Spiced brandy butter and candied orange cake

A triple layer cake decorated with a buttercream frosting and topped with candied oranges

  • 1243
  • Total time 2 hours
  • Note + cooling + chilling
  • Difficulty A little effort


  • Kerrygold Pure Irish Salted Butter 225g, plus extra for the tin
  • plain flour 325g
  • cornflour 25g
  • baking powder 4 1/2 tsp
  • mixed spice 4 tsp
  • ground ginger 1 tsp
  • ground nutmeg 1/2 tsp
  • caster sugar 350g
  • orange 1, zested
  • eggs 3
  • vanilla bean paste 1 tsp
  • natural yogurt 250ml
  • egg whites 3
  • caster sugar 240g
  • Kerrygold Pure Irish Salted Butter 360g
  • brandy 2 tbsp, plus 1 tbsp for the syrup
  • vanilla bean paste 1 tsp
  • navel oranges 2 large
  • caster sugar 300g, plus 2 tbsp


  • Step 1

    If making your own candied orange peel, pare the zest from the fruits in long strips. Finely slice lengthways to make long, thin strips of peel. Put into a small pan and pour over enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Drain off the water and repeat the process with fresh water two more times. Pour 300ml of water into the pan and add the sugar. Put over medium heat and bring to a simmer, cooking for 30 minutes until the peel becomes translucent. Set aside the pan and allow the peel to cool for 1 hour. Lift the peel from the syrup and set onto a wire rack. Put in the oven on its lowest setting to dry out for 30 minutes. Toss the peel in the remaining sugar and then spread out on a baking tray and leave to dry fully at room temperature. Add 1 tbsp of brandy to the syrup and use it to soak the cake layers.

    Step 2

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Lightly butter three 20cm round cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.

    Step 3

    In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cornflour, baking powder and spices. Set aside. Beat together the butter, sugar and orange zest in a large bowl for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until fully combined before adding the next. Add the vanilla and mix briefly to combine.

    Step 4

    Add in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the yogurt, starting and finishing with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared tins, spreading into an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cakes spring back to a light touch and come away from the sides of the tin. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    Step 5

    For the buttercream, put the egg whites and sugar into a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and whisk gently until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture feels hot to the touch. Remove the bowl from the heat and using an electric mixer whisk on high for 7-10 minutes or until holding stiff glossy peaks and is at room temperature. While continuing to whisk, add the butter a little at a time. Once all the butter has been added the mixture should form a buttercream-like texture. Add the brandy and vanilla, and mix to combine.

    Step 6

    To assemble the cake, put one of the cake layers onto a plate or cake stand and brush with the orange syrup. Top with a layer of buttercream, spreading into an even layer. Repeat with the second cake layer. Finish by adding the final layer of cake and spreading the remaining buttercream across the top and sides of the cake, spreading thinly so the cake peeks through.

    Step 7

    Decorate with the candied orange. Kept covered, the cake will keep for two to three days.

Recipe tip: Decorated with candied orange, the recipe makes more than you need but the extra candied orange can be a great edible gift or a little sweet treat served when friends visit. Alternatively, skip step 1 and buy whole glacé clementines and whole orange peel (available from buywholefoodsonline.co.uk), dust the whole clementines in caster sugar and cut the candied orange into strips to get our signature cover look

Find our best ever Christmas baking recipes here

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Nutritional data

  • kcals 587
  • fat 34.2g
  • saturates 21.1g
  • carbs 62.1g
  • sugars 43.2g
  • fibre 1.2g
  • protein 5.9g
  • salt 1.2g

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