Cakes · Dairy-Free · Fiesta Friday · Food With Friends · Gluten-Free

Lemon Meringue Cake (GF, DF) and decorating disasters!


Hello, hello, hello!

It’s been a little while since I last had an occassion to make a dessert. But as a family friend was coming down for the weekend, and then would be going away overseas for awhile, it would have been terrible not to bring something nice out for a treat! I ended up choosing this cake because I love the flavours of lemon meringue pie, and it’s also both gluten and dairy free!

Unfortunately, while all the various bits and pieces worked amazingly well apart, and together in terms of flavour, assembly left something to be desired. The meringue frosting was delicious and perfectly smooth, but far too stiff for spreading. It would have worked brilliantly on top of a pie, or piped and probably would have been lighter with more egg whites in the mix. I’d love to colour it next time and try piping flowers! The curd was also absolutely delicious, but not quite as thick as I needed for a filling for a cake. The cake itself was also fantastic, very fluffy and light, but that made it quite delicate and it didn’t quite take to some of my usual tricks for filling cakes. So this was a bit of a decorating disaster!

However, when I was trying to the flavours and texture of the cake together I thought of a way I could re-use the recipe! Rather than making it as a cake, next time I can double the batter and make a batch of cupcakes! I could then core them, pour the lemon curd inside and pipe the thick meringue frosting on top. They’d be perfect! I’m also keeping a hold of the curd and the cake recipes, because they both really worked so much better than I was expecting and the reviews were rave.

How about all of you? What are some of your baking disasters?

Happy FF!

Adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly’s

Lemon Meringue Cake

and Good to Know’s

Lemon Curd

Serves: 6-8, Prep: 1 hr, Cook: 1hr +

Cake Ingredients

  • eggs
  • 3/4 cup/165g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 125g dairy-free spread (I used nuttelex)
  • 1 3/4 cups/235g gluten-free self-raising flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup/180ml soy milk

Merginue Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 cup/220g caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup/80ml water
  • egg whites

Lemon Curd Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 100g dairy-free spread (I used nuttelex)
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 175g caster sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C, grease and line two 20cm round tins with dairy free spread and baking paper.
  2. For the lemon curd: Beat the whole eggs, yolks and cornflour together in a large bowl and place to one side.
  3. Put the dairy-free spread in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring until it starts to melt.
  4. Add the lemon zest, juice, sugar and salt.
  5. Keep stirring constantly until the spread has all melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  6. Strain through a sieve into another pan or large bowl and return the strained liquid to the pan over a low-medium heat.
  7. Pour in the beaten egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to combine. Keep whisking until the mixture has the consistency of thick custard.
  8. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl to set aside to cool completely. Place a layer of gladwrap on top of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.
  9. For the cake: dairy free spread, sugar and rind in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until thick and creamy.
  10. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Then gently whisk in sifted flour and milk, in batches, until smooth.
  11. Pour mixture into the two pans and bake for 25-30 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to rest in pans for a few minutes and then tip out onto a wire rack to cool.
  12. Once cool, place one cake on a serving plate, level the top with a knife then spread with lemon curd.
  13. Top with remaining cake, trim to make flat if necessary. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  14. Meanwhile, make meringue frosting: Stir sugar and the water in a small saucepan over low heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves.
  15. Bring to the boil; boil, uncovered, without stirring, for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly and reaches 116°C/240°F on a sugar (candy) thermometer.
  16. Syrup should be thick but not coloured.
  17. Remove from heat, allow bubbles to subside.
  18. Beat egg whites in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. While motor is operating, add hot syrup in a thin steady stream; beat on high speed for 10 minutes or until mixture is thick and cooled.
  19. Spread meringue frosting all over cake.
  20. Serve.

22 thoughts on “Lemon Meringue Cake (GF, DF) and decorating disasters!

  1. Mine was a recipe from 1933 called The Red Devil – a 7 Layer disaster that more closely resembled a leaning tower than a cake. It takes a brave soul to post disasters. That’s how we all learn.


  2. Your cake still looks fabulous to me, Nell! Please share the cupcakes, if you get around to making them. 😛 As for my own baking disasters…too many to count!


  3. My advice Nell is to go rustic. That’s what I do when I have a disaster. You have erred by putting it on a fancy cake stand and shooting in front of fancy drapes. I would have opened it up and shown the lovely, imperfect interior against a backdrop of the garden or on an old plate. That way, you focus on the deliciousness, not the fanciness, if you get my drift.

    I’ll bet it was delicious….


  4. The cake is still such a charmer! I love the cupcake idea, what a way to remedy all the issues, and put each component to work just perfectly!
    I have the issue of overly loose lemon curds, pastry creams (all the time!!), custards and other fillings as well. I never seem to have overly thick or stiff icings… one time the icing I made slipped right off the cake, what a disaster that was!


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