Raspberry Lemon Meringue Trifle + Visa Card Giveaway

Thank you to Sara Lee Desserts for sponsoring this post!

Raspberry Lemon Meringue Trifle | SugarHero.com
Happy National Pound Cake Day!

…wait, what? You didn’t know it was National Pound Cake Day? You weren’t even planning on celebrating with any sort of pound cake today? What are you going to tell me next—that you didn’t even put up your pound cake tree or hang your pound cake stockings? But surely you were going to sing a few pound cake carols…right? No? For heaven’s sake. You are so lucky you have me in your life to remind you of these important holidays!

Raspberry Lemon Meringue Trifle | SugarHero.com

Okay, real talk. It’s possible that National Pound Cake Day is not a legitimate, nationally recognized holiday. (Yet.) But as we all know, I’m a sucker for food-themed days—any excuse to make a special dessert is okay by me. So when Sara Lee Desserts contacted me and asked if I would create a recipe using their pound cakes for the soon-to-be-globally-recognized National Pound Cake Day, I said heck yes! (And don’t worry, there’s a little something in it for you too—check the giveaway at the bottom of the post!)

Raspberry Lemon Meringue Trifle | SugarHero.com

As longtime readers know, I’m a trifle nut. Just call me TrifleHero! I’m always trying to think of ways to change up the basic trifle equation of cake cubes+squishy stuff+fruity bits. I’ve had the idea of a vertical trifle bouncing around my head for a few months now, so this seemed like the perfect time to experiment. This sort of trifle design, with strips of cake running vertically along the sides of the bowl, requires a cake that is fairly sturdy and won’t collapse during assembly. Hello, pound cake? That’s your cue.

I slathered the pound cake slices with homemade lemon curd, raspberry jam, and vanilla meringue, to give it a sunny, summery flavor, even in the dead of winter. And atop the trifle? What else but a billowing cloud of fluffy vanilla meringue, torched on top for the perfect toasted marshmallow flavor! No matter what the question is, I’m pretty sure the answer is always “toasted meringue.”

How to Make Raspberry Lemon Meringue Trifle | SugarHero.com

More real talk. This trifle construction was a learning process! I figured out a good method by the end, but there were some missteps in the beginning, and even now, the cake slices that aren’t perfectly straight make my left eye twitch. (Pro tip: perfectionists should not make desserts that require straight edges.) But you, dear reader, can learn from my mistakes, and follow this helpful photo tutorial and the instructions below. Your dessert will be a pinnacle of 90-degree angles and straight lines. Rulers, protractors, and geometry geeks alike will look at it and marvel.

Getting your trifle slices perfectly vertical is beside the point, though, when the flavor is so good! There is something sublime about the combination of moist pound cake, tart lemon curd, fruity jam, and sweet, vanilla-scented meringue. It’s like the best parts of a cake and a lemon meringue pie got together and had a baby, and although I would not normally encourage you to eat a baby, I’m going to make an exception this time because this is truly a delicious dessert.

Raspberry Lemon Meringue Trifle | SugarHero.com

But it’s not just rulers and trifle bowls and mythical cake/pie babies around here. Let’s talk about what you’re getting out of National Pound Cake Day! Sara Lee Desserts is offering one SugarHero reader a $50 Visa gift card and 2 free product coupons—think of the trifle you could make with that! Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. (Folks reading this in email or a feed reader will probably have to visit the page to use it.)

