Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Two layers of fluffy Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake decorated with a fresh orange cream cheese frosting, chopped pecans and butterscotch pieces!

Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake layers

Reasons to love this Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake

  • The recipe uses freshly squeezed orange juice and orange zest
  • The sponge is light, fluffy and buttery
  • Chopped pecans add a lovely crunchy texture throughout
  • Tangy cream cheese frosting and refreshing citrus flavours are a match made in heaven
Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe overview and success tips

  1. Bake the cake layers. Simple vanilla sponge recipe with added orange zest and chopped pecans. Use margarine like Stork Original for a light and fluffy texture.
  2. Spoon over the orange drizzle. Whilst the cakes are still warm, a fresh orange sugar syrup is drizzled over the cake.
  3. Whip up the cream cheese frosting. Beat the butter first until it’s super soft and almost white in colour, this will remove any yellow tones from the butter and result in a bright white frosting. Also, I’ve found that adding the cream cheese cold straight from the fridge, helps prevent the frosting from becoming thin and runny. Keep it in the fridge until needed.
  4. Assemble the cake. Sandwich the layers together with frosting, then apply a crumb-coat layer (more on this below). Then apply the final coat of frosting and smooth out the sides.
  5. Decorate. I like to decorate around the base of the cake mainly because it helps hide any mess 😉 I chose a mix of chopped pecans and mini-butterscotch pieces and used by hand to press them into the side of the cake.
Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

How (and why) to crumb-coat your cake

Ever wondered how to get beautifully smooth and crumb-free buttercream? Say hello to the crumb-coat technique.

A crumb-coat is a thin layer of buttercream applied to the outside of a cake to help seal in the cake layers and catch all of the crumbs. It doesn’t have to be neat or perfect.

The cake is then refrigerated for 30 minutes to firm up the buttercream. You’ll then apply the final coating of buttercream on top of the crumb-coat, which will be much easier to apply and give you a perfectly clean and crumb-free finish.

Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake

Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Two layers of fluffy Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake decorated with a fresh orange cream cheese frosting, chopped pecans and butterscotch pieces!
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

Pecan Orange Cake:

  • 300 g Margarine or unsalted butter I use Stork Original
  • 300 g Golden caster sugar
  • 300 g Self raising flour
  • 3 medium Eggs At room temperature
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 large Orange Zest only
  • 100 g Pecans Roughly chopped

Orange Drizzle:

  • ½ large Orange Juice only
  • 2 tbsp Golden caster sugar

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 250 g Unsalted butter
  • 500 g Icing sugar
  • 250 g Full-fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese Keep in the fridge until needed
  • ½ large Orange Juice only

Decoration:

  • 50 g Pecans Roughly chopped
  • 1 large Orange Chopped into slices
  • 25 g Mini Butterscotch Pieces I bought these from Sainsbury's

Instructions
 

Cake layers

  • Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4.
  • Lightly grease two deep 8inch round cake tins with butter and line with greaseproof paper.
  • In a large bowl add the margarine, golden caster sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla. Beat together with an electric mixer or wooden spoon until fully combined. Fold in the orange zest and chopped pecans.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until risen, golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Orange drizzle

  • Mix the orange drizzle ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • Whilst the cakes are still warm, prick them all over on top with a toothpick and spoon over the orange drizzle. Leave to cool completely.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat the butter until really soft and pale in colour.
  • Sift in the icing sugar and squeeze in the juice of half an orange. Beat together until smooth.
  • Now take the cream cheese out of the fridge and add to the bowl. Gently fold into the mixture until smooth and fully combined. Be careful not to over-mix, as the frosting can quickly become runny.

Assemble the cake

  • Place one of the cake layers on a plate or cake stand. Spread over a thick layer of frosting, then place the second cake layer on top.
  • Cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting to create a crumb-coat*. This doesn't have to be super neat and don't worry if the frosting pulls up any crumbs. Place the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up the frosting.
  • Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.

Decorate

  • Decorate the base with chopped pecans and butterscotch pieces.
  • Place a few slices of fresh orange on top of the cake. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

Store your Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 3 days.
*Check out the post above for how (and why) to apply a crumb-coat.
Keyword Cake, Chocolate orange, Cream cheese frosting, Pecans

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Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

An easy Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies recipe with three flavour options to choose from – peanut butter chocolate chip, carrot cake or white chocolate raspberry. Which will you choose?

