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Cover: Make your cake…and eat it

Recipes with icing sugar

25Apr 12

Banana Cake with Orange Frosting

Banana cake with orange frostingA few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me to make a cake for her daughter’s birthday party,  but it turned out that her daughter didn’t like chocolate, vanilla, or any of the other typical birthday cake flavours.  At first I was at a bit of a loss about what to make, but after a bit of thinking, inspiration struck.  This banana cake with orange frosting was the result, and her daughter absolutely loved it!

The cake is really just a traditional banana bread recipe, but doubled and baked in a round tube pan instead of its usual rectangular shape.  The frosting is cream cheese-based and flavoured with the juice and rind of a fresh orange.  If you don’t happen to have any fresh oranges at hand, you can substitute with store-bought orange juice.  It won’t be quite as tasty and tangy, but it’ll do in a pinch.

If you prefer veggies over fruits, you can try this carrot cake recipe, which tastes very similar and is absolutely delicious!


For the sponge:

  • 6 very ripe bananas
  • 400g granulated sugar
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 370g flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tsp baking soda
  • 8tbsp melted butter
  • 1tsp cinnamon

For the frosting:

  • 200g of cream cheese
  • 320g (2 ½ cups) of icing sugar
  • Juice from one medium orange
  • 1tsp orange zest


For the sponge:

  1. Preheat oven to 175ºC.
  2. Butter and flour a 27cm diameter round tube cake pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas into the sugar with a fork or potato masher.
  4. Beat in the eggs and mix well.
  5. Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
  6. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture and blend well.
  7. Pour the mixture into the buttered and floured pan.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the side comes out clean.

For the frosting:

  1. Combine all the ingredients and blend very well, either by hand or with an electric mixer.
  2. Cool the icing in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  If it is too runny, add more icing sugar.
  3. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake and serve.

Prep Time:  15 minutes

Cooking Time:  60 minutes

Serves:  10-12

Difficulty:  Medium

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18Apr 12

Yellow Layer Cake with Orange Chocolate Frosting

Yellow layer cake with orange chocolate frosting

This yellow layer cake with orange chocolate frosting is a small variation on your typical yellow sponge cake.  I was getting a bit bored of plain old chocolate or vanilla frosting and decided to get a bit more adventurous.  Of course, if you prefer, you can just make the sponge and use whatever frosting you prefer, but where’s the fun in that?!

This recipe uses only two layers of sponge cake, but I sometimes use three, depending on your mood. You could also make fun shapes, like in this chocolate orange Valentine’s cake.


For the sponge:

  • 4 eggs, whites separated from yolks
  • 225g butter, softened
  • 400g granulated sugar
  • 240g cake flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 250ml milk


For the frosting:

  • 125g cream cheese
  • 315g icing sugar
  • 125g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 3tbsp orange juice
  • Grated rind of 1 orange



  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
  2. Grease and flour two 25cm round cake pans, or line them with baking parchment and set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer with a wire whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they are soft but not dry. Set aside.
  4. With the electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and gradually add the granulated sugar, beating until light in colour.
  5. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  6. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  7. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
  8. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until batter is smooth.
  9. Carefully fold the flour mixture into the egg whites.
  10.  Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  11.  While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting as follows:
    • Mix all the ingredients together by hand or with an electric mixer, setting aside just a pinch of the grated orange rind.
    • If the icing is too runny, add a little more icing sugar until the desired consistency is achieved.
    • Refrigerate until you’re ready to frost the cake.
  1.  Remove the pans from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2.  Carefully remove the cakes from the pans and continue to cool on the wire racks. Remove and discard parchment before decorating.
  3.  When cool, frost with the orange and chocolate frosting you prepared earlier and sprinkle over the remaining orange rind. Slice and serve.


Prep Time:  30 minutes

Cooking Time:  30minutes

Serves:  10

Difficulty:  Medium

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11Apr 12

Caramel Cake with Butter Cream Icing

Caramel Cake with Butter Cream IcingCaramel is a wonderful flavour. I love it with fruit such as in this Caramel Peach recipe. I am also partial to this caramel cake with butter cream icing. It is a bit tricky to make and takes a bit of time, but the result is absolutely fantastic, so grab your apron and let’s get baking!


For the cake:

  • 290g sifted flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp salt
  • 110g butter, softened
  • 300g granulated sugar
  • 250ml water
  • 3 eggs, yolks separated from whites, whites stiffly beaten

For the caramel syrup:

  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 125ml boiling water

For the butter cream icing:

  • 120g unsalted butter, softened
  • 565g icing sugar
  • 90ml single cream
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsps caramel syrup (see above)