Sara Lee will also be featuring lots of other pound cake recipes and giveaways during the day, so be sure to check out their pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Raspberry Lemon Meringue Trifle
Prep time
Total time
This giant trifle is perfect for feeding a crowd! Full of moist pound cake, tart lemon curd, fruity jam, and soft vanilla meringue, everyone is sure to love it! Please see the notes below regarding serving size, serving dishes, advice for making it in advance, and more.
Serves: 20-24
  • Six 1-lb Sara Lee Pound Cakes, from the freezer section
  • 1 1-lb jar raspberry jam
  • 4 cups lemon curd (recipe below, or can use purchased curd)
  • 8 cups meringue (recipe below)
  • Fresh raspberries and lemon zest, for decorating (optional)
For the lemon curd:
  • 1 packet (2½ tsp) unflavored gelatin powder
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the Meringue:
  • 8 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 14 oz (2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
To Make the Curd:
  1. Make the curd at least 4 hours in advance. (The curd can be made up to a week in advance and kept in the refrigerator until ready to use.) In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and cold water and whisk together. Set aside to let the gelatin absorb the water while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  2. Fill the bottom of a double boiler (or a regular saucepan) with about an inch of water and bring it to a simmer on the stovetop. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until the mixture is light and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs and yolks, and beat for 1 minute more. Add the lemon juice and mix—at this point the mixture will look curdled.
  3. Pour the liquid into the top of a double boiler or a bowl that fits snugly over your saucepan. (I actually like to use the metal mixing bowl that goes on my stand mixer so I’m not dirtying too many dishes.) Cook the mixture over the simmering water, whisking frequently, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. If you want to use a candy thermometer, cook the curd until it reaches 175 degrees F.
  4. Once the curd thickens, remove the pan from the heat and add the gelatin. Whisk until the gelatin liquefies and everything is well-mixed. Pour the curd through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl to remove any bits of cooked egg. Press a layer of cling wrap directly on top of the curd, and refrigerate it until it is chilled and thick.
To Make the Meringue:
  1. Make the meringue right before you’re ready to assemble the trifle. Combine the egg whites and the granulated sugar in the bowl of a large stand mixer, and whisk them together. Choose a small saucepan that lets you fit the base of the stand mixer snugly into the top of the saucepan—this is your makeshift hot water bath. (Alternately, you can use a different bowl or an actual bain marie and then transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl once it’s heated.) Add an inch of water to the bottom of the saucepan, and bring the water to a simmer.
  2. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure that the bottom isn’t in contact with the water, and heat the egg white mixture. Whisk frequently so that the egg whites don’t cook. Continue to heat the whites until they are hot to the touch, and when you rub a bit between your fingers, you don’t feel any grittiness from the sugar. Once the whites are hot, transfer the mixing bowl to your mixer and fit it with a whisk attachment.
  3. Beat the whites on medium-high speed until they are no longer warm, and they are shiny, white, voluminous, and hold stiff peaks when you remove the whisk. Add the vanilla extract and salt and whisk until well-incorporated. Use immediately.
To Assemble the Trifle:
  1. Stand a pound cake upright in your trifle bowl, and cut off any cake the extends past the top of the bowl. Use this cake as a guide, and trim the other cakes to the same height. Keep the trimmings for a later use. Use a large sharp serrated knife to cut the pound cakes horizontally into thin slices, less than ½-inch thick. Spread a slice with a thick layer of lemon curd, then spread a second slice with a layer of raspberry jam. Spread a third slice with meringue. Stack the 3 slices on top of each other, and cut them in half lengthwise so you have two long, thin sandwiches of cake and filling.
  2. Stand the cake slices with the cut sides against the edge, as pictured. Press the layers together firmly. Continue to make small “sandwiches” of strips of cake and filling, and press them together around the edge of the trifle bowl. If your trifle bowl sides are at a slight angle, you might find it helpful to cut a diagonal piece occasionally and wedge it between some of the pieces to give them stability. Repeat until your cake goes all the way around the bowl.
  3. Crumble the remaining cake, including the trimmings from the first step, into chunks, and spread a layer of cake pieces in the bottom of the bowl. Spread lemon curd on top of the cake, then top it with more cake, then layers of jam, cake, meringue, cake, et cetera, until the center of the trifle is filled.
  4. Spread the remaining meringue on top of the trifle and spread it all the way out to the edges. Use the back of a spoon to add decorative swirls. If you have a kitchen torch, you can toast the top of the meringue if you’d like. Finish with fresh raspberries and strips of lemon zest.
This recipe makes a large 24-cup trifle that will serve about 20-24 people. It can be easily halved or cut in third if you want to make a smaller portion. The vertical layering will work best if you have a straight-sided trifle dish—if you are using a regular curved bowl, it will be difficult, and I recommend just layering cubes of pound cake as you would a normal trifle.

The meringue topping has the best texture if eaten within a few hours of assembling this dessert. If you want to prepare it a day or two in advance, consider replacing the meringue with whipped cream instead. Or you could omit the meringue from the trifle layers and just layer the cake with lemon curd and jam, which will help it keep for several days. Then make a half batch of meringue topping, and add it on top immediately before serving.


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Sara Lee Desserts, who asked me to create a recipe featuring their product. I received compensation for this post, and they also provided the giveaway prize. My opinions are my own, and this recipe is one I would be proud to post with or without sponsorship! For more information, see my Affiliate and Advertising Policy.

114 Responses to Raspberry Lemon Meringue Trifle + Visa Card Giveaway
  1. Caley says:

    Beautiful trifle! I’m crazy for anything lemon, and raspberry is wonderful too!

