A lovely decadent recipe for Mother’s Day – Vanilla and Orange Cake with homemade caramel and grapefruit curd

180g butter, at room temperature
150g Natura Sugars Golden Castor Sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
10ml (2 tsp) vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
160ml (2/3) cup buttermilk
250g (1 2/3 cup) self-raising flour
2,5ml (1/2 tsp) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt

100g Natura Sugars Golden Castor Sugar
250ml (1 cup) fresh cream
45ml (3 tbls) butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes

125g butter, at room temperature
250g Full fat cream cheese
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
180g Natura Sugars Icing Sugar

For finishing:
100ml grapefruit curd or store-bought citrus curd
fresh flowers, to decorate

How to
Preheat the oven to 180º C. Grease and line 3 x 15cm cake tins with baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla and orange zest and mix to incorporate.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer running, add 1/3 cup buttermilk. At this point, the mixture will look slightly curdled. Add half the sifted flour to the egg mixture and beat on low speed, just until the flour is combined. Add the remaining buttermilk and mix once more. Tip the rest of the flour in and mix on a low speed to incorporate.

Divide the batter between the tins and smooth over. Tap lightly to remove air bubbles. Bake for 27-30 minutes. Test for doneness before removing from the oven. Rest the cakes in the tins for 15 minutes before turning out. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the caramel, place the castor sugar in a small saucepan over a medium-high heat. Without stirring, swirl the pan from time to time until the sugar is melted and a deep amber colour. Add the cream and boil hard until any hard caramel bits are dissolved and the sauce is thickened. Whisk in the butter and salt. Pour half the caramel into a bowl and chill for 1 hour or until set.

To make the frosting, whisk the butter until pale and creamy. Add the cream cheese and vanilla and beat well to combine. Sift in the icing sugar and beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Before assembling the cake, trim the top of the sponges to even out. Place the first cake layer on a cake stand. Spread with the set caramel, then top with the second cake layer. Spread with the curd, then top with the final cake layer.

Cover the sides and top of the cake with a thin layer of frosting. This is the crumb coat. Chill for at least 1 hour. Using an off-set spatula, spread the remaining frosting over the cake. Drizzle the remaining caramel over the top of the cake, encouraging drips down the sides. (You might need to warm the caramel slightly if it has thickened) Decorate with fresh flowers and candied orange slices, if you like.


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Recipe provided by Bibby’s Kitchen @ 36, a food blog by Dianne Bibby. For more details on monthly cooking classes hosted in Johannesburg, email diannebibby@gmail.com.