Self-assembling biomolecules provide attractive templates for the preparation of metallic nanostructures. However, the intuitive transfer of the “outer shape” of the assembled macromolecules to the final metallic particle depends on the intermolecular forces among the biomolecules which compete with interactions between template molecules and the metal during metallization. The shape of the bio-template may thus be more dynamic than generally assumed. Here, we have studied the metallization of phospholipid nanodiscs which are discoidal particles of ~10 nm diameter containing a lipid bilayer ~5 nm thick. Using negatively charged lipids, electrostatic adsorption of amine-coated Au nanoparticles was achieved and followed by electroless gold deposition. Whereas Au nanoparticle adsorption preserves the shape of the bio-template, metallization proceeds via invasion of Au into the hydrophobic core of the nanodisc. Thereby, the lipidic phase induces a lateral growth that increases the diameter but not the original thickness of the template. Infrared spectroscopy reveals lipid expansion and suggests the existence of internal gaps in the metallized nanodiscs, which is confirmed by surface-enhanced Raman scattering from the encapsulated lipids. Interference of metallic growth with non-covalent interactions can thus become itself a shape-determining factor in the metallization of particularly soft and structurally anisotropic biomaterials.