Lemon Bar Trifle Recipe
Lemon Bar Trifle Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Lemon Bar Trifle Recipe

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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
Recommended: Top 10 Lemon Desserts
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. + chilling
MAKES:9 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. + chilling
MAKES: 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

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 885 calories, 47g fat (26g saturated fat), 156mg cholesterol, 240mg sodium, 110g carbohydrate (75g sugars, 2g fiber), 8g protein.


  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.
Originally published as Lemon Bar Trifle in Taste of Home April/May 2008, p41

Sweet White Wine

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

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contrarywife User ID: 2675625 250614
Reviewed Jul. 19, 2016

"This is fantastic! I also cut the sugar in the cream cheese layer to 1.5 cups. I made this for a family gathering and assembled just before serving."

Mrs_T User ID: 941931 247005
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."

LuT User ID: 6540320 246793
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."

JADunn User ID: 3183986 237940
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."

KY_Cook User ID: 1619535 173428
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2014

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

jetluvs2cook User ID: 1675049 158814
Reviewed Oct. 6, 2013

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

brownma User ID: 3903855 104830
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."

Iski2013 User ID: 7207592 172442
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."

LoriVainik User ID: 1078510 174541
Reviewed Mar. 24, 2013

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

voodoowitch User ID: 635464 92647
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."

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