Oatmeal Cookies
Oatmeal Cookies

3 delicious flavours to choose from

One staple soft and chewy oatmeal cookie recipe that you can flavour 3 different ways! Choose from:

  • Peanut butter chocolate chip. Flavoured with peanut butter (smooth or crunchy) and milk chocolate chips.
  • Carrot cake. Flavoured with cinnamon spice, chopped walnuts and grated carrot.
  • White chocolate raspberry. Flavoured with freeze-dried raspberries and white chocolate chips.

Can’t decide because they all sound equally delicious? 😅 This recipe makes 12 cookies in total, so you can also divide up the flavour ingredients and make all 3 flavours.

Oatmeal Cookies

How to make these Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Go from mixing bowl to first bite of in less than an hour with this simple recipe!

  1. Beat butter and two sugars together. This recipe uses a mix of white caster sugar and light brown sugar to improve the texture and flavour.
  2. Mix in the egg and vanilla. 1 large egg and 1 tsp vanilla is enough to add richness and flavour to the cookie dough.
  3. Add the oats and flour. Use old-fashioned jumbo rolled oats for the best cookie texture. Instant oats just won’t cut it!
  4. Fold in the mix-ins. Depending on the flavour you choose, throw in the mix-ins and fold them into the cookie dough.
  5. Roll the cookie dough into balls. Use 2 heaped tbsps of cookie dough per cookie and roll into balls.
  6. Bake for 12-14 mins. Look for golden edges but a soft under-baked middle. Taking them out whilst slightly underbaked is the secret to soft and chewy oatmeal cookies.
  7. Leave to cool for 15 mins. This is super important! Resist the temptation to move (or eat 🙊) the cookies before they’ve had time to cool otherwise, they will fall apart.
Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies


Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

An easy Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies recipe with three flavour options to choose from – peanut butter & choc chip, carrot cake or white chocolate raspberry.
Prep Time 30 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

Oatmeal cookie dough

  • 160 g Unsalted butter soft at room temperature
  • 100 g White granulated sugar
  • 150 g Light brown sugar
  • 1 Large Egg at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 100 g Old-fashioned jumbo rolled oats
  • 150 g Self-raising flour

For peanut butter chocolate chip cookies add:

  • 150 g Peanut butter smooth or crunchy
  • 100 g Milk chocolate chips

For carrot cake cookies add:

  • 1 medium Carrot grated
  • 100 g Walnuts chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon

For white chocolate raspberry add:

  • 100 g White chocolate chips
  • 75 g Freeze-dried raspberries

Instructions
 

Start by making the oatmeal cookie dough

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
  • Line two large flat baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  • Beat the butter and two sugars together for at least 5 minutes either by hand or using an electric mixer.
  • Mix in the egg and vanilla extract.
  • Now add the flour and rolled oats, and fold together until combined.

Add the mix-ins

  • For peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies: Add the peanut butter and chocolate chips, and mix together until combined.
    OR
  • For carrot cake oatmeal Cookies: Add the grated carrot, chopped walnuts and cinnamon, and mix together until combined.
    OR
  • For white chocolate raspberry oatmeal cookies: Add the white chocolate chips and freeze-dried raspberries, and mix together until combined.

Roll the cookies

  • Take two heaped tablespoons of cookie dough and use your hands to roll it into a ball. Place on the baking tray.
  • Repeat this step until all the cookie dough has been used up. Leave about 5cm between each cookie so they have enough room to spread out. I normally fit 4 cookie balls on each baking tray and bake them in batches.

Time to bake! 

  • Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown around the edges but the middle is still soft.
  • Whilst the cookies are still warm, use a large round cookie cutter to gently scoot them into a perfectly round shape.
  • Leave to cool and firm up on the baking tray for at least 15 minutes.

Notes

Store your Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 4 days.
Keyword Cookies, Oatmeal

Lemon & Ginger Meringue Tartlets

Made using my cheat’s pastry, these Lemon & Ginger Meringue Tartlets are super easy to make, zingy in flavour and buttery in texture.
Lemon & Ginger Meringue Tartlets

What makes this recipe so easy?

