Lemon Meringue Cake for Mother’s Day – How-to Video: piping roses

Piped Meringue Roses | ZoeBakes | Photo by Zoë François

These meringue roses remind me of fine porcelain china, dainty and ultra feminine. Perfect on an occasion that requires something spectacular, even a bit over-the-top. Mother’s Day is one such time. It is the day when we give thanks to the women who raised us. I have been blessed with more than my fair share of extraordinary women, who have influenced how I walk through this world. They have shown me great generosity, shared their wisdom and loved me unconditionally. I only hope to possess these same qualities as I now raise my own children. I wanted to create something as unique and beautiful as these women, to reflect my deep appreciation, so lemon meringue cake it is.

Due to too many miles I can’t be with my mom on Mother’s Day, but if I were, this is the cake I would present to her. She would love the tart layers of lemon sponge cake and lemon curd, balanced with the sweet meringue icing; to toast or not to toast is the question? Who am I kidding, I always toast, if for no other reason, I love my blow torch.

Lemon Meringue Cake

Sponge cake:

1 cup cake flour, sifted 3 times

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon zest of lemon

5 large eggs, room temperature

Lemon Curd:

6 large egg yolks

1 cup sugar

¾ cup lemon juice

pinch salt

zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2/3 cup raspberry jam


1 cup egg whites

2 cups sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

pinch salt

Baking the Lemon Sponge:

Preheat oven to 350°F, with rack in center of the oven. Line a Baking Sheet with parchment paper and grease the paper.

Beat the sugar, zest, and eggs in a stand mixer using the whip attachment, on high speed for about 5 minutes. The eggs will be light in color and very thick.

Sift the flour over the egg mixture and fold it in carefully with a rubber spatula.

Pour into the prepared pan and quickly spread it out evenly.

Lemon sheet tray cake | ZoeBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

To make the Lemon Curd:

In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks and sugar. Whisk in the lemon juice, salt and zest. Place the bowl over a medium sized sauce pot that has an inch of simmering water in it. Using a tempered rubber spatula stir the lemon mixture over the heat until it thickens. This can take 5 to 10 minutes. As the lemon curd thickens it should cling to the rubber spatula. It will be thick like a pudding.

Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Strain the curd into a container and cover with plastic. Put in the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until the curd is cold but not frozen. Remove and place in refrigerator until ready to use. It will be good for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

To assemble the cake:

Lemon cake topped with raspberry preserves and lemon curd | ZoeBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Cut the cake in 3 equal pieces along the long side of the cake. Place one layer of the cake on a platter. Spread 1/3 cup preserves on the cake, followed by 1/3 cup lemon curd. Repeat with the next layer of cake, preserves and lemon curd.

Peeling parchment paper off of lemon cake | ZoeBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Finally, top with the last layer of cake.

To make the meringue:

How to make meringue | ZoeBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Whisk together the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Rest the bowl over a pot of simmering water to form a double boiler.

Checking the graininess of egg whites for meringue | ZoeBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Scrape down the sides of the bowl so that all the sugar is off the sides of the bowl. Continue to stir the mixture until all the sugar is melted into the eggs and you no longer feel any graininess when rubbed between your fingers, about 3-5 minutes.

Meringue peaks | ZoeBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Place the bowl onto your mixer, add the vanilla, whisk on high speed until the meringue is thick and glossy and the bowl is just warmer than room temperature, about 8 minutes.

Here is the equipment you will need to decorate the cake:

Disposable 16-Inch Decorating Bags

Large Rose Decorating Tip 128

Extra Large Flower Nail – this is to pipe the rose on

Large Leaf Tip

Kitchen Shears

Watch my short video to see how to create the meringue roses:

To decorate the base of the cake:

Piping Roses on Lemon Meringue Cake | ZoeBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Use a large rose tip, to make the flowers and to pipe the striped base.  Starting at the top edge of the cake with the narrow end of the rose tip facing up, pipe a continuous spiral all the way down the cake, being careful to overlap the previous stripe.

Lemon Meringue Cake with Piped Roses | ZoeBakes | Photo by Zoë François

You can leave the meringue pristine and white.

Torching Meringue Roses on Lemon Meringue Cake | ZoeBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Or, you can toast the meringue with a Self-Igniting Blow Torch, which gives it more flavor and the drama of the burnt edges.

Toasted Meringue Roses | ZoeBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Either way you and your mother will love it!

Lemon Meringue Cake | ZoeBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Here is a version I did for the Cooking Channel. It is made in 8-inch round cake pans.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Lemon Meringue Cake | ZoeBakes | Photo by Zoë François

If there is any cake left over, just stick a few skewers in the cake and then drape plastic wrap over them, this way you will not destroy the piped flowers.

