Tropical Orange Layer Cake

With oranges still in season, why not bring a bit of summer flavour into your next dessert with this tropical orange layer cake?

It's super easy and tastes divine :)


  • 220g unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour (sifted)

  • 1 cup plain flour (sifted)

  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • 1 orange, zested, plus 1/4 cup juice

  • 50g coconut chips*

  • Dried pineapple to decorate**


  • 200g Bethonga Gold Pineapple*** (roughly chopped)

  • 1 orange, zested, plus 2 tablespoons juice

  • 2/3 cup caster sugar

  • 1x 5g leaf titanium-strength gelatine ****

  • 1 cup thickened cream, whipped to soft peaks


  • 750g cream cheese, softened

  • 80g unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted

  • 1 orange, segmented


  • Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 2x 20cm spring form cake tins and set aside (I like to like them with baking paper too for extra strength!). Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  • Combine flours and desiccated coconut into a large bowl. Working in 3 batches, add flour to butter mixture alternating with buttermilk and beating after each addition until just combined. Add zest and juice and beat until just combined.

  • Divide batter and bake for 30 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Release from pans and cool on a wire rack and cool completely,

  • While cakes are cooling, make orange and pineapple mousse by processing pineapple in a food processor to a chunky puree. Transfer to a saucepan and add zest, juice, sugar and cornflour, and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, whisking continuously, for 8 minutes or until thickened.

  • Meanwhile, soften gelatine in cold water for 3 minutes, then squeeze out excess water. Add to pineapple mixture and whisk to combine. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until cool. Whisk pineapple mixture into cream to combine. Set aside.

  • Using a serrated knife, slice each cake in half horizontally. Line reserved pans with plastic wrap, leaving a 4cm overhang. Place 1 cake half in base of each pan. Spread over mousse and tap pans lightly to remove any air pockets. Top with remaining cake halves and gently press. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or until mousse is firm.

  • To make icing, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter on high speed for 6 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add vanilla bean paste and sugar and beat for 5 minutes.

  • Remove cakes from pans and place 1 cake on a plate. Spoon 3/4 cup icing over top and spread over cake. Top with remaining cake and gently press. Spread remaining icing and spread all over cake. Decorate with coconut chips, orange segments and dried pineapple, if using.

* Coconut chips are available from selected supermarkets. Substitute shredded coconut.

** To make dried pineapple, thinly slice 200g peeled pineapple into rounds and place on 2 oven trays lined with lightly greased baking paper. Preheat oven to 100C, then bake, turning halfway, for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave to cool in oven. Dried pineapple will keep in an airtight container between sheets of baking paper for up to 3 days.

*** Bethonga Gold pineapples have sweet, golden flesh.

**** Titanium-strength gelatine leaves are available from delis.


Peace, love and cupcakes,

Sue-Ellen xoxo

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