Kitchen Tips

The Easter Dessert That's Even Better Than Cadbury Mini Eggs (Yes, Really)

Our lemon meringue trifle tastes better the longer it sits — it's the perfect make-ahead treat.

Lemon meringue trifle recipe in a large trifle bowl topped with candied lemon peel.

We’ve upped the decadence factor in this trifle by alternating layers of limoncello-soaked ladyfingers, lemon curd and whipped meringue. Photo, Roberto Caruso.

We’re throwing down the gauntlet: You know those Cadbury Mini Eggs—the Easter candy you just can’t quit—bites of pastel covered, mini milk-chocolate coated in crunchy, sugary nirvana? Our lemon meringue trifle is better.

First off, this dessert is stunningly beautiful and will make you look like a baking superstar (without requiring skills trickier than whisking). Secondly, if you’re looking to kick the Mini Egg addiction (always, right?), these golden-toasted swirls of meringue, layers of lemon curd, limoncello-soaked lady fingers, and even more meringue are definitely the answer.

What Makes Our Trifle The Perfect Easter Dessert?

1. It’s made ahead of time.

2. There’s no need to use the oven.

3. It tastes better the longer it sits.

4. You don’t need fancy tools — or a trifle bowl — to make it. (Any large glass bowl will do.)

5. This simple, vivid combination of flavours is an awesome sight to behold, and even better to taste.

How Do You Make Trifle?

It’s all about the layers. For this lemon trifle recipe, we began with a layer of limoncello-soaked lady fingers (the dry, store bought biscuits soak up lots of flavour), alternating with homemade lemon curd and whipped vanilla meringue. Toast the swirly meringue crown gets with a kitchen torch (this part is optional) just before serving for a real wow.

Lemon meringue trifle recipeLemon Meringue Trifle

No Kitchen Torch? No Problem

A show-stopping dessert doesn’t need all the bells and whistles to win over guests. So, if you don’t have a kitchen torch (or time to make candied lemon peel), don’t sweat it. Hot tip: You can add some toasty highlights with a barbecue lighter (but it won’t work as quickly as a torch).

And you can buy candied lemon peel — we won’t tell. Find it in specialty stores or online. But if you want to try making it yourself, here’s an easy-to-follow candied lemon peel recipe.

How Far Ahead Of Time Can You Make It?

This towering Easter trifle can sit in the fridge at least 8 hours (and up to 24), so you can make it well ahead of dinner, even the night before, and let the flavours meld together and work their magic. The trifle actually improves as it sits and the ladyfingers soften.

Can I make the trifle to serve smaller parties?

Given the circumstances today, it’s unlikely anyone is hosting a large gathering for Easter. Luckily, our lemon trifle recipe is easily halved, and can be made in a smaller vessel like a baking dish or 9×5-in. loaf pan, or even individual serving dishes. Simply cut the lady fingers into smaller pieces to fit in your dish, and layer as per the recipe. (Depending on the depth of your dish, you may only be able to get a single layer, but it will still be delicious.) A half recipe should comfortably serve 8 portions, so if you’re making this for 4 people, you’ll have enough for dessert AND dessert leftovers for the next day!

Watch: How To Decorate A Beautiful Easter Table