Monday, 25 February 2013

Recipe: Orange and lemon cake

Orange and lemon cake, as made by EJ
This is one of the cakes I made for a triple birthday celebration last weekend. A good citrus cake is hard to beat, this one is flavoured with fresh orange and lemon juice and is layered with orange and lemon buttercream. The sponge is light and has a refreshing citrus flavour, I topped this cake with loops of piped royal icing (made with orange juice instead of water)- and of course, orange and lemon jelly segments.

I used a 15cm cake tin for these cakes (with a loose base), baking two layers and halving each to create four slim layers of sponge, which are then glued together with buttercream.

I was calling this cake my 'haphazard orange and lemon cake', as first time round I dropped one of the sponge cakes on the floor and had to bake a new layer. In light of this, I decided to give the cake a bit of a rustic finish, with messily looped icing and scattered orange and lemon segments.

Orange and lemon cake, decorated with loops of royal icing 
Makes two 15cm sponges:
140 g caster sugar
140 ml oil
2 eggs
150g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder 
3 tbs freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice
2 tbs milk

For the orange and lemon buttercream icing:
250g icing sugar
80g butter
2-3 tbs orange and lemon juice
1tbs milk

For the royal icing topping and decoration:
100g royal icing sugar
1-2 tbs orange and lemon juice
Orange and lemon jelly pieces

To make the sponges:

Pre-heat the oven to 170C (fan). Line and grease two 15cm round cake tins.

Use an electric mixer to combine all of the sponge ingredients until smooth.

Evenly distribute the cake bater between two 15 cm cake tins, tap the base of each tin against the kitchen surface to remove air bubbles from the mixture. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the sponge springs back when gently compressed with a finger.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little. Run a pallet knife around the edge of each tin to loosen the sponge before popping out, sit on a wire rack to cool.

To make the buttercream icing and assemble:

Cream the butter and icing sugar together, then gradually add the orange juice, lemon juice and milk. Pour in the liquids a little at a time, stirring to combine fully before adding more. The icing should be a light, spreadable consistency - if your icing is too liquid, add a little more icing sugar, if the icing is too thick, gradually add a little more juice or milk (1/2 tsp at a time) until you have the correct viscosity. 

Make sure the sponges have completely cooled before assembling and icing the cakes. Use a cake wire to cut each cake into two even layers.

Use a pallet knife to spread a third of the buttercream icing onto the first sponge, working from the centre outwards to form an even layer. Place the second sponge on top and repeat this process until you have four layers of sponge glued together with three layers of buttercream.

To make the royal icing and decorate:

Gradually add the orange juice to the royal icing, a little at a time, until the icing is smooth and glossy. Spoon into a disposable piping bag and tie a knot in the top. Snip the end of the bag off to create a 2-3mm tip and pipe loops of royal icing around the edge of the cake, flooding the centre. Decorate with orange and lemon jelly segments. 

If you like the look of this cake, you may also like the double iced lemon cake I made for Owen's birthday a couple of years ago. Enjoy :)


  1. That looks absolutely amazing! drool :)

  2. AAAhhhhh I used to love those little orange/lemon cake decorations! Looks delicious x

  3. Thanks for the lovely comments ladies :) Those orange & lemon jelly decorations always seem to go down well! x