and sugar in a small bowl. Use a fork to mix them together. Combine the sugar mixture, lemon juice, egg, egg yolk, and salt in a small saucepan. Whisk together. Add butter and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened; about 5-6 minutes.
- Strain the lemon curd. Pour the lemon curd through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Use a spoon to push all of the curd through the strainer. Cover with plastic wrap so the wrap is directly on the lemon curd. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Make the whipped cream. Beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. After the lemon curd has cooled fold the curd into the whipped cream. Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the torte.
- Assemble the torte. Place one meringue round on a serving plate. Top wth ⅓ of the lemon cream. Repeat with remaining meringue rounds. Top with raspberries and toasted almonds (if desired). Serve immediately.
This post was originally published in June 2015. It was updated in April 2022 with some new information and photos. A few small modifications were made to the original recipe.