This divinely light Lemon Meringue Roulade is super-quick and easy to make. A dessert which is soft and pillowy on the inside, crisp on the outside and sweet yet tangy all at the same time. It’s naturally gluten free too.
Originally published 24th August 2015… Updated 10th June 2023
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The lightest Lemon Meringue Roulade in about 45 minutes!
If you think Lemon Meringue Roulade looks complicated to make… think again! Not only is it utterly delicious, but it’s brilliant in its simplicity and really easy to make.
Even better, it’s incredibly quick to create. It took me under 45 minutes, from start to finish (including the time to bake and cool the meringue). Ok… I’m relatively confident in the kitchen, but for a dessert that can turn heads and win hearts, it’s a great option in the shortest time for the greatest reward… The PERFECT dinner party dessert, yet speedy enough to finish off a Sunday lunch.
Plus it’s utterly delicious… Sweet, yet tangy… Soft and light… Fluffy as a cloud and perfectly moussey… On the outside it retains the wonderful crispness of baked sugar, giving a satisfying crunch. The pillowy meringue swirl is decadently inter-layered with citrussy whipped cream. Each heavenly mouthful melts forgivingly on the tastebuds, coating them in luxury and leaving you wanting to dip straight in for the next spoon…
The original Lemon Meringue Roulade appeared on the blog way back in 2015… a recipe tweaked from the lovely Adriana Rabinovich. But I’ve updated the post with some new photos and a recipe card as it’s way too good to keep to myself. Seriously… give it a try. It’s even naturally gluten free!
Ingredients to make Lemon Meringue Roulade
You don’t need many ingredients to make Lemon Meringue Roulade… The meringue is relatively standard and needs:
- Egg Whites – either fresh or from a pasteurised carton. However, to make the recipe as consistent as possible, I’ve given the total liquid weight of the whites I used (which came from (roughly) 3 UK large eggs).
- Caster Sugar (also known as superfine sugar in North America)
- A teaspoon of Corn Starch (UK Cornflour) and…
- a drop of White Wine Vinegar.
For the Lemon Cream Filling:
- Double Cream (or whipping cream, or heavy cream in North America)
- Lemon Curd – Either shop-bought or homemade. If you want to make it at home, I have a lovely recipe for Citrus Curd which is perfect (or just make the same recipe with lemons as the only fruit).
- Icing Sugar (confectioners/powdered sugar) – to dust.
- OPTIONAL Freeze-Dried Raspberry, Strawberry or Lingonberry Powder – to add a little extra fruitiness and contrasting pinkness.
- Edible Glitter for pzazz.
Equipment to make Lemon Meringue Roulade
Making Lemon Meringue Roulade, needs a few basic bits of equipment. But again, there’s nothing particularly complicated…
- A Swiss roll tin or low-sided baking tray, to bake the meringue. The one I used was about 25 cm x 37 cm (which is probably the maximum size you’ll get away with).
- Good quality non-stick Baking paper (parchment) – Used to fully line the baking tin; to flip the hot baked meringue; and to wrap it after initially rolling so that it ‘sets its shape’.
- Kitchen scales to weigh the ingredients.
- Mixing bowls and a mixing spoon/spatula.
- An electric whisk – either hand or stand!
- A palette knife for spreading (or an alternative flat knife)
- An oven and a fridge.
Is Lemon Meringue Roulade safe for people with Coeliac Disease?
One of the joys of Lemon Meringue Roulade is that it’s naturally gluten free, with no gluten-containing ingredients. So it’s the PERFECT safe dessert for Coeliacs (Celiacs). Nonetheless, it’s always a necessity for ‘allergy’ cooking to double-check labels to be sure there is no hidden gluten or risk from cross-contamination in the production process.
If new to label checking, my page Coeliac Disease + Food has more information.
Can I make it dairy free?
The basic meringue recipe is dairy free as well as gluten free. However, to make the whole dessert dairy free requires the lemon cream filling to be made with different ingredients. Both dairy cream and standard lemon curd are not safe for a dairy free diet, so need to be switched for safe alternatives.
In the UK, we now have access to Coconut Collaborative Plant-Based Whippable Double Cream… Which is AMAZING. It whips just like double cream and tastes as good (and definitely NOT coconutty). Or… you can use whipped coconut cream (although this is rarely as sturdy) or an alternative plant-based whippable cream.
You can make an egg-based lemon or Citrus Curd with dairy free block ‘butter’. Or alternatively, vegan lemon ‘curd’ is now available to buy. Equally, it is really easy to make (much easier than the egg version). I recommend the recipe from Domestic Gothess… And Glutarama also has a very simple version.
Tips for making Lemon Meringue Roulade – how to roll it up
Although making Meringue Roulade is pretty easy, it can be a little fiddly to roll. That’s the only bit that’s ‘tricky’. But if you follow these tips, it will definitely make it easier for you…
- Don’t overcook the meringue. It must be internally soft and mallowy enough to be flexible. It’s cooked when the top is just golden with a crust.
- Prepare the sugared baking paper so it’s ready to flip the meringue when it comes out of the oven. Ie. Prepare a large sheet of baking paper by liberally sprinkling with caster sugar. The meringue is flipped onto the sugar surface to cool.
- Flip the meringue onto the baking paper AS SOON AS it comes out of the oven so the crust is facing downwards on the sprinkled sugar and the ‘oven’ baking paper is on the top.
- Let the meringue cool slightly before removing the paper.
- Peel off the backing paper VERY carefully. It may be stuck in places, particularly around the edges. Use a flat knife to gently ‘unstick’ any tricky bits.
- Spread the lemon whipped cream across the whole surface of the meringue as soon as it has cooled to room temperature and as evenly as possible. This is easiest with an angled palette knife.
