Mary Berry’s orange layer cake

Mary Berry’s orange layer cake

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(50 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 eggs
    • 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 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, questions and tips

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    Paula Bradley's picture
    Paula Bradley
    5th Jul, 2020
    Beautiful orange cake. Very easy to make. Some comments advised to half the buttercream but I used the amount stated and it was perfect.
    8th May, 2020
    I love this cake and have made it loads of times. I tend to halve the quantities as it makes a huge cake just for two. The sponge always comes out perfect. If I’m feeling lazy I have used marmalade with no bits in instead of the glaze, it’s basically the same. There is too much icing and it is a bit thick, I’ve just added 4 dessert spoons of orange juice to the batch I’ve made.
    21st Mar, 2019
    Cake mix was perfect, came out very well. Icing is way too sugary and too dry. If you look on Mary Berry's own website she has a similar recipe which uses half the quantity of sugar for the icing. I also about a quarter of an orange worth of orange juice to the icing mix, along with two tablespoons of cointreu to get it to the correct creamy consistency. Also put 4 tablespoons of cointreu into the cake mix. Came out lovely.
    8th Oct, 2018
    Lovely moist and delicious cake. HOWEVER, I only used half the icing and put it in the middle - otherwise the icing's sweetness would have overpowered the whole cake. Will definitely make this again!
    4th Mar, 2017
    Didn't enjoy this. The frosting was very sweet and there was far too much of it. The cake tasted too strongly of orange for me.
    5th Nov, 2016
    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.
    28th Oct, 2016
    Great recipe. I have made it many times now and it is a firm family favorite. Works just as well with lemon.
    13th Feb, 2016
    Gorgeous cake, took a little longer than expected. Great flavour, will make again.
    1st Oct, 2015
    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
    10th Sep, 2015
    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.


    Suzanne Villiers's picture
    Suzanne Villiers
    1st Feb, 2020
    I have just made this cake for a friend's birthday tomorrow. I am worried though, because the icing has the consistency of scrambled eggs. The glaze just seemed to make the sponges soggy. It doesn't look very pretty. Hopefully it will taste better than it looks.
    goodfoodteam's picture
    4th Feb, 2020
    Hello! thanks for your question. Your butter may have been too cold when you started making your icing, therefore separating and giving you that texture. Bring it back to room temp then beat really well with electric beaters for 5-10 mins to bring it back to a smooth, air rated texture.
    17th Jun, 2016
    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.
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