Orange Flower Cake

My work has a healthy love of charity bake sales, for which I’m very grateful. It allows me to eat plenty of delicious things (calorie free cos it’s for charity obvs) and practice my baking skills, and all for good causes.

The most recent event was a bit different, where we baked full cakes instead of the usual fare of biscuits, cupcakes etc. There was a competition to judge a winner then all cakes were sliced up and sold for charity. The competition was fierce and I sadly didn’t win, but I was proud of my efforts nonetheless.

I made an orange drizzle cake – I used this recipe from Mary Berry (just the sponge and drizzle – I used a different icing) I tripled the recipe and baked in 3 separate 9″ tins.

I made my icing while the cakes cooled. This is my favourite icing recipe ever. It’s delicious and easy to work with for both spreading and piping.

You absolutely need a stand mixer for this icing by the way! And I thoroughly recommend following the tip about covering your mixer before mixing in the icing sugar. It had never occurred to me to do that before reading this recipe and the mess of my kitchen doing buttercream used to drive me mad!

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After the cakes were cool and the drizzle had settled in a bit, I sandwiched in buttercream. If I was doing it again I would split them in half again or just split each one between tins before mixing (I know it suggests this in the recipe already – I’ve made it a few times before and couldn’t remember how tall the cakes ended up, and I wanted a really tall cake which is why I did it the way I did.)

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I’ve not really mastered the art of really smooth buttercream yet – although believe it or not I think this is the best I’ve done. I need to get a good wide piping tip and a proper icing smoother to get it really smooth I reckon!

After smoothing my icing as much as possible I cut lots of little flowers and leaves from fondant icing, and used these to decorate.

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I used red and yellow icing to pipe in contrasting centers to the flowers, and then dyed my remained icing a pale orange to finish off, piping it round the top and bottom. I’d cut some flowers of varying sizes and added them on at random places to both complete the look and cover any particularly dodgy bits of icing.

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I was really pleased with it – however I definitely would have had thinner layers with more buttercream in between if I was doing it again. And I definitely need to practice my smoothing skills. However, it was very tasty – and the above links are recipes I use frequently and highly recommend.

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