Lemon meringue trifle recipe

(60 ratings)

When spring has sprung and your sweet cravings go from indulgent puds to something a little fresher, it’s the perfect time to make our lemon meringue trifle. 

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)
  • healthy
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time40 mins plus setting
Total Time1 hours 10 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories339 Kcal17%
Fat48 g69%
Saturated Fat8.5 g43%
Carbohydrates51 g20%

When spring has sprung and your sweet cravings go from indulgent puds to something a little fresher, it’s the perfect time to make our lemon meringue trifle. 

A firm favourite in most households, trifle has many guises. This one is up there with the best of them. Lusciously creamy lemon mousse is layered with lemon curd (try making your own lemon curd using our recipe) and homemade lemon Swiss roll. All adorned with a mountain of toasted Italian meringue. Delight your dinner guests with an impressive dessert, certainly in appearance, but most importantly in taste. It’s a little more challenging than most trifles, but if you’re out to impress then it is definitely worth the effort. If you have any left over lemons, try one of our recipes using lemons.

Want something special to cook before? Check out our Easter dinner recipes.


for the sponge rolls:

  • 120g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 120g plain flour
  • 2 x 325g jars lemon curd

for the mousse:

  • 400ml whole milk
  • 800g whipping cream
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 30g sugar
  • 7 gelatine leaves, submerged in cold water to soften

for the meringue:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 180g sugar

you will need:

  • 23 x 33cm baking tray lined with baking parchment
  • thermometer
  • kitchen blowtorch (try Lakeland)




  1. Heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. For the sponge, whisk the sugar, eggs and zest in the bowl of a stand mixer over a pan of simmering water, until the batter leaves a trail when the whisk is lifted. Remove from the heat, place on the stand mixer and whisk on high for 3-5 mins until thick.
  2. Sift in half the flour and fold in gently. Add the remaining flour, fold again and pour the mix onto the baking tray. Smooth the edges with a palette knife and bake for 10-12 mins until lightly golden.
  3. Sprinkle parchment paper with sugar and turn out the sponge on top. While it’s still warm, roll up the sponge, starting at the shortest end, keeping the paper inside the roll. Leave to cool before carefully unrolling, filling with 1 jar of the curd and re-rolling. Put in the fridge.
  4. For the mousse, heat the milk, 300ml of the cream, the vanilla extract and zest until steaming. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together and pour over the milk and cream. Pour back into the pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Sieve to remove the zest.
  5. Squeeze out any excess water from the gelatine. Add to the custard, stir to dissolve and cool slightly. Whip the remaining cream and fold through the custard.
  6. To assemble, pour a layer of the mousse into the bottom of a trifle bowl and place in the fridge to firm up. Cut the Swiss roll into 1cm slices, place around the side of the bowl and layer the rest in the middle. Pour over remaining mousse and set fully in the fridge. Once set, spread over the second jar of curd.
  7. For the meringue, whisk the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Meanwhile, heat the sugar and 30ml water in a pan and cook to 121C. Turn the mixer to low and slowly pour in the sugar. Turn upthe speed and whip until thick. Spoon onto the trifle and blowtorch, if you like.
Top Tip for making Lemon meringue trifle

If you find making Italian meringue daunting, use shop-bought marshmallow fluff instead.

Keiron George
Keiron George

With over 12 years of experience, arts graduate Keiron turned to food to channel his creativity, specifically cake decorating. Keiron set up his wedding cake business in 2015. And, in late 2016 won a scholarship at the world-renowned culinary institute - Le Cordon Bleu, London, where he studied the art of French Pâtisserie. He's worked in some of London’s finest 5-star hotels, collecting a wealth of knowledge along the way. As a Food Writer and Stylist food isn’t just a job, it truly is Keiron's passion.