Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto
Total Time
2 Hours 45 Mins
Makes 1 loaf cake, serving 12

Our butter cake meets classic lemon meringue pie. We used a loaf pan to change the shape of the cake—a simple twist that dramatically alters the presentation.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar and 1/2 cup butter until creamy. Crack eggs into a small dish (do not beat) and add vanilla. Add eggs to the butter mixture 1 at a time, scraping down the inside of the bowl as needed. Beat in flour mixture and milk in alternating batches, starting and ending with the flour and making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir zest into batter.

Step 2

Butter and flour a 5- by 9-in. loaf pan and pour in batter.

Step 3

Bake 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes, then invert cake onto a rack. Remove pan and let cake cool to room temperature, at least 40 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, make lemon curd: In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, melt butter with lemon juice over high heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and yolks. Slowly whisk hot lemon butter into egg mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Pour mixture back into saucepan and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is very thick, 5 to 8 minutes.

Step 5

Transfer lemon curd to a glass or plastic container. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the top of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Step 6

Make meringue: Whisk whites and sugar together in a medium metal bowl. Set over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar feels dissolved, about 2 minutes.

Step 7

Scrape whites into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on high speed until light and fluffy and the side of the bowl feels cool to the touch, about 2 minutes.

Step 8

Assemble cake: Preheat broiler, positioning oven rack about 7 in. from the heat source. Using a serrated knife, trim brown exterior from sides and top of cake. Slice cake horizontally into 3 even layers.

Step 9

Place 1 cake layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread with half the lemon curd mixture. Repeat with second layer and remaining curd. Top with last layer. Using a spatula, cover the entire cake with the meringue.

Step 10

Broil cake just until top is golden brown, being careful not to burn it, about 1 minute. Using 2 large pancake turners (sliding 1 under each side of cake), transfer cake to a serving plate.

Step 11


Ratings & Reviews

jayess99's Review

April 20, 2014

Dianalee27's Review

December 19, 2013

westkayla1221's Review

March 19, 2013

ShifazaChicky's Review

August 13, 2012
Im loving this recipe! It was perfect, and easy. I made this few weeks ago. It wasn't that dry as i expected from the comments. Im making this again! :)

CakeMaster's Review

May 31, 2012
This cake was dry, flat, and disgusting, the only part that tasted fine was the lemon filling. The meringue never fluffed.. you sure you don't need cream of tatar? I am sorry but this cake didn't look anything like the picture and you should maybe double check what you posted .. wasted money on the ingredients > , > you shouldn't lie to people.

RobinIAM's Review

May 25, 2011
I agree that the cake was a bit dry, but only on the second day. Maybe because it has to be cut. It was fabulous on the first day! It is really cute and worth any extra effort. It looks great and is not too much cake to have around. I kept cooking the curd until it was really heavy and did not have a problem with it squishing.

danieleb56's Review

September 01, 2010
Growing up my childhood favorite was a tri-layered lemon meringue cake my mother made me when I was a little guy. Recently I got the urge for the cake while family was visiting and stumbled across this recipe. Granted its not quite the same as my mothers passed down recipe but the closest to it. I prepared the cake while my sister was visiting town, the cake was delicious, except the cake bread itself was far to dry. Not to be outdone I remade the cake remembering a tip I learned long ago. I made the cake a week later for a friends birthday however this time I added 1/4 cup mayo to the wet mix. (In doing so with mayo or sour cream makes your cake moist however there is NO taste in the cake whatsoever) the cake exceeded my expectations and was a killer. If your a lover of lemon, especially meringue, make this cake with the tip provided and you will not be let down.

Judester's Review

June 01, 2009
A lover of lemon, I couldn't resist. I made exactly to the recipe. The cake baking time required an additional 14 minutes. The cake flavor was good, only a bit crumbly/dry. The curd excellent; the meringue that concerned me at first was great. I put the cake & filling together keeping it in the refrigerator until after dinner to add the meringue. For a special occasion, it is too much last minute prep. The curd filling was softer than the image as the weight of the cake allowed it to squish slightly. I didn't trim the top flat, why waste cake but that small amount of weight shouldn't have made a difference. My husband loved it having two slices. It is just as good the next day. I might make it again trimming the top layer when I tire of lemon meringue pie.