Moist orange and almond cake with chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC)
You can do this with 6 inch tins or slightly larger with seven inch tins which will give shallower layers. I like the way the cake looks when it is tall and a slice looks really stripy and exciting.
Servings Prep Time
10people 20mins
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
10people 20mins
Cook Time
For the cake
For the buttercream
  1. The Yummy Cake

    1. Put a skewer through the orange, place in a pan of water and boil on the hob for one hour. Once done, remove and cool. Once cool, cut into quarters and remove the pips. Place orange quarters (skin and all) into a blender until you have a smooth puree. Set aside for later.
    2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC
    3. Crack the eggs into the Kitchenaid. Using the whisk attachment, break them up. Add the caster sugar and whisk until fully combined and a pale peach colour and frothy. By hand or on low speed using the paddle attachment, fold in flour, almonds and baking powder. Finally fold in the orange puree.
    4. Grease and line two six inch cake tins and divide the mix between the two. Make a slight well in the middle of each pan of mixture to help the cakes cook evenly.
    5. Cook on the middle shelf of the oven for around an hour, checking after 45 minutes. The cakes are done when a skewer comes out clean and you can smell a lovely orangey almondy smell in the kitchen. Sometimes the skewer will come out with a little bit of almond on it because of the density of the cake. If your cake has been in for an hour plus a little extra depending on your oven and it is consistently returning almond on the skewer, hedge your bets that it is done otherwise it will quickly overcook and become hard.
    6. Leave to cool on wire racks
  2. The divine Swiss Meringue buttercream (SMBC)

    1. Set up a bain marie on the stove. I use my Kitchenaid bowl over a pan as it is easy to transfer to the stand mixer after. Don’t let the water touch the bowl.
    2. Wipe over all your utensils and bowls with lemon juice to eliminate residual grease which is your enemy for this recipe to begin with!
    1. Put your egg whites and sugar in the bowl over the simmering water and whisk either with an electric hand mixer or a standard whisk. Don’t let your mixture sit still at any point as you will scramble the eggs. You are aiming to dissolve the sugar into the egg white.
    2. After three minutes of whisking, dip a (clean!!) finger into the mix and rub it between your finger and thumb. You want it to feel smooth. If it feels gritty, continue over the heat until it feels smooth.
    3. Once the mix is smooth, remove the bowl from the heat and turn off the hob. You then need to place your bowl in your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or you can carry on with a hand mixer. You will need to whisk until you have thick glossy stand alone peaks (like you are making meringue). It takes about five minutes.
    4. Once you have reached this stage, ensure your bowl is cool. If you need to, you can place the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes.
    5. Cut your butter into 1.5cm square pieces. If using a stand mixer or Kitchenaid,you need to swap to the paddle attachment. Cube by cube on a moderate speed, add the butter. It might curdle and look a bit like scrambled eggs to begin with but stick with it, it will come back to a lovely glossy, fluffy frosting.
    6. Once all your butter is incorporated and you have a glossy, fluffy consistency, sieve in as much cocoa as you want depending on taste. Once incorporated, squeeze in a dash of vanilla extract and mix in.
    7. You need to use it straight away to ensure you get this lovely fluffy moussey texture. You can refrigerate it but you HAVE to let it come back to room temp and whip it to use it again. You will be able to get the fluffiness back but it might take a little while.
  3. Build the lovely cake

    1. Cut any domes off the cakes so it is nice and level. Eat them, they are nice.
    2. Slice both your cakes in two evenly. I use a Wilton cake measurer to ensure I get it even
    3. Put your bottom slice on a plate. Liberally slosh loads of the SMBC on it,
    4. Put the next slice on. Put loads of SMBC on top of that too.
    5. Get the next bit of cake and place that on. Once again, slather loads of SMBC on top of this.
    6. Place the last round on cake on top. Pop in the fridge for five minute to firm up so you don’t have a sliding nightmare when trying to frost the sides.
    7. After five minutes, frost around the sides with the rest of the SMBC, smoothing out with an offset spatula so it looks pretty.
    8. You can decorate with a few sprinkles or chocolate curls if you like.
  4. Enjoy!

    The cake lasts a fair while, usually up to a week. Don’t put it in the fridge as the cake will crystallise and go stale quicker. It never lasts a week in my house!