Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Nasturtium Covered Lemon Layer Cake

This was a request to bring a cake for a sit down birthday dinner for 12. The birthday boy is a cake maker. No pressure there.

Said birthday boy and I were recently gawking over this book:

This gorgeous book is my latest obsession from which the Tulip Vodka recipe and inspiration for my Lilac Cashew Baklava came. We just couldn't get over the cover cake.

Since my piping skills are minimal (his are exceptional) I thought I would surprise him with a edible flower covered cake at the party. Easy peasy. No piping.

At the Farmers Market in Union Square I  had purchased five gorgeous nasturtium plants in vary shades of yellow, orange and red. They are doing beautifully on my NYC terrace.

I raided my plants and snipped the blossoms to cover the cake. Some of the most beautiful blossoms I saved for the top of the cake. 

The rest of them I chopped up and schmooshed the pieces into the sides of the frosted cake.

The lemon cake recipe is not mine. I used a recipe from Fine Cooking which was wonderful. The smooth mellow lemon flavor was the perfect complement to the edible blossoms.  "Nasturtium" literally means "Nose Twist" in latin. So you can guess the flowers taste a bit spicy or peppery.

The guests ooh and ahhed over the cake and the birthday boy was pleased. My job was done. 

Nasturtium Covered Lemon Layer Cake

For the Lemon Layer Cake:

I used this recipe, Triple-Lemon Layer Cake from Fine Cooking using only the cake part. My lemon buttercream recipe is below. 

For the Lemon Buttercream Frosting:

  • 2 sticks butter at room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • Place the butter, 2 cups of the powdered sugar and the cream in a mixer and cream together.
  • Mix in the lemon extract.
  • Add the rest of the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until combined. If the mixture is too liquid, add more powdered sugar.
  • Stir in the lemon zest.

For the Nasturtium/Edible Flower Decoration:

4 cups of freshly cut blossoms, stems trimmed. 

Pick out the prettiest whole flowers and place on top of the frosted cake. Chopp up the rest and press into the sides.

Nasturtiums can be eaten whole.


  1. Absolutely beautiful!! What a lovely birthday gift - and lemon cake too. Yum... I may even try to make one this summer.

  2. I'm sure this was a delicious as it is beautiful. Lucky birthday boy!


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