Build yourself a golden Lemon-Thyme Tower Cake featuring layers of rich, tart lemon cake filled with lemon-thyme pastry cream and decorated with slices of sweet candied lemons for a dessert that is equal parts refined and rustic.

Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1998


Recipe Summary

Makes 1 six-layer cake


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour three 6-inch-round cake pans, and set aside.

  • Combine eggs, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Sift flour and cornstarch over egg mixture; fold in with a rubber spatula. Pour batter into pans.

  • Bake until cakes spring back to the touch and cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove cakes from oven; transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  • Turn out cakes. Using a serrated knife, level the tops; slice each cake horizontally into two even layers. Place one layer on a 6-inch cardboard round. Using a pastry brush, brush 5 layers generously with the candied-lemon syrup. Spread the pastry cream over 5 layers, about 3/4 cup per layer. Stack layers on the cardboard, ending with the one uncoated layer. To stabilize cake, insert a 6-inch wooden skewer through center. Overlap the candied lemon slices and thyme sprigs on top of the cake. Refrigerate until pastry cream has set, at least 1 hour. Serve.