Margaret Atwood's Baked Lemon Custard Cake

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 35 mins

This is a really neat recipe because, as the batter bakes, it separates into two distinctive layers — cake on top and custard on the bottom. It looks very impressive, guests will have no idea how simple it is to prepare! This custard/cake has a very bold lemony flavour. (It also works well with Splenda so can be modified for diabetics.) If you don't have individual ramekins, this can be made in a deep pie pan or an 8x8 baking pan. Margaret Atwood is an iconic Canadian author and the recipe was published in Bon Appétit (Jan. 2006).

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F Butter six 3/4-cup custard cups or ramekins.
  2. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, and lemon peel in large bowl to blend. Beat in egg yolks. Stir in flour in three additions alternately with buttermilk in two additions. Stir in lemon juice. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold egg whites into yolk mixture.
  3. Divide batter among prepared cups. Place ramekins in roasting pan. Add enough hot water to pan to come halfway up sides of cups.
  4. Bake until cakes are set in center and beginning to brown, about 35 minutes. Remove ramekins from water bath. Serve hot or cold.
Most Helpful

5 5

This is an excellent recipe. Light and refreshing with a pleasingly bold lemon flavour. I've made it twice now and will make it many more times!