  • My cheat’s pastry recipe. Buttery in flavour and crumbly in texture, my cheat’s pastry recipe will save you time and effort. No chilling, rolling or even blind-baking required! Just mix up the ingredients and use your hands to push it out into the tart tins.
  • Shop-bought lemon curd. Although homemade lemon curd isn’t difficult, I wanted this recipe to be super speedy so have used shop-bought. Just make sure you choose a good quality one, trust me it’ll be worth the extra pennies.
  • You don’t have to pipe the meringue. Instead of using a piping bag, you can simply spoon the meringue on top of the lemon tarts. Use the back of the spoon to make soft swirls.
Lemon & Ginger Meringue Tartlets

Recipe success tips for baking these Lemon & Ginger Meringue Tartlets

  1. Use the right-sized tartlet tins. The tartlet tins I used were loose-bottomed and 7cm in diameter, so pretty minature. If you use the same size you will be able to make 5 tartlets from this recipe. Don’t worry if your tins are slightly bigger, the recipe will still work just fine but you’ll just make a smaller batch.
  1. Make sure the pastry isn’t too thick. When you press the pastry out into the tartlet tins make sure it’s not too thick as it will puff up in the oven.
  1. How to test if the meringue is the correct consistency.
    • You want to reach the ‘stiff-peak stage’. Lift up your electric mixer, if the meringue stands up, hold’s it’s shape and doesn’t fall over on itself, then it’s ready.
    • Rub a pinch of meringue between your fingers, it should be smooth and not grainy.
Lemon & Ginger Meringue Tartlets

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Recipe: Lemon & Ginger Meringue Tartlets (makes 5)

Ingredients

For the pastry tartlets:

  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 100g white spelt flour or plain flour
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

1 jar of good quality lemon curd (either shop-bought or homemade)

For the meringue topping:

  • 1 medium egg white
  • 50g white caster sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Start by making the pastry tartlets

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4.
  2. Lightly grease 5 tartlet tins (preferably loose-bottomed) with a bit of butter or cooking spray.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan (or in the microwave) until it turns to liquid. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile combine the flour, icing sugar, salt and ground ginger in a medium-sized bowl and stir together.
  5. Pour the melted butter into the dry ingredients and add the vanilla extract. Stir until all the ingredients come together to make a pastry dough.
  6. Divide the dough into 5, and press it into the base and sides of each tart tin. Prick the base of each all over using a fork.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. If the pastry has puffed up, use the back of a teaspoon to gently press it down whilst still warm.
  8. Leave the tartlets to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Now fill the tarts

  1. Fill each tartlet to the top with lemon curd (roughly 2 heaped teaspoons per tartlet).
  2. Now leave the tartlets to cool completely at room temperature.

Meanwhile, make the meringue

  1. Crack the egg white into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk with an electric whisk for 3 minutes until bright white and thick.
  2. Now add the white wine vinegar, vanilla extract and half the caster sugar. Whisk until combined.
  3. Add the remaining caster sugar and whisk for 6 minutes until glossy white and the meringue is thick and holds its shape.
  4. Either spoon the meringue on top of the lemon curd or fit a piping bag with a small star nozzle and pipe meringue kisses around the edge.
  5. Lightly toast the meringue under a preheated grill for approx. 1 minute. Watch the whole time as they can burn very quickly.
  6. Leave to cool completely before carefully removing the tartlets from the tins.
  7. Serve with fresh berries and cream.

Your Lemon & Ginger Meringue Tartlets will keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 2 days.

Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake

This easy lemon drizzle loaf cake is light, buttery and refreshing, it’s an all-time classic that looks and tastes absolutely delicious. If you love lemon, this is the recipe for you!

Lemon drizzle loaf cake

How to make a lemon drizzle loaf cake

There are 3 parts to this recipe, the sponge, the lemon drizzle and the lemon icing. Each is super easy to make and only requires a few ingredients.

Start by making a simple sponge mixture

You’ll start by making a simple sponge mixture. I always use Stork (margarine) for cakes and add a couple of tablespoons of milk, it helps give the cake a lovely light and fluffy texture. Lemon zest is also added to the sponge mixture to add flavour.

Drizzle over the lemon syrup

Whilst the cake is still warm, you’ll drizzle a lemon syrup on top and let it soak into the sponge. This is what makes this cake SO delicious! The sponge will pack a zesty punch and the texture is moist and light.

Decorate with lemon icing

You can enjoy this cake as it is, but I think it’s even better with a layer of sweet and sticky icing on top. Plus the icing is so easy to make, just mix together white icing sugar and lemon juice until you have a thick but spreadable consistency. Then you’ll spoon it on top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.

