Semi-Naked Orange Cake

Semi-Naked Orange Cake

I don’t really care much for valentines day. Personally, I’m happy watching Netflix and eating a burger. Nothing fancy. Over the past four years I haven’t given my partner a thing, but this year I thought I’d surprise him with something baked with love – a naked layered orange cake.

I’d never made a ‘naked’ cake before, but always been keen to give it a try. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, a naked cake is basically a regular cake without the thick layer of buttercream around the outside.  All the cake needs is a thin scraping of buttercream and you’re left with a really rustic, impressive looking cake, which is surprisingly quite simple to put together.

This cake is a three tiered orange cake with orange blossom water buttercream, a dark chocolate ganache and a salted pistachio praline. The ingredients and methods are listed below


x2 15cm can tins

Small cake board

Palette knife

Cake turner or Lazy Susan



250g butter, softened

Zest of 2 oranges

2 1/2 cups caster sugar

6 eggs

3 cups of self-raising flour

1 cup of milk

1/2 cup of orange juice


250g butter, softened

3 cups icing sugar

1 tbs milk

1 1/2 tbs orange blossom water


300g dark chocolate

1/2 cup of thickened cream


3/4 cup of pistachios

1 cup caster sugar

1/4 water

Pinch of salt


3 Macarons


Gold dust

*Recipe makes 4 layers, however the cake pictured only uses 3 of the cakes. Use 4 if you really want to impress!


Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease tins with butter and line with baking paper.

For the cake, beat the butter, rind and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined between each egg.

Stir in sifted flour, milk and juice. Do this in 4 batches.

Pour 1/4 of the mixture into one pan and another 1/4 into the other. You should be left with 1/2 of the mixture in the bowl. Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until cooked.

Stand cake in tin for 5 minutes then turn onto wire rack to cool. Grease tins and line again and repeat the cooking process with the remaining mixture.

To prepare the praline, line an over tray with baking paper and arrange the pistachios across the tray.

Put the sugar and water into a small saucepan over a medium to high heat. Gently swirl the pan from time to time until the sugar has dissolved.

Increase the heat and boil until the mixture becomes golden.

Pour the toffee over the pistachios so that they are coated. Crack a good amount of salt over the praline and leave to set for about 15 minutes.

Now for the ganache. Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of boiling water. Stir until melted. Add the cream and stir to combine. Take off the heat and allow to cool.

To make the buttercream, place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat until pale. Slowly add the icing sugar, milk and orange blossom water until combined.

Once the cakes and ganache are completely cool it is time to assemble the cake! I waited till the next day to put my cake together but you can leave it to cool for about an hour if you like.

Place a small blob of buttercream on the middle of your cake board so the cake has something to stick to. Put one of the layers onto the board. Add a layer of buttercream and spread to the sides. It should be approximately 1.5cm thick. Place another layer of cake on and repeat.

Once all layers of cake are laid it is time to ice the sides. Using a palette knife, put a generous amount of buttercream around the outsides of the cake until it is roughly completely covered. Spin the cake turner/Lazy Susan and using the palette knife, begin to scrape the buttercream away from the cake until you are left with a semi-naked cake.

Pour the ganache into the middle of the top of the cake. Using a clean palette knife, push the ganache to the sides so that it drips over the edge.

Once the ganache is dry you can break up pieces of praline and arrange the roses, gold dust  and macarons on top of the cake.

And voulia! You have a rustic, semi naked cake sure to win the heart of any man

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Eva Rosenberg

Eva Rosenberg

Welcome to Eva's Kitchen where I share my adventures in cooking. My creations may not always turn out Pinterest perfect, but I usually end up with a funny picture or an interesting meal. Thanks for stopping by!


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