Starts with a cake mix or scratch vanilla cake, this poke cake is covered in homemade lemon curd (or use store bought for a shortcut) and easy meringue — a great light dessert for Spring or Summer!
Soooo….. I like cake.
Swimsuits? Not so much. Turns out I’m not 20 years old anymore. See how priorities change?
Thankfully, there is cake out there for people who also like swimsuits. Like this Skinny Lemon Meringue Poke Cake.
Now, I’m going to tell you right off the bat that I didn’t do any calorie-calculating for this cake. But if you cheat and make it with a cake mix like I did (don’t look at me that way — I’ll also share with you my favorite scratch vanilla cake if you want to go that route), you start off with 160 calories per piece. Lemon curd? Mostly lemon juice and eggs (hey — protein!) and a ¾ cup sugar divided over the whole cake. And meringue is such an awesome way to add a light and fluffy topping to any cake without the calories of whipped cream or frosting. Max? 275-300 calories would be my guess.
Like I’ve explained before, I’m not really into calorie counting — I just like to swap out the things I’d really like to eat (like cake) with healthier and lighter versions of them. I don’t like to include calorie calculations because it can really depend on the brand of ingredients you’re using, and a calorie count wouldn’t be accurate for everyone. But if you’re a calorie counter, don’t take my word for it. There are some great online calorie calculators out there like this one.
I just love citrus anytime of year, but especially in the summer! There’s just something so light and refreshing about a lemon dessert.
If you don’t want to use cake mix, check out my favorite vanilla cake recipe here! (It makes quite a large cake, so you might want to divide the batter between 1 9×13″ pan and about 6 cupcakes).
To keep things even easier, you can use store bought lemon curd.
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Skinny Lemon Meringue Poke Cake
- 1 vanilla cake mix
- 355 ml can diet lemon lime soda
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 cup grated lemon zest
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 whole eggs
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Cake:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13″ pan. Combine cake mix and soda in a large bowl until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with moist crumbs (not batter!). Set aside to cool to room temperature. Poke holes into cake with the end of a wooden spoon or something of a similar size.
- Lemon curd:In a medium pot, combine sugar, zest, yolks, eggs, and lemon juice with a whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until thickened (about 3-5 minutes).
- Pour over cake while curd is still warm.
- Meringue:In a large bowl, combine egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (see picture below).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread meringue on top of cake and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool completely in the fridge before serving.
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Hi, is the lemon soda still needed if you make the cake mix from scratch per the link you provided? Thanks!
Ashley Fehr says
No, sorry! The soda is just needed if you use it to mix with the cake mix.
Cyndi - My Kitchen Craze says
This looks so good. I’m wish I had a big square right now with my morning coffee. I need to make poke cakes more often. And don’t get me started on swimsuits. They just depress me right now. Hehe. Pinning!
Ashley Fehr says
Haha, cake > swimsuits! 🙂
Emanuele @ guyslovecooking says
Never count calories is a good thing. A good workout session will eliminate any excess and you’ll be fine.
Annie @ Annie's Noms says
How have I still not made a poke cake?! This looks utterly divine, lemon meringue is one of my favourite desserts ever!
This cake is beautiful, and such a great idea to make a poke cake with curd and top it with meringue!
Hhaha I love cake too and do not like swimsuits but I will take a skinny cake anytime.
Brielle @ Breezy Bakes says
Okay, so I saw this recipe yesterday and drooled over it. Then I just had to come back to it today just to look again. Seriously gorgeous! What a perfect summer treat. And I love how you don’t go all crazy “skinny girl” ingredients in this recipe. I wish people would worry more about moderation instead of every ingredient they eat. YOU GO GIRL! ROCK THAT SWIMSUIT!!!
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely says
Oh jeez, don’t get me started on swimsuits. I was going thru and organizing my drawers, and packed all my 2 pieces in storage. With this baby on the way, I think it’s going to be 1 pieces from here on out! Haha! I love this poke cake! Lemon desserts are my favorite. They just seem to taste healthier, right?
Beverley @ sweaty&fit says
I absolutely love lemon meringue – i think it was the first pie i ever had as a kid, and that flavor just stuck with me. Mmm!
Medha @ Whisk & Shout says
That lemon curd sounds heavenly!
Sarah @Whole and Heavenly Oven says
The fact that this gorgeous cake is skinny just makes me even MORE inclined to eat the entire thing. By myself. No sharing, because seriously this cake is GORGEOUS, Ashley! Lovin’ all that lemon goodness!
I´m not much into calorie counting too. Done it a few times in my life just to realise it takes up far too much time. Love the idea of a lemon meringue poke cake!
Are you sure this cake is skinny because I feel the fat girl inside me doing flips to dig into it!
Stacey @ Bake Eat Repeat says
I love lemon in the spring and summer too, it’s just so fresh tasting. And this lemon meringue cake looks just amazing, I love everything about it. Definitely need to make this soon!
Jessica @ Sweetest Menu says
Skinny or not, I need this in my life! Looks incredible Ashley!
Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says
Haha I am not a fan of swimsuits anymore but lemon and cake? Yup, totally on board especially when it’s skinny! This looks incredible! Love the lemon curd!
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Ashley! Lemon curd is one of my favorites! I don’t usually use cake mixes, but it does make it easier sometimes. Swimsuits and I “unfriended” quite a while back – I didn’t start my family until I was in my thirties and after two C-sections well you get my drift. 🙂
Ashley Fehr says
Haha, I get your drift! I don’t use cake mix often either but every once in a while it’s a lifesaver here!
Rachel @ Bakerita says
Wow, this looks amazing!! I’m loving lemon desserts right now and I happen to have some lemon curd in my kitchen right now…so tempted to try this!
Jen | Baked by an Introvert says
I definitely need to have more skinny desserts in my life. This lighter lemon meringue cake looks and sounds so good! Pinning!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
Haha I’m definitely not a fan of swimsuits anymore, but cake, definitely a fan of it! This skinnier version sounds amazing! I’ve never actually make a poke cake before, so I’m loving this lemon meringue version! Pinned!