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Lemon Meringue Cake

This recipes was shared by WWOOF Hosts who were a Kiwi-American Expat couple as a part of Kelsey's fieldwork in Nelson. The recipe originally came from a Nigella Lawson cookbook. The couple had first tried making it when they lived in Auckland and had a bumper Citrus crop. Since then it has been adapted to the citrus they can grow in Nelson, and has sometimes been served with non-lemon / non-citrus based curds, like orange, blueberry, or rhubarb. 

After learning to make the recipe from her Hosts, Kelsey prepared a modification of this cake that included a candied thyme infused cream, and lemon meringue, to serve at her good bye dinner when she departed New Zealand.


Cake:                                                 Lemon Curd:

125g very soft butter                     2 large eggs                                   
4 eggs, separated                          2 large egg yolks                 
300g plus 1 tsp castor sugar       150g castor sugar                   
100g plain flour                               100g unsalted butter              
25g corn flour                                  Juice of 3 – 4 lemon              
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
zest of 1 lemon
4 tsp lemon juice
4 tsp milk
½ tsp cream of tartar
150mL double cream
150g lemon curd


  1. Make the Lemon Curd in advance:

    • Strain lemons, juicing the pulp and grating the lemon zest.

    • Beat eggs, egg yolk and sugar together.

    • Melt the butter over a low heat in a heavy-based pan, and when melted stir in the sugar-egg mixture and the lemon juice. Keep cooking gently, stirring constantly, until thickened.

    • Off the heat, whisk in lemon zest. Let cool slightly, then pour into a clean jar. Refrigerate in a sealed jar in the fridge.

  2. Prepare the cake:

    • Preheat oven to 200°C / 390°F. Line and butter two 21cm sandwich tins (springform pans).

    • Mix the egg yolk, 100g of sugar, the butter, flour, corn flour, baking soda and baking powder in a food processor. Add the lemon juice and milk; process again.

    • Divide the mixture between the prepared tins. Spread with a spatula to smooth.

    • Whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until peaks form and then slowly which in 200g of sugar. Divide the whisked egg whites between the two springform pans. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

    • Unmold the 1st cake, meringue side down. Whisk curd with double cream and spread on cake layer. Top with second cake, meringue side up.

    • Can also simply spread curd between the two cake side layers, and serve with yoghurt, double cream or whipped cream.

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