A collection of Hungarian recipes and home cooking

Hungarian Tidbits

Lemon Dream Dessert – “Citromos Álom”

Lemon trifle


Translated from Hungarian, this lemon dessert is truly dreamy with a texture reminiscent of tiramisu, but with a zesty and refreshing twist. Despite its luxurious taste, it requires only a few simple ingredients that you likely already have in your fridge or pantry. For optimal results, prepare it a day in advance.

While this may not have been a dessert favored by our Hungarian ancestors, it has gained popularity since the mid-90s. Whether or not Attila the Hun was a fan remains a topic of debate among historians. One of the main ingredients, soured cream, explains why “Lemon Dream” has become a recent favorite.


  • 300 ml [1¼ cups] heavy whipping cream [US heavy cream] chilled
  • 300 [1¼ cups] ml  soured cream [US sour cream] or crème fraîche, minimum 20% fat
  • 10-12 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 3 – 4 unwaxed lemons (you will need all the juice plus the zest of 1 lemon from these)
  • 400 gram [14 ounces] store bought sponge fingers
  • a splash or two of orange liquor, dessert wine or alcohol of your choice (optional).


  1. Whisk the chilled whipping/heavy cream with half the powdered sugar in a glass or stainless steel bowl until soft peaks form. The cream will whip up faster if your bowl and beaters are chilled as well. Place in the fridge until use.
  2. Grate the zest of an unwaxed lemon and set aside, you will use it in the next step.
  3. Combine in a separate mixing bowl the soured cream with the remaining half of the sugar, now in goes the juice of 3-4 lemons then the zest of one lemon grated earlier.
  4. Fold the previously made whipped cream into the sour cream sugar and lemon mixture.
  5. Line a 22 cm / 8½ inch square dish (or similar) with a layer of sponge fingers.
  6. Drizzle the sponge fingers with a little liqueur or alcohol of your choice if using.
  7. Spread half of the lemon cream mixture on top of the layer of sponge fingers.
  8. Repeat with another layer of sponge fingers, drizzle with alcohol if using then top with the remaining mixture.
  9. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight. The cream is a bit runny at this stage, but will magically set during the resting time.
  10. When ready to serve, decorate with lemon slices, also nice dotted with raspberries in the summer or sprinkle with roughly shopped pistachio nuts and pomegranate seeds in winter.

Lemon trifle
spongefingers and lemons

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