I’m talking meringue base topped with creamy lemon curd, a super-easy (shortcut!) lemon mousse, and a pillow of whipped cream. The fillings are soft, so you assemble the dessert in a parchment-lined 9×13″ pan and then freeze the whole thing until firm enough to slice.
The bars are served slightly thawed, like semifreddo. They’re a creamy, airy, cool, lemony dream.
Use homemade or storebought lemon curd or prepared lemon pie filling. I originally made them with prepared lemon pie filling for an Instagram collab. Pie filling is thicker than curd but because the bars are frozen, the recipe works well with filling consistency.
How to make Lemon Mousse Bars
- Whip up a quick meringue base with egg whites and sugar.
- Rinse the mixer bowl and use it again to whip cream.
- Fold some whipped cream into some lemon curd to make an easy mousse.
- Layer more lemon curd onto the cooled meringue base, followed by the mousse, and remaining whipped cream. SO MANY DREAMY LAYERS.
- Freeze until firm.
Can Lemon Mousse Bars be made a day ahead?
Absolutely, in fact, they can be made up to two weeks ahead. If planning to serve the next day (or later), lift the whole slab of lemon bars of out of the pan by the sides of the parchment paper and wrap them, parchment and all, in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Keep frozen until ready to slice and serve.
The meringue softens the longer the lemon bars sit in the freezer and the longer they are left to thaw, so don’t expect a crisp base (like it is straight from the oven) but rather an upside-down lemon meringue pie.
To cut the bars neatly, transfer the slab to a cutting surface and slice using a sharp knife dipped in hot water between strokes. For clean slices, it’s best to cut them while very frozen, and then allow them to thaw slightly before serving.
Frozen Lemon Mousse Bars
- 6 egg whites
- 1 cup + 6 tbsp granulated sugar divided use
- 4 cups heavy whipping/35% cream
- ¾ tsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups homemade or storebought lemon curd or storebought lemon pie filling
To make the meringue base:
- Preheat oven to 300ºF.
- In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium-high speed until frothy. While mixer is running, start adding 1 cup of the sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, until glossy, stiff peaks form. Spread this meringue into parchment-lined 9x12" baking pan and bake for 45 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
To make the whipped cream:
- Meanwhile, clean the mixer bowl and whisk attachment. Add whipping cream to bowl and beat on high until medium peaks form. Add the remaining 6 tbsp of sugar and vanilla extract and beat to combine.
To make the lemon mousse:
- Place half of the lemon curd in a bowl. Add half of the whipped cream and gently fold together to combine.
- Once meringue base has cooled, spread remaining 2 cups of lemon curd on top, followed by the lemon mousse, and finally the whipped cream. Smooth each layer gently to the edges of the pan as you go. Transfer Lemon Cream Bars to the freezer for 1 hour for easy slicing.
- Store leftovers in the freezer, but let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.
Last Updated on July 23, 2019 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD
These taste amazing. I baked the meringue for exactly 45 minutes – it gets pretty puffy! It did deflate as it cooled and as soon as it was room temperature, I put the curd on which helped it on its way. It never got quite as compacted as the photos. The meringue and curd never froze, the lemon mousse got closer, whip cream got real frozen (also since the bottom layers didn’t freeze, cutting perfect squares was challenging). Thus, in my thaw-before-serve, there were some texture consistency issues in the layers. I used the lemon curd from Trader Joe’s. Super tasty summer treat.