This super citrus cake is based on my previous St-Clements-cake, which is also very tasty. Here I’ve gone for a richer version with two layers. I also decided it would look good if I halved the mixture, coloured and flavoured each half either lemon or orange then marbled the cake. It worked even better than I’d hoped.
Serves: 10 – 12
Time: About an hour + cooling, plus about 20 minutes for the topping/filling
Level: Quite easy
Need: 2 x 20cm/8” loose bottomed round cake tins
- 175g/6oz unsalted butter, softened (or use Stork)
- 150g/5½oz caster sugar
- 1 – 2 lemons
- 1 – 2 oranges
- 3 medium eggs
- 75g/2½oz plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 150g/5½oz ground almonds
- 125ml/4½fl oz yogurt – plain or Greek or any citrus flavour
- Lemon extract/flavouring (optional)
- Orange extract/flavouring (optional)
- Yellow food colouring*
- Orange food colouring*
* I like the “Coloursplash” range.
- 400g/14oz – 500g/1lb 2oz mascarpone
- 75g/2½oz – 100g/3½oz icing sugar + a little for dusting
- A very small amount of orange and/or lemon juice
- zest of an orange and a lemon (Use half in the mixture then grate the rest over the finished cake)
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C / fan 150°C / 325°F / Gas 3. Grease and base line the tin, then dust lightly with flour.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and the sugar.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Also add 1 tsp of flour with each egg, to avoid curdling.
4. Sift in the rest of the flour and the baking powder plus the ground almonds. Fold these dry ingredients into the wet mixture using a large metal spoon. Stir in the yogurt.
5. Divide the mixture equally into two bowls. Into one bowl add the zest of a lemon, a few drops of lemon extract (if using), 20ml/0.25fl oz lemon juice and a little yellow food colouring. Into the other bowl add the zest of an orange, a few drops of orange extract (if using), 20ml/0.25fl oz orange juice and a little orange food colouring.
6. Spoon blobs of each colour mixture equally into the two tins then swirl briefly with a chopstick or similar tool.
7. Tap the tins on your work surface to release any trapped air then bake for about 30 mins. Check by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cakes. When it comes out clean and dry the cakes are done. Leave in the tin for 10 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.
8. For the topping, beat the mascarpone then sieve in the icing sugar and stir in just enough juice to achieve a thick but spreadable consistency. Grate in the zest and stir. Place in fridge for half an hour to “firm it up” if necessary.
9. Use half the mix to layer the two cakes together then spoon or pipe the remainder on top as desired. Put the cake in the fridge for 30 mins to firm up. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
Here are a few that I’d love you to try:
Before I close, I’ll show you an early version that went wrong, so you can avoid my mistake. I originally used only one 20cm/8″ tin and baked for about 42 minutes. The skewer came out clean and seemed to be dry, but only when I tried to cut the cake into two halves did I realise how soggy it was in the middle. Using two tins not only avoided this problem, it was quicker to bake them and there was no need to do any cutting.