Back to Lemon Bar Trifle

Print Options


Card Sizes

Lemon Bar Trifle Recipe

Lemon Bar Trifle Recipe

When I was a new bride almost 50 years ago, my husband gave me a mixer for my birthday. The lemon filling recipe was in the small book that came with it. The tangy flavor always takes me back to those days of trying out recipes on my husband. —Alyce McCrary, Leighton, Alabama
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. + chilling YIELD:9 servings


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 cups cold water
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed


  • 1. In a small bowl, combine flour and pecans; stir in butter. Press into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
  • 2. In a small heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and flour. Stir in water until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
  • 3. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in the lemon juice, butter and lemon peel.
  • 4. Transfer to a large bowl. Cool to room temperature without stirring. Cover surface with waxed paper; refrigerate until chilled.
  • 5. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Crumble the baked pecan mixture; set aside 1/2 cup for topping.
  • 6. Just before serving, in a 3-qt. trifle bowl, layer 1 cup each pecan mixture, lemon mixture and cream cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice. Sprinkle with reserved pecan mixture. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 9 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 cup equals 885 calories, 47 g fat (26 g saturated fat), 156 mg cholesterol, 240 mg sodium, 110 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 8 g protein.

Reviews for Lemon Bar Trifle

Sort By :
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2016

"Absolutely delicious! I made it for my daughter's birthday. I did cut the confectioners' sugar in the cream cheese layer to 1 or 1.5 cups. 3 cups would have been way too much. I also used real whipped cream in that layer rather than whipped topping. The other change I made was to beat the egg yolks and water together for the lemon filling, enabling me to skip the step of combining the hot mixture with the egg yolks. It all worked out well and was a hit with the family."

Reviewed Apr. 8, 2016

"I have made this 3 times . It is fantastic, even the time I didn't get the lemon layer cooked long enough. I just kept it refrigerated then. I don't have a trifle bowl, so I used a large oblong plastic container to assemble it. I did two layers of each. Any left overs I have frozen in individual portions or enough for two. It freezes so well. Love the lemon flavor. Only change I made was to use 1-1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar with the cream cheese."

Reviewed Nov. 23, 2015

"Really good, nice lemon flavor and beautiful presentation. Took it to a party and everyone loved it. It makes up nicely in individual portions as well."

Reviewed Jan. 28, 2014

"My entire family ADORES this recipe, as does my work family :)"

Reviewed Oct. 6, 2013

"very good and a pretty dessert to make for company!"

Reviewed Sep. 2, 2013

"This is a wonderful recipe, very rich. A little time consuming, but I will make again. It makes a pretty dish and a lot of people asked for the recipe."

Reviewed Mar. 31, 2013

"I gave this recipe 3 stars because it was WAY too sweet. My guests all enjoyed the shortbread layer and the lemon layer, but the cream cheese layer with 3 cups of confectioners sugar overwhelmed the recipe. I would make this recipe again, but would decrease the sugar to 1 cup. That would make all the difference. I also added some sliced strawberries to the layers and found that to be a wonderful addition."

Reviewed Mar. 24, 2013

"Sounds wonderful - if using cans of lemon pie fill - what size are the cans?"

Reviewed Jan. 18, 2013

"This was time consuming and not all that great. I doubt I'll make again but if I do, I'll leave out the lemon peel. Nobody cared for that."

Reviewed Nov. 26, 2012

"I made this trifle exactly as is. It is very tasty and if you love lemon, you'll love this one! As I like to make things ahead if possible, I made all three layers the day before, refrigerated, then assembled the trifle the following morning and served it at dinner time. Our guests loved it."

Reviewed Oct. 16, 2012

"I won 1st place with this recipe!

I did add 1/3 cup sugar in the raw to the baked and cooled crust- it really made the crust much better! I also added a layer of raspberries to the middle layer and I also subbed 1 cup heavy cream instead of cool whip. I used both martini glasses and a trifle bowl for serving. Everyone loved it!"

Reviewed Aug. 9, 2011

"Fantastic, thats all I need to say about this recipe!!"

Reviewed Aug. 9, 2011

"It was good. Everyone liked it but it is very rich."

Reviewed Feb. 6, 2011

"Yummy. The first time I made it I took it to a big BBQ and it was a huge hit everyone loved it and asked for recipe. I now make it often as a family favorite. I short cut it w/the 2 cans of lemon pie filling and it is great."

Reviewed Aug. 27, 2010

"Very Yummy. I also cheated and used 2 cans of lemon pie filling and everyone loves it, takes like I've slaved for hours. It quickly became a family favorite."

Reviewed Aug. 14, 2010

"This is YUMMY!!!!! I don't have a trifle bowl, so I actually just layer this in my 9x13 pan, but nobody complains! :) I also reduce the sugar in the cream cheese layer to 1 cup. This is definitely a winning recipe!!!"

Reviewed May. 8, 2010

"This is one of my favorite recipes. The nutritional information is quite alarming but using reduced-fat butter, ff cream cheese and ff whipped topping it should help. Also, the recipe definitely serves way more than 9!"

Reviewed Apr. 27, 2010

"I'm not one to try recipes with a lot of steps (such as this one), so I cheated on this recipe when I made it. I used two large cans of lemon pie filling instead of making the "Lemon Layer" part and it was SO much easier (and faster). Everyone loved this dessert and I've had several requests for the recipe since. I will make this again and again (short-cutting with the pie filling every time, of course)!"

Reviewed Apr. 18, 2010

"My husband and friends really enjoyed this trifle. It could easily serve 12, not 9 like the recipe says. I am putting it in my recipe box because everyone liked it, but I am reluctant to make it again because it was very time-consuming and ... I looked at the nutrition info! Oh my! I don't know if I could serve it to my family again knowing it is 885 calories per serving!"

Reviewed Apr. 13, 2010

"This was very, very good. I've made it about 3 times, and everyone enjoys it. The pecan-shortbread crust melts in your mouth."

Reviewed Mar. 31, 2010

"This has become one of our family's favorite desserts! There's never any leftovers. It is a little time consuming, but it's worth it."

Reviewed Mar. 25, 2010

"I made this for Easter last year and my new son-in-law and his friend ate the entire thing. He always asks me to fix this - it is amazing! I do take a few shortcuts though and use instant pudding and add fresh lemon zest to that."

Reviewed Mar. 17, 2010

"My daughter and I made this - it was so delicious and trust me, it didn't last long at our house. It would be perfect for a spring brunch or Easter dinner, or Mother's Day party. I think you'll like it too."

Reviewed Mar. 2, 2010

"This is definitely a winner. Our company liked it as much as we did, but I don't dare make it too often, it's hard to pass up."

Reviewed Sep. 6, 2009

"Made this for a church dinner and it was gobbled up right away. Rich but not too heavy. Will definitely feed more than 9 people."

Loading Image

Wine Pairings

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.