Orange, olive oil and thyme cake
This cake is a real show-stopper, the perfect bake for Mother's Day. Sweet oranges bring a citrusy hit, while the thyme gives this bake a savoury twist.
- Grease and line 2 x 20cm loose- based round cake tins. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C.
- Put the sugar and oil in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk for 1 min until smooth. Add the eggs, yogurt and vanilla and beat for another 1 min.
- Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, semolina, almonds and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually pour in the egg and yogurt mix and stir well to combine. Add the thyme and the zest and juice from 2 oranges, then mix until it becomes a thick, wet batter.
- Divide between the 2 cake tins and bake for 35 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 15 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a large bowl, whisk the icing sugar with the butter until soft and fluffy, then add the zest and juice of the third orange. Mix until smooth and creamy.
- Once the cakes have cooled, remove the paper. Carefully cut off the rounded tops (you could reserve them for a trifle), then cut each of the cakes in half horizontally. Place 1 layer on a serving plate, spoon 2 tbsp icing on top and smooth right to the edges. Continue layering in the same way with the remaining 3 layers, finishing with a base layer of cake, bottom-side up, for a clean, straight top.
- Using a clean and slightly warmed palette knife, smooth the remaining icing across the top and sides of the cake to produce a ‘naked’ finish with the cake showing through in places. It will feel as if you don’t have enough icing but keeping the icing minimal achieves this look.
- Pare thin layers of orange peel from the final orange and cut into thin strips. Scatter around the edges to form a wreath effect, then scatter the thyme leaves in the same way to finish.
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Freezing and defrosting guidelines
In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 2 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.
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