If you fancy an alternative Christmas cake this year try this twist on a festive Italian bake, packed full of rich, fruity flavours. Juicy sultanas and zesty panettone is complemented beautifully by a velvety orange buttercream and luxurious caramel. To make this showstopping cake even more decadent you can add a splash of orange liqueur.
Slice the panettone into 4 horizontal even slices and place one slice onto a serving plate. Drizzle a little Grand Marnier or Cointreau over the slice (if using).
Beat the butter until softened and then gradually beat in the icing sugar until it is all incorporated. Add the lemon juice and zest to taste.
Spread the first panettone layer with a quarter of the lemon buttercream and then repeat with the remaining three slices of pannetone until you have 4 layers on top of each other with buttercream in between. Finally cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining icing.
Next make the caramel. Zest one orange using a vegetable peeler and squeeze the juice of both oranges. Place the zest and 90ml of the juice with the caster sugar into a small pan, place over a medium heat and melt together for about 10 minutes. Do not stir, just shake the pan a little to ensure the sugar has all melted. Continue until the mixture has turned a deep golden colour, taking care not to let it burn.
Remove the pan from the heat and quickly add the butter and 1 tbsp more orange juice and a pinch of salt and stir until combined.
Strain through a sieve to remove the zest and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes. It is important to wait until the caramel is cool enough so that it does not melt the buttercream on the cake.
Once cool enough, carefully pour the caramel over the top of the cake. Scatter with toasted hazelnuts and orange zest and serve cut into wedges.
See more Adventurous Christmas baking recipes
As part of a healthy balanced diet, we recommend this recipe for a special occasion or treat.