- 180 g butter (softened)
- 150 g raw sugar or caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 g plain flour
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 125 ml pure cream
- zest from 3 mandarins
- a handful of fresh thyme sprigs (small thyme leaves removed from the sprigs)
Mandarins in syrup for the cake base:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Grease 2 medium sized round tins with butter and line the base with baking paper.
- Prepare the mandarins in syrup first by simmering all the ingredients together and bringing them to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for a further 5 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool prior to adding to the cake base.
- To prepare the base of the cake use an electric stand mixer and beat the softened butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat on a medium speed, increasing the speed slowly.
- Meanwhile in a small bowl mix the 3 eggs with a fork then slowly add the eggs into the butter mixture on a slow speed. Only add 1 tablespoon or so at a time so that it’s mixed through well. Once all the egg has been added the mixture might become a little bit separated, just add a couple of tablespoons of the flour and beat on a medium speed and the mixture will become smooth and fluffy again.
- Add the mandarin zest, fresh thyme and vanilla extract and continue beating for a further minute. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and set aside.
- In a separate bowl sift the flour, bi carb soda, baking powder and salt together. Then sift half of this over the butter and sugar mixture. Fold the flour into the mix using a spatula. Sift the other half of the mixture over the butter mix again folding until mixed through. Then pour in the pure cream and mandarins in syrup and fold until you have a smooth batter.
- Use your spatula to smoothly transfer the cake mixture into your cake tins (see note below). Bake for 40 minutes until the cake has risen, is a dark golden brown and has cracked at the centre.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn them over and the cakes should slide out. Allow the cakes to rest for at least 30 minutes until they have been completely cooled.
- Meanwhile prepare the mandarin buttercream by using an electric stand mixer. Beat the icing sugar and butter together until fluffy then add the mandarin juice and mandarin zest. Beat for a further 2 minutes or so until the buttercream is thick, fluffy and luscious!
- Use a bread knife to slice the top of the cakes off so that the top surface is flat and even and ready for the buttercream.
- On a cake stand or flat plate place the first layer of the cake in the centre and use a palette knife to spread a medium thick layer of buttercream over the flat surface. Place the second cake on top and again use your palette knife to spread the buttercream over the top and around the cake surface. You might need to use two different sized palette knives to make it more convenient spreading the buttercream.
- Once you have finished spreading the buttercream around the cake, decorate it with thyme leaves and then the cake is ready to eat!
- This cake can be kept overnight too in the fridge, just remove the cake from the fridge 1 hour before serving.
- As this cake recipe has 2 layers to it you will need 2 of the same sized round tins. Otherwise bake the cake mixture in two batches one after the other.
Prep: 50-60 minutes.
Cooking: 40 minutes, 40 minutes rest time.