Nonna’s Custard Cake

This is another family recipe from The Flesh in My Life which outlines the love of family and some of the wonderful recipes which have shaped my life. Buy it at my shop Mondos Butchers at 824 Beaufort Street, Inglewood. Call first on 9371 6350 and I will be happy to personally sign a copy for you.

Thank you to Mrs Martinelli for teaching my mother this cake recipe. It is always on the table at every family celebration. The grandchildren call it Nonna’s cake. With the leftover egg whites you can make delicious almond biscuits.


Sift the flour, then make a well in the centre and add sugar, lemon rind, egg, anisette, and melted butter. Gradually bring it all together, slowly adding the milk to get a soft, pliable dough. Cover the dough and let rest for one hour in the fridge.

First make the yellow and then the chocolate custard, using the same method. Put the milk and all other ingredients in a saucepan, mixing together well until it is smooth. Place on the heat and stir continuously until it thickens, approx. 10-15 minutes. Take off the heat and cool down for 5-10 minutes.

Grease and line a 23 cm spring-form baking dish. Roll out the pastry to fit the baking dish, about ½ -1 cm thickness. Excess pastry can be shaped with a cookie cutter and made into biscuits. Gently pour in the yellow custard, and then the chocolate custard on top.

Bake for approximately 40-60 minutes at 160-170°C.

Cool the cake down completely before removing it.

Serves 8 to 10


  • 450 g self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a fork
  • 120 g melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 40 ml anisette essence or Sambuca liqueur
  • grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 40 ml milk (approx.) to bind

Yellow Custard

  • 750 ml milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 80 g custard powder
  • Chocolate Custard
  • 750 ml milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 80 g custard powder
  • 50 g cocoa

Almond Biscotti

  • Don’t waste the egg whites. Make about 60 of these delicious gluten-free almond biscotti or a Pavlova.
  • 600 g almond meal
  • 400 g castor sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • grated zest from 2 oranges
  • 20 ml orange water
  • 2 cups flaked almonds
  • icing sugar to dust

Preheat oven to 180°C. Mix the almond meal, sugar, egg whites, orange zest, and orange water in a bowl. Roll tablespoons of the mix into a golf ball size, then roll them in crushed almond flakes. Put the balls on a tray lined with baking paper and slightly flatten them. Bake for 10-12 minutes until light golden. Cool on a rack, then dust with icing sugar.