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Lemon on a Cloud

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This dreamy Lemon on a Cloud dessert will make all the citrus lovers in your life swoon! This cloud of meringue topped with lemon curd and whipped cream will have everyone clamoring for seconds!  This Lemon Pavlova was a specialty of my mom and one of my favorite childhood desserts!

Lemon Pavlova garnished with berries and cream on a white plate

Lemon on a Cloud

The BEST recipes tell a story. My mom was an excellent cook, and growing up, we wise-acre children didn’t always appreciate her gourmet dinner offerings. Moussaka for example. I’m pretty sure I went to bed hungry the first night that layered spiced lamb and eggplant dish appeared on our table.

But we did love when she made desserts. She’d often come home from bridge club with the latest recipe from one of her cohorts, eager to try it out on the family. This lemon on a cloud is one of those gems that’s etched in my memory.

Overhead view of Lemon on a Cloud on a platter

A Lemon Pavlova

We had a huge freezer down in the basement of my childhood home. Perfect for those times my parents purchased a side of beef or made a run to the Sara Lee outlet in Des Moines and came home with boxes and boxes of cheese danish.

My mom typically made a double batch of this lemon meringue dessert and popped one in said freezer. But as soon as we knew of its existence, my sisters and I would sneak down to the musty cellar with a knife and carve ourselves slivers of this citrus beauty. I’m certain our fingers were sticky and our sweet tooths satisfied before returning upstairs.

Years later, I tried to recreate my mom’s recipe, but I think her version had more of a lemon curd topping followed by Cool Whip. My family loved my creation, but I may have to hunt down the handwritten recipe card next time I’m back in Iowa. It was my first taste of what I later learned was a pavlova!

If you love lemon, try these lemon bar cookie cups from Barbara Bakes, these mini lemon cheesecakes, this lemon mascarpone layer cake or this lemon layer cake. Plus here are all my Dessert Recipes!

Lemon on a Cloud garnished with berries and cream on a white plate



Lemon on a Cloud

Lemon on a Cloud

A crisp meringue shell topped with lemon curd and cream

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Yield 8 servings


  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup whipping cream


  1. Preheat oven to 200ΒΊ. Beat egg whites in large bowl until foamy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until mixture is very stiff and glossy. Add lemon juice.
  2. Place parchment paper on baking sheet. Trace a 9 inch circle in middle of paper, then flip so that marks are on underside of paper. Pile meringue into center of circle, then spread to edges, building up perimeter of the meringue to make a shell. Alternatively, you can bake meringue in a grease 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 2 hours. Cool completely at room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, and lemon juice in saucepan. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and cool at room temperature, refrigerate until cold.
  4. Beat cream until stiff peaks form. Using same beaters, beat lemon filling until smooth. Fold 1/2 cup of the cream into lemon filling until blended, then pile into cooled meringue shell. Reserve the rest of the whipped cream in the refrigerator. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Top with remaining cream and berries to serve, if desired.


Total time is closer to 5 1/2 hours including cooling times.

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53 comments on “Lemon on a Cloud”

  1. Very pretty! I like that you called it a “cloud” and not snow which is a dirty word right now as they’re calling for more on Tuesday:@)

  2. Looks like a cloud of heavenly goodness to me. What a light dessert and perfect for summer too.

  3. What a beautiful name for a dessert! I love it! And it’s amazing that you can create something so fabulous with so few ingredients. I have to admit, though, moussaka is one of my favourite meals!

  4. Looks like a beautiful and tasty cloud to me! I also love pairing desserts with a sweeter white wine. your dessert and wine pairing look perfect!

  5. Love that this dessert can be made ahead and popped in the freezer. I will be making this one very soon!

  6. Liz,
    I love love love that you made a recipe that your mother used to make for you as a kid. . now wonder you are an excellent cook and baker! This Lemon on a Cloud is soooo beautiful .. and the meringue shell looks perfect!!

  7. This is so beautiful, Liz! It may be 9 degrees outside, but this lemony dessert feels very springy to me πŸ™‚

  8. A pavlova! Love everything about this. Did someone say lemon?

  9. What a wonderful story! I agree – the best dishes tell a story! This Lemon Cloud sounds delicious! I love a good dessert wine…actually, who am I kidding, I love any good wine! πŸ™‚

  10. I love citrus desserts, and this one is so elegant! Love that it uses ingredients that I have onhand in my kitchen all the time in Spring and Summer!!

  11. What a beautiful dessert – I can see why you’d sneak some extra bites! It’s funny: I used to do something similar as a kid. My mom would make toffee bars/squares every year around Christmas time, and when we lived in MI and WI, she would put them in tins and set them outside in the garage (since it was so cold). I was notorious for sneaking out into the garage and grabbing a square or two each time I did…and to this day even though I live in Florida, I have to put my toffee squares in the refrigerator so I can eat them cold, haha!).

  12. This dessert sounds perfect on this cold, snow flurry spring day. It will transform me to warmer weather and cool breezes like only citrus can. The white wines are great pairings for this! Mmmmm

  13. This looks absolutely amazing, Liz. Seriously, I want to just face plant into it right now. When it comes to desserts, lemon is one of my favourites (lemon meringue, lemon curd, lemon cheesecake), and this looks right up my street. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  14. So beautiful! I love everything you make! And that would be so cool if you could get the original recipe just to see how it looks handwritten! Joes mom gave me a box of old recipes from her family..they are so cool! Happy #SundaySupper πŸ™‚

  15. I love the title! Makes me want some right now! I love using lemon in desserts and I think this screams Sunday family dinner dessert! A perfect ending! I can’t wait to try your recipe!

  16. Liz, what a gorgeous dessert!!!!

  17. This sounds so lemony good, Liz! Perfect name for it!

  18. I have been looking for a recipe like this Liz! A friend of mine from England made pavlova for me one time and I loved it soooo much but never got the recipe. This is perfect!!

  19. Oh my. If there was ANY way you could teleport me one of these, I would pay good money for you to do so. This looks like heaven!!

  20. Wow, now that is gorgeous. And such a beautiful story in the intro, Liz xo

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