I was feeling suitably filled with seasonal joy last Sunday to make a cake. A layer cake at that! I tend to stay away from cakes that involve anything more complicated than poking a few holes in them or sprinkling with sugar. I’m completely in awe of people like Rosie who manage to construct elegant temples to deliciousness with a few layers of cake and some buttercream.
As is perhaps startlingly obvious from the pictures, my skills in the cake decorating departments are really quite limited. To be honest, I was impressed enough that I managed to get one layer on top of the other without breaking either of them. I briefly considered frosting the sides too but a small experiment on the back of the cake quickly revealed that this was going to be a challenge too far. Plus, the time spent frosting the sides of the cake would be time that I couldn’t spend eating it and, let’s be honest, eating cake is one of my main priorities in life.
A cake flavoured with orange blossom water seemed like an obvious choice therefore. Although I have learnt from bitter experience not to be too heavy handed with the orange blossom water, in small quantities it adds such a wonderfully floral citrus flavour. It works perfectly with a satin-like cream cheese frosting, spiked with vanilla and a touch of salt. Even if your cake decorating skills are as woeful as mine, this cake is still an absolute delight.
I hope everyone has a lovely Easter, filled with chocolate, delicious food and good times (in order of priority).
For the cake:
- 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 225g plain/all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- A splash of milk (optional)
- 2 teaspoons orange blossom water
For the frosting:
- 40g unsalted butter, softened
- 130g cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 300g icing/powdered sugar
- To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease two 6 inch cake tins.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 mins). In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together and then add the egg mixture little by little to prevent curdling.
- When the eggs have been mixed in, add the dry ingredients and orange blossom water and fold with a metal spoon. Your mixture should drop off the spoon when you tap the side of the bowl – if not, add a splash of milk.
- Pour into your baking tins and bake for 20-30 minutes until the cake is golden brown and comes away from the sides of the pan.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before turning onto a wire rack.
- To make the frosting, beat together all the ingredients until you have a smooth and silky mixture.
- Place a large dollop of frosting on one of the cooled cakes, place the other cake on top and use the rest of the frosting to cover the top. If you want to frost the sides of the cake as well, you will need to make slightly more frosting (65g butter, 200g cream cheese, 1 teaspoon each of vanilla and salt and 450g of icing sugar).