This orange and walnut layer cake is an impressive centrepiece, perfect for a special occasion. It's Grand Marnier-soaked and delicious
- 275g (9½oz) unsalted butter
- 275g (9½oz) golden caster sugar
- 5 large eggs, beaten
- 275g (9½oz) self-raising flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- finely grated zest 1 large orange
- 85g (3½oz) walnuts, toasted for 8 minutes and finely ground in a food processor
- 125g (4½oz) softened unsalted butter
- 350g (12oz) full-fat cream cheese
- 250g (9oz) icing sugar, sifted
- finely grated zest 1 orange
- 1tbsp orange juice
- 3tbsp Grand Marnier
- 175g (6oz) walnuts, toasted and chopped
- strips of candied orange peel to decorate
This cake will keep for 2 days, covered, in a cool place.
- Preheat oven to 180 C, 160 C fan, 350 F, gas 4. Place the butter and caster sugar in an electric mixer and beat on high until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating well.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in using a spatula. Divide between two bowls. Add the zest to half the mixture, the walnuts to the other half, and fold both.
- Take two 20cm (8in) deep sandwich tins, both greased and base-lined. Place the orange mixture in one and the walnut mixture in the other and smooth the surfaces of each. Cook on the middle oven shelf for 30 minutes.
- Remove the tins from the oven, cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
- To make the icing, beat the butter until very soft, add the cream cheese and the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Finally, add the orange zest and juice and beat until smooth.
- When the cakes are cold, cut each into 3 horizontally. Place a layer of walnut sponge on a plate and spread with icing. Place a layer of orange sponge on this and sprinkle with 1tbsp Grand Marnier. Spread more icing and continue layering, finishing with orange sponge. Spread the rest of the icing over the top and sides.
- Decorate the sides with the walnuts and decorate the top with strips of candied peel.
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