Three layers of light and zesty sponge, filled with delicate orange buttercream and topped with an assortment of meringue kisses
This week the cake I have created is a bit special. It’s my mum’s birthday cake! My mum has made my sisters and I the most fabulous cakes over the years, including a 3D spherical cake of a goldfish bowl the year I got fish, so she deserves something special. Her only request was citrus, and so this orange cake was born.
Fruity flavours make great additions to cakes whether it’s a warming apple cake or refreshing lemon and orange. My Eton Mess Bundt Cake was a big hit with you guys with its refreshing summery fruit and cream combo, so I hope you enjoy this one just as much!
I’ll have another celebration cake coming to you soon that I’m making for my 21st birthday, so pop back for that one too! Don’t forget my latest how to post on salted caramel which is on my blog now. I’ll be sharing my recipe for honeycomb on Saturday too 🙂
For the cake:
250g golden caster sugar
100g unsalted butter
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 2 oranges
250g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the meringue kisses (using the Meringue Girl’s 1:2 ratio)
2 egg whites (about 60g)
120g golden caster sugar
Orange gel food colouring
For the orange buttercream:
150g softened unsalted butter
150g icing sugar
Zest of 1 orange
Plus a scattering of lightly toasted almonds and a sprinkle of icing sugar to serve.
1. Preheat your oven to 180’C and grease and line three 20cm sandwich tins. Yes, we are making three layers, the extra cake and frosting is always a favourite!
2. Start the cake by creaming together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the vanilla extract and orange zest. I always think citrus cakes are best when they’re light and this orange cake is no exception.
2. Beat the eggs and milk together before slowly adding to the butter and sugar mix.
3. In a different bowl combine the salt, flour, and baking powder, then fold into the wet mixture. Once combined, divide the orange cake mixture evenly between the three tins, level the tops and pop in the oven. They’ll want to bake for about 15-20 minutes until they are golden, well risen, and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in their tins for five minutes, then transfer to a wide rack to finish.
4. In the meantime, let’s make the meringue kisses! I’m using the Meringue Girls’ ratio and method – you can find their new cookbook here! Line a baking tray and turn the oven down to 100’C. Pop your egg whites into a glass or metal bowl (I always use a stand mixer for meringues) and start to beat. It needs to be perfectly clean before you start to get the desired result. The egg whites will start to form air bubbles, gradually thickening.
5. When they form stiff peaks start adding your sugar, one spoonful at a time. Fine sugar like caster sugar helps it to dissolve into the egg whites better. Beat until the mixture is glossy and holds stiff peaks, but be careful not to over beat it.
6. Now it’s time to colour your kisses! I separated mine into three bowls to do this so I could have one mainly white, one light orange and one white with orange stripes. Do this by adding as much or little colouring as you like. For the striped meringues, turn your piping bag inside out and paint stripes onto the side before turning back the right way and filling.
7. Pipe small kisses onto the tray and bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes in the oven until hard and dry. Let them cool in the oven before removing.
8. All that’s left is to whip up some buttercream and your cake is almost ready! Mix the butter and icing sugar with the orange zest until smooth. Spread evenly between each layer of your cake and a little on the top too. Then decorate the top with meringue kisses clustered to one side and scatter on toasted almonds. I also dusted mine with icing sugar for extra prettiness! For a truly naked cake leave the buttercream off the top, but I find it helps to stick the almonds and meringue kisses in place.
There you have it! My ultimate orange cake recipe in eight steps. I hope you like it and I hope my mum does for her birthday too! She has been the best mum I could ask for and I want this cake to show her how appreciated and special she is.
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