Drizzling lemon syrup on lemon loaf cake

Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake Recipe (makes 8-10 slices)

Ingredients

For the loaf cake:

175g Stork tub (margarine) or unsalted butter
175g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
175g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons milk
1 lemon, zest only

For the lemon syrup:

1 lemon, juice only
50g golden caster sugar

For the lemon icing:

200g icing sugar
1 lemon, juice only

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350 F. Line a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

Start by making the loaf cake. 
  1. Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, along with a tablespoon of the flour each time to stop the mixture from curdling.
  3. Now add the remaining flour, milk and lemon zest and fold together until fully combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin and spread it out into an even layer. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the cake has browned on top and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Whilst the cake is baking, make the lemon syrup.
  1. In a small bowl stir together the sugar and lemon juice.
  2. Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and use a skewer or toothpick to poke holes all over the top. Spoon the syrup all over the cake and let it sink into the sponge.
  3. Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the baking tin before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Once the cake is cool, make the lemon icing.
  1. Mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice until you have a thick but spreadable consistency.
  2. Spread the icing all over the top of the cake, letting it drop down the side of the cake.
  3. Finish by grating fresh lemon zest on top and decorating with lemon wedges.
  4. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Honey and Walnut Loaf Cake

Honey and walnut loaf cake topped with cream cheese frosting, decorated with homemade honeycomb and finished with a drizzle of honey. What a beauty!

Before we get into the recipe I have to mention that this cake is made using fresher than fresh honey, harvested by my niece and nephew (with the help of their parents of course!). I was so pleased when they gifted me a jar of the honey, I immediately started harvesting a whole load of baking ideas, with this cake being the top of the list.

Honeycomb walnut loaf cake

How to make honeycomb

Making honeycomb is so much easier than I thought it would be! I followed BBC Good Food’s Video Tutorial which was super helpful to see how it was meant to look at each stage. I definitely recommend giving that a watch, and here are a few of my own top tips to help you out:

Tip #1 – Be REALLY patient
It can take a while for the sugar to dissolve and turn to liquid. I had to patiently wait a good 10 minutes for this to happen. Just don’t be tempted to turn the heat up, it won’t speed it up and instead you’ll probably end up burning the sugar.

Tip #2 – Look for a deep golden colour
Before you add the bicarbonate of soda, you want the sugar to be a really deep golden colour and reaching a rolling boil in the saucepan. Think the colour of maple syrup. If you add the bicarb too early when the sugar isn’t hot enough, the honeycomb will end up chewy rather than crunchy.

Tip #3 – Only stir the bicarb in for a couple of seconds
As soon as you add the bicarb the honeycomb with froth and bubble up, you only want to stir the mixture for a couple of seconds before pouring it onto the greaseproof paper. Over-stirring will deflate the honeycomb and it won’t have those lovely air pockets throughout.

Honeycomb walnut loaf cake

How to decorate your honey and walnut loaf cake

I chose to decorate my cake with cream cheese frosting. It’s not as sweet as traditional buttercream and the tangy flavour of cream cheese pairs so well with honey. This recipe makes enough for a nice thick layer of cream cheese frosting. Use a spoon or a spatula to swirl the frosting on top.

Spreading cream cheese frosting on honeycomb walnut loaf cake

The final touch

A drizzle of honey is the finishing touch for this cake. Do this just before you’re ready to serve the cake, otherwise, the honey will soften the honeycomb.

Drizzling honey on loaf cake

Honey and Walnut Loaf Cake Recipe (makes 8-10 slices)

Ingredients

For the loaf cake:

200g Stork tub (margarine) or unsalted butter
170g golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
200g self-raising flour
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons milk
100g chopped walnuts

For the cream cheese frosting:

70g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
150g icing sugar
70g full-fat cream cheese, cold from the fridge

For the honeycomb:

100g caster sugar
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350 F. Line a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

Start by making the loaf cake. 

Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until pale and creamy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, along with a tablespoon of the flour each time to stop the mixture from curdling.

Now add the remaining flour, milk and honey and mix together until fully combined. Add the chopped walnuts and fold everything together one last time.

Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin and spread it out into an even layer. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the cake has browned on top and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the baking tin before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Whilst the cake cools make the honeycomb.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

In a large saucepan add the caster sugar and honey. Heat gently on a low temperature, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and a clear liquid has formed. You’ll need to be patient as this can take 10 minutes or so.

Now turn the heat up to medium and heat the liquid until it is bubbling up and has turned a golden amber colour. Stir occasionally to prevent the sugar from burning. Again be patient as this can take another 10 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the bicarbonate of soda and immediately stir into the mixture until the powder has dissolved. This will happen very quickly and the mixture will foam and bubble up. Pour the honeycomb onto the greaseproof paper and leave to set.

Now make the cream cheese frosting.

Beat the butter and icing sugar with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the cream cheese (cold from the fridge) and fold into the mixture until just combined. Be careful not to overdo it, as it can quickly become runny.

Time to decorate!

Spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cake. Use your hands to break up the honeycomb into shards and scatter them on top of the frosting. Finish with a drizzle of honey.

Store your honey and walnut loaf cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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