  2. I love Sara Lee pound cakes! My dad and I used to eat these as our breakfast… =O

  3. what a beautiful dessert! I didn’t know that it was national pound cake day, but it wouldn’t have mattered because I don’t think I could have come up with something this awesome.

  4. Sarah Zuckerman says:

    Beautiful toasted topping!!

  5. Mary Happymommy says:

    Pound cake sounds great right about now.

  6. Leah says:

    Looks delicious!! I’ve never seen a vertical trifle like that before – it’s lovely!

  7. Melissa M says:

    YUM! Love Sara Lee. Thanks for a great giveaway!

  8. Erin Hurt says:

    Super excited about a dairy free trifle! I never thought about using meringue. Can’t wait to try it.

  9. Jon would LOVE this. Raspberries are his all-time favorite.

  10. stephanie says:

    Okay now, I have to say. Your posts amaze me. You are always thinking outside of the box. I’m not saying this to win, I swear, I think I have posted this before, but I don’t know why you are not #1 out there. (I am a big fan of your posts on about.com, too.) ANYWAY, sorry, I think I just got myself out of the running and that’s fine. Haha, seriously though.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Are you kidding?! I want to enter you in the running, like, twenty times! Thank you so much, Stephanie! Your words brought a huge smile to my face and I so appreciate this comment. Sometimes writing a blog feels like typing out into a void, and it is so wonderful to hear from people who enjoy the work. So, thank you!

  11. Julie says:

    this recipe looks scrumptious
    thanks for the giveaway

  12. karen says:

    What a gorgeous dessert! Would be perfect for springtime brunch

  13. Harmony B says:

    SO happy I found your site, great giveaway and amazing recipes

  14. Tricia says:

    What a beautiful trifle…thanks for all the work you put into your blog.

  15. Betsy Barnes says:

    This is such a beautiful trifle! I need to get on these trifle bowls to really show off a lovely recipe like this! :)

  16. This looks so impressive girl! And the flavor combo ahhh I’m so drooling here.
    Those pound cakes look delicious – I’d never have told they were storebought. I mean, look at that lovely texture! xxx

    • Elizabeth says:

      I know! You know I’m usually a homemade girl, but seriously, these babies stood up to days of refrigeration and were still so moist, not dry at all. Thanks so much, Consuelo!

  17. Kelly D says:

    I always enjoy Sara Lee products.

  18. Nicole says:

    Poundcake and strawberries…. are a classic favorite of mine

  19. Joan T says:

    That looks beautiful (and delicious)!

  20. tcarolinep says:

    I love Sara Lee pound cake, would like to make Coffee Toffee Mocha Crunch Cake!

  21. wow this looks simply amazing and so nomnom. I might have to try and make this now :)

  22. Kim Henrichs says:

    What a smart, fun recipe! That looks amazing!!

  23. Donnaree says:

    This looks yummy!

  24. Rosie says:

    I love Sara Lee – the trifle looks amazing!
    rose.marie447 at g mail dot com

  25. Meghan Godfrey says:

    That look amazingly delicious- as does all of your desserts!

  26. Yum! This would make a perfectly springy Easter brunch dessert, huh? I’m a sucker for lemon curd, and – surprizingly enough – Sara Lee pound cake. Love the eye-twitching vertical lines too!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Yes, it’s totally brunch-able! I actually want to make trifle for basically every meal, but I agree it’s particularly suited for brunching. :) Thanks Sara!

  27. Constance Felten says:

    I used to love Sara Lee’s chocolate pound cake with a chocolate swirl which we would buy at the factory outlet store in Deerfield, Illinois. This trifle looks fabulous and I will probably make it for my next family gathering.

    • Elizabeth says:

      That sounds awesome! I’ve never seen that product–will have to keep an eye out for it, if it’s still around!

  28. Sam Adler says:

    This looks awesome! cant wait to try, yum!!

  29. Norma says:

    this is the prettiest, easy to make trifle ever. This will make it’s way to my kitchen soon.

  30. Lisa says:

    I’d love to win! I have such a sweet tooth

  31. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    That looks insanely amazing! Thank you for the giveaway!

  32. David says:

    I would like to make the Peanut Butter Cup Pound Cake Whoopie Pies recipe that they have on the Sara Lee website.

  33. perla lopez says:

    this looks so good you always make me hungry even when I’m full!

  34. Thomas Murphy says:

    Looks good! Thanks for the giveaway.

