This delightful easter centrepiece cake is simple and understated with beautiful zingy orange notes.
Easter Centrepiece Cake
Preparation time 45 mins
Baking time 25-30 mins
For the cake:
- 300g butter, softened
- 300g caster sugar
- Zest of 1½ oranges
- 6 eggs, large
- 250g self raising flour
- Juice of ½ orange
- Juice of 1½ oranges
- 100g caster sugar
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 70g butter, softened
- 200g soft cream cheese
- 400g icing sugar, sifted
- Zest of ½ orange
- Gel paste colouring in orange
- Grease and line the bases of 3 x 20cm sandwich tins and preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the orange zest and mix well to combine evenly. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour at any sign of curdling. Fold through the remaining flour and the orange juice until the mixture is even.
- Divide equally between the three tins roughly levelling the tops with the back of spoon. Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins until golden brown and springy to the touch.
- Whilst the cakes are in the oven, prepare the soaking syrup. Combine the caster sugar and orange juice in a small pan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved then remove from the heat.
- When the cakes come out of the oven, brush the syrup over the tops with a pastry brush. Allow to cool in the tins for a further 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To prepare the cream cheese frosting, beat the softened butter and then add the cream cheese, beat again until fully combined. Sift in the icing sugar and work together until the frosting is an even consistency. Finally add the orange zest and stir through.
- Use a thin layer of frosting to sandwich each of the 3 layers together. Split the remaining frosting into three bowls with a single amount in one, a double in another and a triple amount in the third bowl.
- Colour the largest portion a vibrant orange, the middle sized portion a shade lighter and the smallest portion a shade lighter again. Fill a piping bag fitted with a round open nozzle (approx 1cm) with the deepest orange frosting.
- At the outside edge of the top of the cake start a round bulb followed by a trail into the centre of the cake. Repeat all the way around until a complete outer circle is created. Take a small offset palette knife and press it lightly into the bulb and move it in to the centre of the cake. Repeat with each bulb until the top is completed.
- Repeat the same process piping and spreading with the lighter shades of cream cheese frosting moving in towards the centre of the cake with each change of colour. In the very centre of the cake, swirl the frosting with the tip of the palette knife to finish. Serve.
* A small offset palette knife is the best tool for the spreading, but if you do not have one then the back of a teaspoon is the next best thing.
This cake can easily be done with lemon if preferred, substituting the zest and juice of an orange with lemon.