Lemon Canadian Crown

The “Lemon Canadian Crown” is a frozen lemon dessert. Its name apparently comes from the fact that the recipe is from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Canadian in-laws. I figured since it has “Canadian” in the name, it was my national duty to make this week’s cake, as the only Canadian participant that I’m aware of in the Heavenly Cake Bakers group.

The cake is somewhat similar to a baked Alaska, in the sense that it’s a frozen dessert, with a sponge cake base, topped with meringue and baked to brown the meringue. There, the similarities end.


The bulk of the flavour in this cake is in the lemon mousse filling, but the actual cake component is in making the ladyfingers to line the pan. I figured since this was the only real cake-y part, I’d make them from scratch, so I can knock another recipe off the list.

First step of Mise en Place for Ladyfingers

You start by beating egg yolks and sugar to the ‘ribbon’ stage. This means that when you lift the beater from the batter, the batter falls from the beater in thick ribbons, as opposed to a stream of droplets. When that’s done, add some water and vanilla, and beat that in until it thickens up again. Then fold in the flour.

Folding flour into fluffy egg yolk mixture

Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar into a stiff meringue, as we’ve done so many times before.

Meringue components for Ladyfingers

Add some of the meringue to the egg yolk/flour mixture, to lighten it up.

Folding meringue into yolk mixture

Fold in the rest of the meringue gently but thoroughly, and you’ve got a completed ladyfinger batter.

Completed ladyfinger batter

You have your icing sugar (told you I was Canadian) and a sheet pan with parchment paper (with your guides marked out on the underside), ready, right? The oven’s preheated too, right?

Icing sugar and sheet pan ready to go

Pipe a bit over an 8″ round circle, if you’re using a 9″ round pan. Since the actual finger shaped ladyfingers will be going on the outside of the bottom portion, it doesn’t need to be the full 9″.

Disk for lining bottom of pan

The little smudge at the top is where I had a gap I had to go back and fill, but since the mousse is going on top of this, who cares? Dust it with powdered sugar, and stick it in the oven. Refill your piping bag, and have a go at the fingers while it bakes.

Baked bottom disk

You want the fingers to be about 3″ long, so make sets of parallel lines, 3″ apart. I didn’t figure that the width of the “fingers” really mattered, so long as they’re touching, so they’re easy to line the mold with.

Baked ladyfingers

I had to trim the bottom disk a bit to get it to fit inside the ring of lady fingers (I guess it spread out a bit during baking), but that left some nice samples for us to eat. 😉

Springform pan, lined with Ladyfingers

There, the cake-y part is ready for the freezer. Now on to the filling!

I uh… only got one picture of this part. It’s not a particularly illuminating picture. Hey, here’s what an uncooked lemon curd looks like!

Lemon curd, before cooking

I used turbinado sugar for my curd. I’m not sure I could really detect the flavour of it, since it was a little overwhelmed by lemon, but that’s ok.

So, once you’ve made the curd, and let it cool, whip up some cream. Fold the whipped cream into the curd, and pour it all into the frozen mold.

5 (I think it might have been 4 for me) hours later, make a meringue, and swirl it prettily on top of the mousse. Put it in the oven under the broiler, and let it burn while you go grab your oven mitts. No wait, don’t do it in that order. Go get your oven mitts, put them on your hands, put the cake in the oven under the broiler, squat in front of the oven, and pull it out before you think it’s done.


Or, if you do it in the order I did, scrape the burned top of the meringue off, then put the cake back under the broiler, hope the whole thing hasn’t gone melty yet, and toast it nicely, this time watching it the whole time, with your oven mitts already on your hands. There we go. That’s much better.

Finished Lemon Canadian Crown


  1. I need my own set of oven mitts, on my side of the kitchen, now that we have two ovens.
  2. This was really lemony.
  3. I like lemons.
  4. I now know what ladyfingers taste like.
  5. I like ladyfingers.
  6. I like frozen desserts.
  7. I’m Canadian, and so’s this cake. 🙂
  8. This post is really long.

7 thoughts on “Lemon Canadian Crown

  1. I really enjoyed your post! I am seriously considering making this one. I am not a member of the group…I lurk through all the posts and have made quite a few things from RHC. Your cake looks terrific.


  2. Thanks, Becky! The cake was (is) really quite tasty, and it’s nice to have something that will keep well in the freezer, so we don’t feel like we have to eat it all at once.


  3. Somehow I need to have Marie do the recaps of the weeks cake in order to be reminded that I will always miss someone in the butch!

    Love how your ladyfingers turned out.. all nice and aligned and pretty!


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