About this recipe:If you fancy a fresh, light, citrusy cake for a change from the rich chocolate varieties, this mandarin orange cake is for you. The light sponge layers are topped with a light citrusy cream and fresh mandarin orange segments. If mandarins aren't in season, try using drained mandarins from a tin.
Preheat the oven to 170 C / Gas 3. Grease two 18cm (7 in) cake tins, then line the bottom and sides with parchment.
Add the sifted flour into a bowl along with the sugar, butter or margarine, vanilla and eggs and beat well with a wooden spoon or electric mixer, till the mixture is light in colour and fluffy.
Divide the cake mixture evenly between the two cake tins, and bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the cakes test done in the centre. Invert onto a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, make the citrus cream filling by whipping together the icing sugar, orange liqueur and whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
When the cake is cool, place the first layer on a cake plate and top with half of the citrus cream. Arrange orange segments over the top, then cover with the second cake. Top the cake with the remaining cream, then with the remaining orange segments.
For best results, chill in the fridge for a bit before serving to allow the cake to set nicely.
For even more citrus flavour, try adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of finely grated orange zest to the citrus cream.
Instead of orange liqueur, you could use 2 teaspoons of orange flower water in the citrus cream for a non-alcoholic cake.
Other fresh fruits could work just as well with this cake and the citrus cream. Raspberries would work a treat.
It was not light and fluffy at all. Although cooked to be the right colour, and pass the usual tests, the sponges were dull and heavy. I also found it diffult o get the cream stiff enough - I think if that much liquer is added ( which is needed to give flavour) then it probably needs double cream rather than the whipping cream specified. If I did it again I should have to add baking powder i think , but probably I won't bother. - 08 Sep 2012
Not to be so down on the recipe but mine didn't rise that much either ... But the orange liqueur to the cream tastes Devine on the spoon! The cake is off to the Liverpool CCC so will see how it tastes then! - 07 May 2013