I have been looking forward to the Easter break pretty much since the second of January.  
Whilst I still can’t quite believe we’re in April, Christmas seems a very long time ago. Even though there may be snow in a large part of the country, I’m still going to tell myself that it’s spring. And refuse to get my winter coat back out of the cupboard. It seems like a very long time since I spent more than a day away from the shackles of my laptop. Late nights in the office, followed by a couple more hours of work in front of the TV and then a sleep disturbed by seemingly endless to do lists have all taken their toll. The Easter break, therefore, is a more than welcome respite from the madness.

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.

I love all the smells at this time of year.  You walk down the street and are assailed by the heady scent of flowers coming into bloom.  My flat is filled with sunshine and daffodils. I’m off to France first thing tomorrow for the long weekend and I can’t wait to step of the plane and breath in the fragrant air.  

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).

Orange blossom cake with cream cheese frosting
Makes a 6 inch two layer cake

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

Cooking Directions

  1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease two 6 inch cake tins.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before turning onto a wire rack.
  6. To make the frosting, beat together all the ingredients until you have a smooth and silky mixture.
  7. 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).

    29 Responses to "orange blossom cake with cream cheese frosting"
    1. This cake is so pretty! Love this idea!

    2. Sara says:

      Well, your cake is beautiful, and I love the idea of using orange blossom water, I’ve been using it with cranberries too. However, I totally am with you about the decorating issues–I claim to prefer “homey” cakes but perhaps it’s just an aversion to decorating!

    3. Erin says:

      Looks like a lovely cake! Happy Easter and have fun in France! I’m very jealous. :)

    4. london bakes says:

      @Katrina – Thank you!

      @Sara – I’m with you on the ‘homey’ cakes front ;)

      @Erin – Thank you, have a great Easter yourself!

    5. Andrew's Mom says:

      That looks so yummy – I’m not a fan of chocolate – so anything lemon, orange, maple – I’m all over! Happy Easter Kathryn!

    6. I love orange blossom water!! I will be posting a recipe that uses it in rice even! This cake looks delicious. I just bought rose water yesterday and I am thinking it might be good in a rose water version too!

    7. london bakes says:

      @Andrew’s Mom – You wouldn’t survive long in my house not liking chocolate but even I do quite like the odd non-chocolate treat every now and then ;) Happy Easter to you too!

      @Heidi – Your rice recipe sounds delicious, can’t wait to check it out. Rose water would also be lovely too.

    8. Elizabeth says:

      Cream cheese frosting is just too good to be true!

    9. Lovely! Hope you have a lovely Easter break…I too am looking forward to the time off and the wonderful baked goods that come along with the holiday! xo

    10. Amy says:

      oh my god orange blossom cake with cream cheese frosting?! Kathryn you’d have to frost that thing in a way that would make it completely inedible (which is of course impossible) for me to still not want a piece! That sounds lovely, especially as a treat for easter. Hope you have nice holidays… it definitely sounds like you deserve it.

    11. Jen says:

      such a beautiful and simply decorated cake. I love it.

    12. Leanne says:

      This looks absolutely beautiful– I think your cake decorating skills are better than you give yourself credit for! I’ve never cooked with orange blossom water, but this spring seems like the perfect time to start! Enjoy France and your well-deserved holiday!

    13. Kathryn, you make the most delectable looking cakes. This is fabulous looking and I bet fabulously delicious!

    14. this cake looks so scrumptious and such a great way to ring in spring! the flavors are spring flavors and orange blossom just reminds me of being in a field of flowers!

    15. kyleen says:

      We have so much in common–eating cake is one of my priorities in life as well! This cake is gorgeous!

    16. Alison says:

      This cake looks totally gorgeous and decadent!

    17. Madhu says:

      I like you because eating cake is so important to you and I totally LOVE the way you ice cakes!! :-)

    18. Hooray for you well and truly getting your baking mojo back :-) This looks absolutely epic and I love the flavours. Sometimes the fanciest cakes don’t taste half as good as something simple, homemade and delicious like this.

    19. Joanne says:

      Cakes are totally my favorite things to bake! I really love frosting and decorating…though mine never come quite as perfect as Rosie’s do! The fresh flavors of this are just perfect for easter!

    20. What a scrumptious cake idea!

    21. oh yum, this sounds absolutely wonderful. and i think your cake decorating skills are actually pretty great. clearly you’ve never seen one of my cakes – i’ve got a lot of work still to go! =)

    22. Loveforfood says:

      I am drooling over your site! the food, the recipes, your photography.

    23. I’ve never made anything with blossom water but I’m excited to give it a try. And as Amy said, your cake skills are perfect. My cakes look like a truck ran over them.

    24. This is one gorgeous cake, Kathryn. Stellar photos (as always) and great flavor combo. Love the cream cheese frosting!

    25. london bakes says:

      @Elizabeth – It really is isn’t it?!

      @Elaina – Thank you, hope you had a lovely weekend! xo

      @Amy – As much as I like pretty looking cakes, at the end of the day, I’m still going to eat it whatever it looks like! Hope you had a lovely Easter :)

      @Jen – Thank you so much.

      @Leanne – I’m not sure slapping a bit of frosting on a cake counts as decorating but thank you anyway ;)

      @Georgia – Thank you so much, you’re such a sweetheart!

      @Julie – Haha, yeah that’s exactly what I was going for so I’m glad it translated in cake form!

      @kyleen – Lol, I always like other people who make cake eating a priority too!

      @Alison – Thank you so much!

      @Madhu – Thank you :)

      @thelitteloaf – So very true, I’d much rather have a slice of this cake than of one that looked pretty but tasted of nothing.

      @Joanne – I think I find decorating cakes frustrating because I’m not very good at it but I’m sure practice will help a lot. A good excuse to eat more cake ;)

      @Russell – Thanks very much!

      @Amy – Thank you, you’re too sweet. You haven’t actually seen what this cake looks like at the back ;)

      @Loveforfood – Thank you so much, I’m so glad that you visited!

      @Chung-Ah – Lol, that is what it looks like from the back where I tried to decorate the sides!

      @Cassie – Thank you, I think cream cheese frosting is definitely my favourite type of frosting.

    26. This post made me laugh. I always felt that way about cakes, and then took a cake decorating class which made me a bit more confident. But your cakes looks pretty!

      And I love orange cake. And cream cheese.

    27. Gorgeous cake with delicious orange blossom water flavors I am sure :)

      Love your decorating skill — so rustic and homemade.

    28. cakeboule says:

      Yummy combination. Not everything has to look perfect although I think this one does.

    29. Angela says:

      I made this cake today using your recipe. It turned out really well with a couple of adjustments. I used self raising flour instead of plain with baking powder, and increased the flour by 100g after doubling the recipe. I also added a tbspn coconut essence and lemon zest and lemon juice of one lemon, which led to a more aromatic and tropical flavour. It turned out sweet, flowery as well as perfectly golden after baking for 20 minutes. The texture is perfect, light, soft and not too hard or crumbly. Great recipe! So far my mum has tasted it and she really likes it, except it being a bit too sweet. I would definitely make this again.

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