- Make a small fold at the far end of the meringue to start the rolling process.
- Use the baking paper underneath the meringue to help roll it up. The meringue is too sticky and fragile to hold, so pull the paper slowly towards you to do the hard work.
- Wrap the roulade in baking paper (seam side down) and pop it in the fridge for 20 minutes or so to settle before transferring to a serving plate.
What to do with meringue that didn’t roll
Everyone has an off day now and then… So if (for whatever reason) the meringue over-baked, didn’t roll well… broke… or didn’t turn out like you wanted it to, be kind to yourself. Put it down to experience. Break the whole thing up and layer with blobs of lemon cream, throw in a few raspberries along the way and serve as a Mallowy Lemon Meringue Mess. Quite possibly the BEST disaster dessert ever!
One of the great things about a meringue roulade is that you can prepare everything a day in advance if you need to. Bake, fill, roll and wrap the roulade and pop it in the fridge. Then when you’re ready, set it on a plate, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.
Variations on a theme… Meringue Roulade with alternative curd
Because the lemon element is in the filling, meringue roulade can be made in any number of curd variations. I made a wonderful roulade substituting lemon curd for passionfruit curd which was just divine! But you could also use a deliciously tart Rhubarb Curd, some orange curd, or even homemade Apple and Blackberry Curd. All are equally delicious.
Or head over to Feast Glorious Feast who I think may just be the curd flavour queen!
Making Lemon Meringue Roulade extra pretty
I don’t know about you, but I like my desserts to be extra pretty… Having said that, I’m also really naff at decorating. So ‘making pretty’ usually takes the path of least resistance and effort.
And so it is with my Lemon Meringue Roulade. A simple case of adding colour and alternative texture by mixing the sprinkled icing sugar with a little red freeze-dried raspberry powder (which I buy from Healthy Supplies) or Lingonberry Powder (which I get from Arctic Berries). And a sprinkle of edible glitter… because everything’s better with sparkles ✨.
Usually, I add a few edible flowers to the top as well… But I didn’t have any, so I decided a few Tea Tree flowers from the garden would have to suffice.
How to serve Lemon Meringue Roulade
Lemon Meringue Roulade is perfect just as it is. It needs nothing alongside it to make an amazing dessert and is already decadent with cream. However, if you want to make a statement of alternative colour, flavour and texture, I recommend a few pretty berries on the side. Raspberries add extra tanginess. But strawberries, blueberries and even blackberries are delicious too.
How to store leftovers
Now I’m doubting there will be much left by the time you’re done with dinner. But if there are any leftovers, they store really well in the fridge for a couple of days. Just make sure they’re covered and airtight so they don’t absorb any strong smells.
Because the roulade is quite soft, it’s definitely better to transfer leftovers to a hard-sided container so they don’t get squished.
Ready to make Lemon Meringue Roulade?
And that’s all you need to know. The recipe for naturally gluten free Lemon Meringue Roulade is just below. Scroll an extra inch or two and you’ll find it.
If you do make it, please come back and let me know how you got on. You can leave a comment at the bottom of the page, message me on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest), or rate the recipe (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️). Either way, I hope you love it.
And for lots of other dessert inspiration, why not have a look at our fabulous Gluten Free Desserts and Trifles Index? There’s so much to drool over, I’m sure you’ll find something to inspire you. Or for everything else (sweet and savoury), head over to our main Gluten Free Recipe Index. Everything on the blog is freely shared with my love.
Lemon Meringue Roulade
- Swiss roll tin or low-sided baking tray (maximum size 25 cm x 37 cm)
- electric whisk or stand mixer
- 3 egg whites room temperature (weighed at 107g in total)
- 150 g caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- ½ tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp corn starch UK cornflour
- caster sugar for sprinkling
Lemon Cream Filling
- 280 ml/g double cream (heavy cream)
- 3 tbs lemon curd
- Icing sugar (to dust)
- freeze dried raspberry/lingonberry/strawberry powder – optional (for colour)
- edible glitter – optional
- Fully line a large baking tray (max 25 cm x 37 cm) with baking parchment (not greaseproof paper as this will stick).
- Preheat the oven to 190 C/375 F/Gas 5.
- Ensure the equipment (large mixing bowl, whisk heads and mixing spoon) are spotlessly clean and free from grease by washing in warm soapy water and then dipping/wiping with very hot water with a little lemon juice added.
- Whisk the egg whites in the clean mixing bowl, until stiff.
- Add the sugar a little at a time, continuing to whisk, until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
- Fold or whisk in the vinegar and corn starch (UK cornflour). The mixture will loosen slightly.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tray and spread out evenly using a spatula/palette knife.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until just golden and with a firm crust.
- While the meringue is baking, prepare a large clean sheet of baking paper by sprinkling liberally with caster sugar.
- Remove the meringue from the oven and immediately flip it over onto the sugared baking paper. The top will now face downwards.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes, then gently peel off the lining paper, using a flat knife to carefully ease off any areas which feel stuck. Don’t worry if there are a few holes – it will still look great when rolled up.
Lemon Cream Filling (prepare while the meringue is cooling)
- Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks.
- Add the lemon curd and fold through.
- Carefully spread the filling across the meringue as evenly as possible, right to the sides.
- Carefully roll the meringue as tightly as possible, starting at one of the short sides (folding the first edge and then using the baking paper to help pull it across).
- Leave the roulade rolled up in the parchment paper (or transfer to and wrap in clean parchment using a couple of wide fish slices/palette knives). Ensure the last join is positioned underneath, so that it sets its shape.
- Place on a baking sheet in the fridge until ready to serve.
- To serve, unwrap and place on a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar (mixed with freeze dried fruit powder and/or edible glitter if using).
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist