RECIPE: Lemon Curd and Peach Layered Lemon Torte

When you see a lemon cake on my blog, it truly is in honor of my Mom. She adores lemons. She'll suck and eat them raw if she likes. And it's funny that her namesake, my daughter, has loved to suck on lemons too since she was 2! I guess the apple...err...lemon.... doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?

At any rate, we celebrated my mother's birthday last month, and I made her this lovely cake. This was adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. And I've been meaning to post it for weeks. But A: I have been swirling in apple-harvest and B: Miss Martha was in the news bashing bloggers last month, and I just didn't know how I felt posting a cake that was inspired by the DIVA herself. She has been a huge inspiration to me, even though her recipes are a little over-the-top and labor intensive for working moms. But I was saddened by her comments. But I think I am over it. People of traditional media are still in denial on how media is consumed and trusted nowadays. I think she is one of those people. It's a tough switch, but I think if she embraced it and engaged in the blogger community versus bashing it, she would find it rewarding.

So speaking of "too labor intensive", this cake from Martha seemed to be so when it came to making lemon curd. Of course, if you make it yourself it's much better. I just didn't have the time for that. I bought some good quality lemon curd at the store. Make sure there is some dairy listed in the ingredients and not a bunch of corn syrup and weird things you can't pronounce. I also made some amazing peach jam, and love peach and lemon together. So I added layers of peach with the curd to add some nice fruit nuance.

It was a big success. My mom loved it, and she is pretty picky. So thank you Martha, and thanks to whoever decided to jar lemon curd!

Lemon Curd and Peach Layered Lemon Torte


1 cup butter, softened
3 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of finely grated lemon zest
3 cups good quality, store-bought lemon curd
at least 1 cup good quality peach jam (I used my homemade batch, recipe here)

Vanilla whipping cream
2/3 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar


Heat oven to 350°. Arrange one rack in the center of the oven. Spray two 8" x 2" round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Cut parchment paper to size, and place on the bottom of each pan. Give the bottom of the lined pans a quick extra spray, and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a bowl with an electric stand mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar, beating on medium speed until lighter, about four minutes. Scrape down the sides as you go. Gradually add the beaten eggs to the butter, a little at a time, beating after each addition until the batter is thick, about five minutes. Scrape the sides as you go. Add vanilla and lemon zest, and mix until just combined. Turn the mixer on low and gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk and being careful not to over mix. End with the flour mixture.

Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans, and bake for 25 minutes then rotate pans in the oven for even browning. Bake for another 15-20 minutes. Bake until a toothpick at the center comes out clean. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool for 15 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto the racks to cool completely. Once cooled, remove the paper from the bottoms, and with a serrated knife carefully cut each cake horizontally in half. Set aside the prettiest domed layer for the top of the cake.

Take one layer and place on a serving platter. Take the lemon curd out of the jar (s) and pour it into a bowl. With a whisk whip the lemon curd until it is fluffier and lighter in color. (This helps beat in air bubbles into the curd that's been stuffed mercilessly into that tiny jar.)

Spread 1/4 cup of peach lemon jam along the layer of the cake. Then spread 3/4 cup of lemon curd over the surface to within a half inch of the edge. Place a second layer on top of the first, then spread three quarters of a cup of lemon curd on top, a 1/2" from the edge. Then gently place the second layer on top. Spread another 1/4 cup peach jam on the cake, and another 3/4 cup lemon curd. Gently place the third layer of cake on top and continue with the peach jam and the lemon curd. Finish the cake by placing the pretty domed cake layer on top.

Next make the vanilla whipped cream topping. Place a bowl in the freezer for chilling. Once properly chilled, pour heavy cream, vanilla extract and powdered sugar into the chilled bowl. With a whisk attachment on a stand mixer, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. This takes about 4 minutes. Dollop cream in swirling peaks on top of the cake. Decorate with candied lemon strips or sliced peaches dipped in sugar. Serve immediately.



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