  35. Tabathia B says:

    I would make the Chocolate Pound Cake Bites

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  36. meredith says:

    your recipe looks yummy

  37. Sara says:

    What a delightful way to celebrate Pound Cake Day!

  38. D Schmidt says:

    I would make a sherry trifle! Using the pound cake would make the process so much quicker and of course delicious ;)

  39. Margot C says:

    What a lovely trifle! I am afraid that my own presentation is rarely that nice. We do like a pound cake with real whipped cream and strawberries at our house though!

  40. heather says:

    I would love to win this one!

  41. Milena says:

    I have to leave a joke for this occasion, because it’s really a great joke (you’ll groan at the end):

    After several harrowing days crawling through a desert, a man was delighted to discover that he had finally reached the outskirts of civilization. There were four stalls dotted along a roadside, and upon reaching the first one, the man excitedly requested: ‘Water! Water!’
    The guy running the first stall said: ‘Sorry mate. All I’ve got is custard.’ Puzzled, the man crawled on over to the second stall. ‘Please – water’, he gasped. However the guy on the second stall said: ‘No water, only jelly’. On he went to the third stall, and was again disappointed as the third guy told him the only thing he had to offer was cream.
    Nearing the end of his life, the exhausted and dehydrated man approached the final stall. ‘Please, good man, I need water,’ he said warily. Imagine his misery when the guy at the fourth stall said: ‘Sorry, mate, I’ve only got sponge fingers.’
    ‘Listen,’ said our poor hero, now angry. ‘All I want is a drop of water. Not jelly, not custard, or cream or sponge fingers. Water. What is the world coming to? This is the most curious thing I’ve ever experienced.’
    ‘Yes,’ agreed the guy on the fourth stall. ‘It is a trifle bazaar.’

    (This joke was found in the comments section of the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/poll/2009/dec/21/perfect-trifle-jelly)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Milena, I love that! I was just talking to my husband the other day about how I never remember jokes and I need, like, a go-to joke or something. Ding ding ding! This one, with its groaner of a punchline and dessert-themed humor, is perfect! Thanks so much for commenting, this made me laugh!

  42. You had me at “slathered” and “lemon curd.” Also, I like your arm freckles.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Ha! I don’t know why that made me laugh so much, but it totally did. My arm freckles and I are blushing. Thanks Karen!

  43. amy stonger says:

    That looks so delicious. I’m wondering how difficult it is to make?

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Amy, The components are easy to make. The assembly is a little time-consuming, so if you’re worried about it, you could just cut the pound cake into cubes and layer the ingredients in the bowl instead of worrying about the vertical cake stripes. Still tastes just as awesome!

  44. T. says:

    Looks so good!

  45. jada1913 says:

    This looks great! I want to try it.

  46. Wild Orchid says:

    That trifle looks delicious!

    Entered the rafflecopter as “Wild orchid”

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  47. Janet W. says:

    I would love to make a Key Lime Trifle with this pound cake! Pound cake is just so delicious!

  48. That is one beautiful trifle! And I was trying to focus on everything you were saying but when you said “pound cake tree” my mind wandered and I began to daydream.

    Great recipe though. Looks perfect for a party or get together.

  49. Jenny says:

    Never would have thought of doing a vertical trifle!

  50. Girl, you should win a award with that photo of this trifle because it just looks all kinds of beautiful! SWOOOON!

  51. Linda K. says:

    Who cares about crooked lines in a trifle? It looks awesome.

  52. Dar says:

    This dessert looks amazing. Will have to try it for Easter.

  53. Emily says:

    Thank you, for sharing your recipe with the internet! I will definitely have to try this some time! It looks delicious!
    -Sincerely Emily

  54. Bert says:

    This looks delicious and not too complicated to make. Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway!

  55. This is stunning! I love that you made it vertical. So creative and visually appealing!

  56. Gloria R, says:

    I saw this elegant recipe and definitely had to pin it under “Just Desserts”. Now I have to go in and change my cover picture. Who could resist checking it out and then think “Wow, I could make that and impress the heck out of them all”! Good job! :)

  57. Kim D. says:

    I love Sara Lee pound cake and thank you for the giveaway!

  58. Lara says:

    I found a trifle bowl when helping my grandmother clean her linen closet! I think this needs to happen in her trifle bowl!

  59. Elena says:

    Looks delicious! Thank you for the giveaway!!

  60. Thanks for the great giveaway!!!

  61. Sarah Hall says:

    What a beautiful trifle. My family loves them so I will have to make this one for them.

