Mary Berry’s orange layer cake

Mary Berry’s orange layer cake

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(34 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins


Cuts into 8 slices
The queen of baking, Mary Berry, creates a light and fruity citrus sponge with buttery frosting and a sugar glaze

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal745
  • fat42g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs86g
  • sugars67g
  • fibre1g
  • protein6g
  • salt1.3g
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    For the cake

    • 225g baking spread
    • 225g self-raising flour
    • 1 level tsp baking powder
      Baking powder

      Baking powder

      bay-king pow-dah

      Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

    • 100g golden caster sugar
    • 100g brown sugar
    • 4 large egg
    • finely grated zest of 2 oranges



      One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

    For the butter icing

    • 150g butter, softened



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 300g icing sugar, sifted
    • finely grated zest of 2 oranges



      One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

    For the glaze

    • 25g caster sugar
    • juice of 2 oranges



      One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…


    1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. You will need 2 x 20cm loose-bottomed sandwich tins, greased and bases lined with baking parchment. Measure all the cake ingredients into a large bowl (reserve a little orange zest for decoration) and beat with a wooden spoon or electric hand mixer until combined and smooth.

    2. Divide evenly between the 2 tins. Bake for 20-25 mins or until well risen, lightly golden and shrinking away from the sides of the tins. After 5 mins, remove from the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack.

    3. To make the icing, put the butter and icing sugar into a bowl and mix with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in the orange zest.

    4. Remove the paper from the cakes. Sit 1 cake upside down on a plate. Make the glaze by putting the caster sugar and orange juice into a saucepan, stirring over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Boil until reduced by half, then brush half on the upside-down cake, using a pastry brush. Spread half the butter icing over the glazed cake. Sit the other cake on top, brush with the remaining glaze, then spread with the remaining butter icing. Scatter with the reserved orange zest. The cake is best eaten on the day, but will keep for up to 3 days in a cool place. It freezes well un-iced or filled.

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    Comments (36)

    E_Crellin's picture

    Generally I think there could be a little less icing, I ended up having to smother the cake in it. Otherwise really nice, though I had to cook it a little longer than I expected.

    Petercmsmith's picture

    Great recipe. I have made it many times now and it is a firm family favorite. Works just as well with lemon.

    janex's picture

    Gorgeous cake, took a little longer than expected. Great flavour, will make again.

    KLAE's picture

    I followed this recipe to the letter and it was perfect. My second attempt was my entry into our office bake off and I came first for the best tasting cake beating 18 others! Very easy to bake and tastes delicious :)

    Scot in Germany's picture

    Lovely sponges, the icing is nice and firm (although much more orange than in the picture) but the 'glaze' was a disaster. I followed the method to the letter and just ended up with an orangey liquid which made my lower layer soggy. Trying to apply a stiff icing to a soggy sponge results in the top disintegrating. After trying to rectify this horror, I abandoned said glaze for the upper sponge, and just applied the icing. I can't figure out why no one else had this problem. If I make it again, I will miss out the glaze (which isn't a glaze). Perhaps a proper measure of orange juice would have helped; "the juice of two oranges" is a very approximate quantity. Disappointing.

    tashacoop1's picture

    If I am going to freeze the cake, do I add the syrup before before I freeze it or when I add the butter icing? Thanks

    Alfie Barrishi's picture

    Great cake! Made this in our families own little great British bake off, and filled it with a great orange buttercream and covered with white chocolate ganache! Thanks Mary!

    natalieaa's picture

    I found this very, very sweet and not very orangey. If I made it again I would try a different topping I think as it was so overpowering.

    sophiepayne's picture

    This tasted just as I hoped it would and the sponge stayed lovely and moist for a few days. It is a lot of icing though so be mindful of that if you don't like things too sweet. I wished I had put more icing between the layers so that it looked more like the picture - didn't squeeze out of the sides as much as I'd hoped. A great cake and I will try next time with lemon in place of orange.

    stirky's picture

    We first made this for our sons birthday and have had it several times since...such a yummy cake! My husband even won a work bake off with it. It's good!

    topsfizz's picture

    Oh wow! This cake tasted amazing, even if I do say so myself ha ha. I used butter instead of baking spread and it was perfect. My friends fiancee is still talking about it a month later! You must try it!!

    livinsane's picture

    Beautiful cake. I punched holes in the cake to let the orange glaze soak in and only made half the amount of butter icing, which I think was enough. I'll definitely make it again.

    williams93's picture

    I have made this cake twice and its gorgeous! I will be making another at the weekend to take to work with to share on my birthday!

    epidote's picture

    I made this or Mother's Day in the uk. Envy one loved it. I will be making it again.

    Bethanwy's picture

    I put no thought into the potential finer nuances of"Baking spread" and just used butter, which was gorgeous. I then used it as the basis for a lemon cake, making the obvious orange to lemon substitution and adding a small cinnamon stick to the drizzle and a couple of tablespoons of glace ginger to the frosting in the middle. That worked really well as well.

    nekent2426's picture

    I made this for my mum for Mother's Day and it went down very very well everyone ate it and it was gone within a day it was easy to make and simple would definitely make it again it was also very quick. Absolutely lovely !!! BRILLIANT!!!!!

    paulacogar's picture

    I used softened butter and it turned out just fine and dandy.

    littletwig's picture

    Made this for a family "get-together". Everyone enjoyed it. Didn't change any of the ingredients. Will be on my list of best cakes.

    acurrymancalledr's picture


    Yeah, looks like the baking spread term caused a lot of confusion lol

    This was nice, but for people who don't like it too sweet, like me, should add mascarpone or Philadelphia cheese in with the frosting mix, it was essential in this case!

    Tamsers's picture

    This cake was weird! It was amazingly light and had a lovely texture but I found it too bitter and too sweet at the same time. Very marmalady!


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    Tips (1)

    chlowaroo's picture

    It's so sickly I'd recommend making half the quantity of icing - it's like where's the cake?! Also the whole recipe is too sweet, recommend using lots more orange zest and less sugar overall.