  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Gradually add the sugar to the butter, then mix with an electric mixer at high speed until it’s light and fluffy.
  5. Blend in the egg yolks at medium speed.
  6. Beat well.
  7. Alternately blend in the sifted dry ingredients and the water, about a quarter at a time, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Make sure you blend very well after each addition.
  8. To make the caramel syrup, melt the sugar in a heavy saucepan over low heat until it turns golden brown.
  9. Remove from heat and gradually add the boiling water, just a few drops at a time at first, then about a tablespoon at a time.  Stir constantly to dissolve the caramel.
  10. Add all but 2 tablespoons of this syrup to the batter and blend well.
  11. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
  12. Pour the batter into two 20cm non-stick layer-cake pans.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the centre of the cake springs back when lightly touched.
  14. Cool the layers on a wire rack.
  15. To make the icing, beat the butter until fluffy.
  16. Gradually beat the sugar into the butter, alternately with the cream, until the sugar is absorbed.
  17. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  18. Beat in the 2 tablespoons of caramel syrup you set aside earlier.
  19. The icing should be of spreading consistency. If it’s not, add more sugar to thicken or cream to thin.
  20. Frost the cooled layers with the icing and stack.
  21. Slice and serve.

Prep Time:  60 minutes

Cooking Time:  35 minutes

Serves:  8

Difficulty:  Difficult

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07Apr 12

Orange Cake with Strawberries and Cream

Orange cake with strawberries and creamThis light and fruity orange cake with strawberries and cream is the perfect dessert to serve on a hot summer afternoon.  The orange rind gives it a subtle citrus flavour which is counterbalanced perfectly by the strawberries and cream.


  • 4 egg whites, beaten
  • 110g butter, softened
  • 145g cake flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 1/3tsp salt
  • 4tbsp orange juice
  • 185ml buttermilk
  • 1tbsp grated orange rind
  • Icing sugar for dusting
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 500g strawberries, chopped
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 100ml double cream



  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
  2. Grease and flour or line a cake pan with baking parchment. Set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, blend the butter and sugar until light in colour.
  4.  Add 2 tablespoons of the orange juice, the rind and the vanilla. Blend well.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Mix just until blended.
  6. Fold the batter mixture into the beaten egg whites. Pour into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack.
  8. While the cake is baking, prepare the strawberries by mixing the chopped strawberries with 150g of granulated sugar.  Stir well to make sure all the fruit is coated in sugar. Set aside for 20 minutes so that the berries release their juice.  Mix with the double cream and refrigerate until the cake is done and cool.
  9. Pour 2 tablespoons of orange juice on top of baked cake.
  10. Cool cake in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from the pan and continue lettting it sit on the wire cooling rack until it reaches room temperature.
  12. Remove and discard the baking parchment, if necessary.
  13. Drizzle a heaping tablespoon or two of the strawberries and cream over the cake in whichever decorative pattern you choose.
  14. Coat any visible strawberries with icing sugar and serve immediately.  If you don’t plan on serving immediately, leave the strawberries until you do.
Note: Sometimes, I like cutting the cake in half horizontally and adding the strawberries and cream in the middle so as to have several layers of fruit.
(Want more orange cake recipes? I recommend this Easter cake with orange and marzipan.)


Prep Time:  20 minutes

Cooking Time:  50 minutes

Serves:  6-8

Difficulty:  Medium

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25Mar 12

Chocolate Roll

Chocolate RollThis rich and creamy chocolate roll, similar to a chocolate roulade, is a bit labour-intensive, but I guarantee that the result is worth it!


  • 150g of semi-sweet milk chocolate
  • 100g (½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 30ml (¼ cup) of water
  • 6 eggs with the yolks separated from the whites and the whites stiffly beaten
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • 356ml (1 ½ cups) of double cream
  • 2 tbsp. of icing sugar
  • ½ a tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. Kirsch (or neat cherry brandy)
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC and line a jelly-roll pan with buttered and floured parchment paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a double saucepan over simmering water.
  3. Mix together the granulated sugar and water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook for two more minutes over medium heat.
  4. Place the egg yolks in a bowl in the meantime.
  5. Pour the hot sugar syrup over the yolks and beat vigorously with a whisk for around 5 minutes, until the mixture is light, smooth and pale yellow in colour.
  6. Mix in the coffee and the melted chocolate.
  7. Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and whisk vigorously until well mixed.
  8. Add the rest of the egg whites and fold them in with a spatula.  Mix them just enough to combine the ingredients, but take care not to overwork it.
  9.  pour in the batter.  It should be about ½ inch thick.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven 15 minutes, until the cake springs back when you press on it.
  11. Cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic film and let it cool for at least 2 hours more.
  12. Start whipping the cream until it is thick but not stiff yet.
  13. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and Kirsch and keep beating until the cream is firm.

Now for the hard part – rolling the cake:

  1. Remove the plastic wrap and slide a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake.
  2. Spread the whipped cream on the cake.
  3. Start at one end and begin rolling up the cake with the paper still on.
  4. Peel off the paper as you go a little at a time with each roll.  Try not to press down so that the cream doesn’t get squeezed out.
  5. Continue rolling and removing the plastic until the roll is completed.
  6. Using two spatulas, slide the cake onto a serving platter with the end on the bottom so that the top looks smooth.
  7. Sprinkle cocoa powder over the top with a sieve to garnish, then refrigerate.

Prep Time:  45 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty: Difficult

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