Orange & vanilla birthday cake w/ a chocolate glaze

It was Rob's birthday last week. We've already been together for almost 8 years and I remember many of his birthdays during this time. In 2008 I wouldn't have been able to make him this cake. Heck, not even two years ago. Saturday, his mom told me that when Rob & I started dating I didn't even know how to fry an egg. Gee, thanks. 

But she's right. I've changed a lot. It's funny how much I love being in the kitchen nowadays whereas during my studies food bothered me very little. What's also changed a lot is this blog. Especially when I look at the photography, styling, and design compared to last year. I am very happy with this place right now.

Can you believe it is almost two-thousand-and-sixteen. 2016! But first: CHRISMUKKAH! I really hope there's some time left for holiday baking. Remember I told you last week I was in a little rut? Well I made some new year's resolutions which should help.

- Do more yoga. I found this gem of a website offering lots of online classes. 
- Learn how to knit. My grandmother taught me how to knit when I was little, but I didn't stuck. I really want start again because I heard it's both meditative and good for your hands & fingers. Also, I love doing stuff where you actually see something develop and grow while working on it. 
- Modern calligraphy. I have this wish about writing my own recipe cards. I am left-handed though. Not sure if that's a problem. Also in love with these pens.
- Read more books.
- Travel, travel, travel. Right now on my list are: US East Coast, Iceland, UK road trip, Copenhagen. 
- And of course, work even more on the blog.

What are some of your new year's resolutions. Do you have them? Or do you think it's nonsense? 

PS: Linda Lomelino explains like no other how to coat a cake. Do yourself a pleasure and read it before you start to work with my recipe!

Orange & vanilla cake with a chocolate glaze

You need:

For the cake

2 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp anice, ground
1 tsp vanilla, ground (or one pod, seeds)
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
zest of 3 oranges
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Juice of one orange, for brushing

For the buttercream

300 g butter (or 2 1/2 sticks + 1 tbsp), room temperature
1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup whipping cream

For the chocolate glaze

75 g or 2.5 oz dark chocolate (72 %, coarsely chopped)
3 tbsp butter
A pinch of sea salt


Marzipan & orange zest

How to make it:

The cake

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

2. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients. In a second bowl, mix the wet ingredients.

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until everything is combined.

4. When you have a smooth batter, add the vinegar. Whisk until incorporated.

5. Grease two 15cm or 7 inch cake pans with a little coconut oil. Divide the batter and bake the cakes for 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool completely.

6. If there's a dome on top of your cakes, slice them off so you end up with two flat cakes.

7. Brush the top of the cakes with fresh orange juice.

The buttercream

1. Beat butter until smooth.

2. Slowly add the confectioner's sugar and beet until fluffy. This takes 3-5 minutes. Keep scraping down the sides, so everything will be properly combined.

3. Add the vanilla and cream and mix for about a minute until everything is incorporated.

4. Smooth over the frosting with a spatula to remove air bubbles from the whipping cream.

Assemble the cake

1. Place one cake with the cut side up on a circular serving board or on a cake stand. Add a couple of scoops of cream on top and spread so you create a smooth layer of buttercream.

2. Place the second cake, with the cut side down on top of the first cake.

3. Add buttercream on top and spread to create an even layer. Whatever is left can be spread around the sides.

4. Use an offset spatula to smooth the buttercream. Clean it every now and then in some warm water, dry the knive and continue. When you have created a nice crumb coating, place the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes.

5. Repeat step three until the entire cake is coated with a even and clean layer of buttercream. Place in the fridge.

The chocolate glaze

1. Melt the chocolate & the butter au bain marie. Set aside to cool.

2. Wait until the mixture thickens, but is still liquid enough to pour over your cake.

3. Get the cake out of the fridge and spoon the chocolate on top over your cake. Do this slowly so it won't drip all the way along the sides.


1. Decorate your cake with marzipan and/or orange zest. This cake keeps well for 2 days outside the fridge. Make sure to cover it with a glass bell jar or something similar. Enjoy!

Like what you see? Cake server | small kitchen knife | serving plates.
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