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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