Do you love the flavours of a classic lemon meringue pie, but all that fiddly pastry just seems like a bit too much work? If so, this may be just the recipe you’re looking for.
Created in a hurry and almost by accident, this recipe has become a fast favourite in my family, and the compliments I’ve received have been quite overwhelming!
The recipe below makes a cake half the size of the one pictured, so don’t panic about having lots of leftovers. Of course you wanted to, you could always double up the ingredients to make a giant 4-layer cake like mine!
Lemon Meringue Cake
- 300 g caster sugar
- 150 g unsalted butter (softened)
- 2 lemons (unwaxed)
- 400 g plain flour
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 4 eggs (large)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 300 ml soured cream (room temperature)
- 125 g egg whites
- 250 g caster sugar
- 375 g unsalted butter (softened)
- yellow food colouring (optional)
- lemon curd (to taste)
- 2 egg whites
- 150 g caster sugar
- Preheat the Oven 180c/160c fan
- Spray two 8-inch cake tins with oil, and line the bottom with baking parchment.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter until very pale.
- Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl. Stir with a whisk or fork to ensure raising agents are evenly distributed.
- Once the butter mixture is pale and fluffy, add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix again.
- Finely grate the zest of the lemons and then juice them. Add both zest and juice to the bowl, and beat well to incorporate. Scrape down the bowl and mix again.
- Add about half of the flour, and mix on low speed until just coming together.
- Scrape the soured cream into the bowl, and mix again until the batter is smooth.
- Finally, add the remaining flour, and mix until just incorporated. Scrape down the bowl, and ensure everything is evenly mixed.
- Distribute the batter evenly between the two cake tins, about 700g in each one.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top is completely firm.
- Leave the cakes to cool completely in the tins.
- Place the egg whites and sugar into a heatproof bowl, and set over a bain-marie.
- Stir gently over a medium heat until the sugar has all dissolved.
- Whisk the meringue mixture for about 7 minutes, until cool and thick.
- Add the butter, a little at a time, and continue whisking until the buttercream is smooth.
- Mix in the lemon curd, tasting occasionally, until you reach the desired flavour.
- If desired, add a little yellow food colouring to boost the colour. Ensure the food colouring is evenly distributed before you continue.
- Remove the cakes from the tins and level off with a bread knife.
- Stack the cakes on the presentation board/plate, using a thick layer of the buttercream to sandwich them.
- Spread the remaining buttercream all over the outside of the cake, and smooth over using a cake scraper or palette knife
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, and whisk until soft peaks form. Turn off the mixer.
- Weigh the sugar into a small saucepan, and add just enough water to give it the consistency of wet sand.
- Place the saucepan over a medium heat, until the syrup reaches 118c
- Turn the stand mixer back on high speed, and pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl is a slow and steady stream.
- Leave the stand mixer running until the meringue is completely cool.
- Decorate the cake with the Italian meringue, and then use a blow torch to add some attractive caramelisation.