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59 thoughts to “Lemon Meringue Cake for Mother’s Day – How-to Video: piping roses”

  1. What a nice way to decorate a cake!!! I always make swirls or something like them, but the roses are so much better…so elegant…

  2. Also my mum lives far away, and she would love bot the lemon flavour and the over-the-top gorgeous presentation. I need to bake this for her next time. In the meanwhile, I fear I’ll have to practise a lot making roses 😉

  3. how far in advance can you make the meringue roses? We are having a brunch at work on Sunday. I would need to make decorate the cake Saturday night. How well will it hold up?

    1. Hi Laura,

      The Swiss meringue holds up very well. I would make the cake and decorate on Saturday, then torch it on Sunday!

      Enjoy, Zoë

  4. Oh my this is fabulous. LOVE the fillings in the cake! I’ve been wanting to try my hand at piping some kind of flower and I chicken out every time, so thanks for the tutorial, Zoe. Lovely, lovely, lovely 🙂

  5. Gorgeous cake, Zoë! Ever since you posted the icing roses I’ve been wanting to practice my piping skills. I thought the first picture looked great but then fell in love with the torched roses 🙂
    Happy Mother’s day!

    1. Hi Sandy,

      The alternative is to stick it under the broiler for a few minutes. If you attempt this, be very careful not to go too far and the cake will need to be on a platter that can handle that kind of intense heat.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. Hi, Zoe.

    I really liked the video included in this post. I am such a visual learner and seeing your demonstration helped me to really understand the process and feel like I can do this too — once I get the proper tools!

    I hope that you will add more video content both to new and previous posts (e.g., making the lattice for the jam tarts, putting together the Blueberry-Lemon Curd Ring).

  7. I have seen this style roses popping up every where lately. They are just so beautiful! I have been really nervous to try them…but your video makes it looks so easy! Thank you for the awesome tutorial and I can’t wait to try it out!

  8. What size sheet pan do you use and does it have to be a certain depth? Can you make the cake in rounds or any other size with your recipe and then cut and layer it with the filling?

    1. Hi Angie,

      I have now included the size of the sheet pan to the recipe. I also put a link to a version I did for the Cooking Channel that uses 8-inch round cake pans.

      Thank you for the question! Zoë

    1. Hi Snippet of Thyme,

      Not sure what happened, but I think the video is back up and running!

      Thanks, enjoy the cake! Zoë

  9. The directions say to add the salt in the first meringue step, then again when the mixer is used. If it makes a difference, which is correct? Can’t wait to make this for Mother’s Day!

  10. Zoe, this is an amazing blog site (my most favourite one) and this cake is stupendous! Any mother would be tickled pink and very proud to receive such a wonderful cake. You have done bread books but do you have any plans to do a dessert book? I would be in line to buy it first day out and send copies to all my cooking friends. Happy Mother’s Day to you – enjoy those boys everyday!

  11. Hi Zoe
    You’re right…I would love this cake! Thank you for all that you do, all that you are, and thank you for being my daughter. I feel truly blessed. Love, Mom

  12. I have to try this!!! So glad I came across your site. I can make this gluten free, and with meringue roses, I can make BEAUTIFUL gluten free decorated desserts now!

  13. I made this sponge cake and it came out flatter than a pancake. I followed the recipe to a T. What could have gone wrong? Could humidity have something to do with it?
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    1. Hi Corinna,

      My apologies, I took one look at the recipe and knew what your issue was. I forgot to write what kind of flour in the recipe. You need to use cake flour or it will be much too dense. I will do a post on making a sponge/genoise, it can take a bit of finesse, but given the right technique and the right list of ingredients it will go together well.

      Thank you for letting me know! Zoë

  14. Hi Zoe,
    The cake and the meringue roses are wonderful. I tried to make one for my daughter’s birthday. The sponge cake, meringue were very successful but I couldn’t be able to manuplate the roses as beautiful as yours, altough I watched the video several times. So I decided to decorate the cake with only four roses that I could able to resemble a flower. If there is a hint ,or if there is a more simple method for it, would you please describe ?

  15. Thanks so much Zoe. I look forward to learning more about the sponge/genoise. I’m going to try this again with cake flour.

  16. Hi Zoe,

    Thanks a lot for the video tutorial… and loved the cake decorating video series too.. Can we use Buttercream frosting (with butter and icing sugar) to make these roses?


  17. Hi Zoe,

    Just found out the post of piping roses with buttercream frosting.. and thanks again … Thanks for explaining in such a way that even a newbie like me can understand..


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