  62. Isn’t it a trifle that Rachel tries to make on that episode of Friends, but she puts meat in it? This one looks so much better than one with meat. ;) But for real, this is GORGEOUS and it looks perfectly perfect in every way to me! You make the MOST creative desserts, and you are a total artist!

  63. Carolsue says:

    Wow, you are really clever to make such a beautiful dessert! Perfect for Easter!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  64. emily says:


  65. Susan Christy says:

    I’ve got to look for a peanut butter and chocolate trifle using pound cake…

  66. Heather B says:

    Oh my! This is the most delicious trifle I have ever seen! I am drooling!

  67. Birdiebee says:

    This recipe looks wonderful! Thank you for the giveaway.

    birdiebee52 (at) gmail (dot) com

  68. Debbie Jackson says:

    I am trying this for Easter. Thanks.

  69. I’m drooling. I love a good poundcake! I love that you made this a vertical trifle!

  70. Alaine says:

    yum!! thanks for the chance to win.

  71. Tara says:

    Yummy! This looks delicious!

  72. Amanda B says:

    I love Sara Lee! It brings back memories of family get togethers with my grandma.

  73. Nikki says:

    that looks so pretty!!

  74. Annie Y says:

    Wow! I love the topping~
    Especially the look of that meringue!

  75. Barb says:

    looks nice

  76. Tina M says:

    Thank you for the giveaway and I love your trifle bowls, looks yummy.

  77. Allison Downes says:

    This looks so yummy! I would love to win and make this.

    Thanks for the nice giveaway!

  78. Patricia Wojnar Crowley says:

    That looks delicious…I have yet to attempt a trifle!

  79. Johlene says:

    Oh wow look at all the comments you got on this 1!!! I love that it´s vertical.. super original and it looks so delicious!! Happy weekend with your boys :-) Xx

  80. Danguole says:

    Crooked? I don’t see anything crooked. I only see stuff I want in my belly immediately!

  81. This trifle is gorgeous! I will say it looks like a pain to assemble…but I’m sure the taste is totally worth it ;) Love lemon curd!

  82. Stacey says:

    Love the trifle.

  83. Alyssa says:

    This looks like just what I need to celebrate now that the temperature has gone above freezing! Since there are only 2 of us, when I come across a trifle recipe, I cut the recipe down and make individual trifles in glass-glasses. But I love the dramatic look of your vertical, full size trifle!

    • Elizabeth says:

      I love individual trifles! We shared this with about 8 friends since it makes such a huge portion–your idea to divide the recipe is a great one!

  84. Jamie says:

    The posts and this blog are amazing!


  85. Julie says:

    The post is making my mouth water! The dishes look delicious

  86. Kellie Rose Wilson says:

    one of the BEST looking desserts I’ve seen! JUST WOW!

  87. Norma says:

    What a beautiful dessert!

  88. latanya says:

    This is very creative and it looks yummy!

  89. Birdie Skolfield says:

    I would love to make this looks simple enough Im tring this tomm. for a family event I printed the recipe wish me luck !!!

  90. mita says:

    Looks yum, I want to try it.

  91. Elizabeth! This is insanely beautiful! I love it.

  92. Erica Best says:

    i love pound cake

  93. Amy Laws says:

    This looks so good!! Yummmy!!

  94. Laura J says:

    Oh that looks so good! I am always making things like this to take to our family functions! Oh they would love this one! Oh…cant wait to make it! YUM

  95. Kendra says:

    These desserts look yummy. They will satisfy my sweet tooth.

  96. Sharon M says:

    I don’t know how I’ve only just found your fabulous blog! Catching up on all your yummy recipes :)

  97. Angela M says:

    This trifle looks amazing… We always use Sara Lee pound cake with strawberries, so I can’t wait to try this :)

  98. Leidy says:

    Your recipe looks so delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  99. I missed national pound cake day?! I need to buy a food calendar. ;) I think this is the prettiest trifle I’ve ever seen! I love the step by step instructions and photos! Gorgeous dessert!! It looks super yummy and refreshing. :)

  100. Laura L says:

    I’m a trifle girl myself so I’m glad I came upon this post and I signed up to follow your pins. I’ve never seen a trifle dessert verticle like this and will definitely have to try it (and the fact that it has raspberries too is an added bonus).

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Laura! From one trifle girl to another, I hope you love this one! Please let me know what you think if you give it a try!

  101. Stunning and super delicious dessert!

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