This glorious cake is a celebration of citrus. The tiers are iced with buttercream, piped with lines and dots, and encircles by candied naval oranges. When sliced, the cake reveals four layers of moist yellow cake, which have been brushed with a lemon-infused syrup, and three layers of luscious lemon curd.



Ingredient Checklist


Trim and fill tiers:
  • Trim top of each 12-inch cake layer to be level, and split each horizontally. Set one bottom section on a 12-inch-diameter foam board, securing with dollop of buttercream, and place foam board on a cake turntable. Turn other bottom section upside down; it will be the top of the tier. Using a pastry brush, brush top and sides of each section with lemon simple syrup. Fit pastry bag with plastic coupler; fill bag with buttercream. Pipe a dam of buttercream around all sections except top one. Fill centers inside dams with 1 1/2 cups lemon curd each. Stack sections, pressing each gently to adhere. On turntable, adjust tier to be level, and then refrigerate assembled tier until ready to coat. Similarly trim and fill 9-inch tier with 1 cup curd per layer, and 6-inch tier with 3/4 cup curd per layer.

Coat tiers:
  • Place each filled tier on a slightly larger cardboard round. Lightly coat each tier with buttercream to seal in crumbs. Refrigerate all tiers on slightly larger cardboard rounds.

Instructions Checklist
Instructions Checklist
Frost tiers:
  • Remove one tier, on cardboard round, from refrigerator. Place on turntable, and coat smoothly with buttercream. Return to refrigerator at least 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining tiers.

Support and decorate tiers:
  • Place 8-inch-square rug mat in center of platter. Place 12-inch tier on platter. Insert 8 dowels in a circle 3 inches from edge of tier; set platter on turntable. Fit pastry bag with a #6 round tip, and fill half full with buttercream. Beginning at back of tier, pipe a vertical line from top edge to bottom. Pipe vertical lines around tier, spacing 1/4 inch apart. Use the same tip to pipe dots around top and bottom edges. If buttercream begins to soften, empty bag into bowl of buttercream, and stir; refill bag halfway. Once 12-inch tier is decorated, place 9-inch tier on top, and insert 6 dowels in a circle 2 1/2 inches from edge. Decorate as before, then stack 6-inch tier on top, and decorate it. Place decorated cake in refrigerator.

Instructions Checklist
Attach candied orange slices:
  • Drain orange slices in single layer on a wire rack, about 20 minutes. Cut each slice in half; lay on damp paper towels. Place cake on turntable; starting from back, attach slices to side of each tier, aligning cut edges with top. Trim 3/8 inch from cut edge of remaining slices. Position trimmed slices on tops of tiers, so they meet with top edges of placed slices in an alternating pattern. Pipe buttercream dots on oranges at rims of tiers, as shown.

  • To serve, place cake on table and, using citrus fruits and leaves, decorate base and top of cake. Place gum-paste orange blossoms among the citrus and leaves.

Cook's Notes

If your refrigerator is not large enough to hold the assembled cake, decorate the tiers separately, and refrigerate. At the reception site, stack them before adding the orange slices in step 6. The orange slices can be placed on the cake up to 6 hours before serving. For the tools and equipment needed to make this cake.