Mini orange buttermilk cakes with orange, lemon and honey syrup



I’ve finally managed to use the beautiful sweetheart rose tin from Nordic Ware that the Chief Tasting Officer bought for me as a Christmas present. I found a lemon buttermilk bundt cake recipe on Love+Cupcakes but decided to make an orange version as I had some oranges that needed using up.

Sweetheart rose tin - the prettiest tin I own

Sweetheart rose tin – the prettiest tin I own

I halved the original recipe and made some small adjustments as I only wanted to make twelve mini cakes. You could always use a cupcake/muffin tin or if you wanted to make a bundt cake just double the recipe.

The cake wasn’t too dense and it had a light and refreshing taste, with the orange pieces adding a nice surprise. It would be perfect on a summer’s day, but I would quite happily eat it all year round. The orange, lemon and honey syrup added to the moistness of the cake without making it too sweet. If you prefer a more tart taste then just increase the amount of lemon juice in the syrup.

Orange buttermilk cake - adapted from Love+Cupcakes

115g unsalted butter, at room temperature plus extra for greasing
80g golden granulated sugar
70g caster sugar
2 eggs (UK medium/US large)
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
190g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon orange extract
¼ cup orange, finely diced (about half a large orange)

Orange, lemon and honey syrup

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons runny honey
2 tablespoons icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC/160°C fan/350°F. If using the sweetheart rose or bundt tin, grease the tin well ensuring you reach every nook and cranny then dust with flour. Shake off any excess flour. If using a muffin or cupcake tin line with paper cases.
  2. In a large bowl, rub the sugars and the orange zest together.
  3. Add the butter to the sugar mixture and beat  until light and fluffy (I use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment). Add the eggs, one at a time making sure that the egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the grated orange zest and orange extract and beat until combined.
  4. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl and mix well then sift.
  5. Combine the buttermilk and orange juice into a small bowl or jug and stir well.
  6. Add the flour to the butter and sugar mixture in three additions alternating with the buttermilk mixture so that you start and end with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined before the next addition. Divide the batter evenly between the cups, I use an ice cream scoop to help with this. Tap the tray against the counter a few times to remove and air bubbles – I didn’t do this very well and as a result the tops of my roses were not completely smooth. Distribute the chopped orange pieces between the cups and using a knife press them down into the batter.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cakes are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. If using the sweetheart rose tin, leave the cakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely. If using a muffin tin remove immediately from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool. If using a bundt tin, cool the right way up for 10 minutes then invert on a wire rack and allow to cool completely in the tin – this could take anywhere from 1-2 hours.
  8. For the syrup, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Spoon the syrup over the cooled cake. Dust with icing sugar just before serving to enhance the intricate design.



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