show stopping desserts

Originally I had put a real live cheesecake on our editorial calendar… I thought it would be a great recipe for spring. But the more I thought of it the more I realized that’s crazy. Crazy because making a cheesecake is a lot of work, work I don’t have time for and I assume if I can’t fit something into my schedule you can’t fit into yours either.

So, instead I thought of a no-bake cheesecake (my favorite!) since it worked so well in our mason jar recipe. And then I thought of my favorite pie at Marie Calendars which is Lemon Cream Cheese… and all of that became this! Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Trifle!! I know it looks super fancy but guys, this is just a bunch of boxed and jarred ingredients all gussied up!

how to make a lemon meringue cheesecake

Start by mixing graham cracker crumbs together with melted butter and sugar.

crust for pie

Press the cracker crumbs into a trifle dish or mini mason jars but don’t pack down too tight or it’ll be tough to scoop it out later… and that graham layer is the best part right?

trifle desserts

In a large bowl, mix together the Jell-O cheesecake mix with the milk and fresh lemon juice. Stir until smooth and somewhat thick. Pour over the graham cracker crumbs.

cheesecake trifle

Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 1 hour to allow the cheesecake to set. Once chilled, spoon the lemon curd on top and spread onto a single layer. 

lemon dessert recipes

Cover the top of the curd with fresh berries. Use a mixture of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and/or strawberry slices. 

fresh fruit cheesecake

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on high until they begin to froth. Add the cream of tartar and salt and beat on high. Gradually add the sugar continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. If you don’t have the time to make the meringue this would be just as delicious with whipped topping… just don’t use a torch on that! 😉

meringue recipe

Spoon the meringue on top of the berries, and spread out with a rubber spatula. Then using a kitchen blow torch toast the top of the meringue. 

fancy desserts

Serve your lemon meringue cheesecake trifle immediately. If you don’t plan on serving the cheesecake right away, don’t top with the meringue until ready to serve. 

lemon dessert recipes for spring

This is a great dessert to use as a centerpiece for any party, gathering or dinner. Need some ideas for how to prep for that party? Check out these tips here

lemon pie

Marie Callender's Pie

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Trifle
Serves 12
Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Trifle is the ultimate spring and summer dessert. The perfect dessert to bring to a party or dinner.
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Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
  1. 2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  2. 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  3. 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  1. 2 boxes (11-ounce) no bake Jell-O cheesecake
  2. 3 cups whole milk
  3. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  4. 1 (23-ounce) jar lemon pie filling or lemon curd
  5. 1 pint fresh blackberries
  6. 1 pint fresh blueberries
  7. 1 pint fresh raspberries
  1. 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  2. 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  1. In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar until well incorporated. Pour into a large trifle dish (or 8 mini jars) and press down into an even layer.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the jell-o no bake cheesecake mix with the milk and lemon juice and beat until smooth and somewhat thick. Pour over the crust layer. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.
  3. Remove from fridge and pour the lemon pie filling or curd and spread into an even layer. Top with the fresh berries.
  4. To make the meringue, beat the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer until frothy. Stir in the cream of tartar and salt and beat on high until soft peaks form. Slowly stream in the sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Spoon the meringue on top of the berries to cover the top completely. Using a kitchen blow torch, toast the top. Serve immediately.
Rachel Hollis