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

More cake recipes to love

Red Velvet Cookies

Nothing says “I love you” more than a batch of these freshly baked Red Velvet Cookies!

These red velvet cookies are flavoured with cocoa, vanilla and melted white chocolate chunks. They’re chewy on the outside with a super soft and gooey middle.

Red Velvet Cookies

Reasons to love these Red Velvet Cookies

  • Ease. This one-bowl cookie dough recipe couldn’t be easier. Be sure to read my recipe success tips below for extra help 🙂
  • Texture. Chewy on the outside but soft and gooey in the middle. Just how a cookie should be.
  • Flavour. The perfect blend of chocolate and vanilla, but with the added flavour of creamy white chocolate. I also decorated the cookies with cream cheese frosting which pairs beautifully with the cookie flavour.
Red velvet cookies

Recipe success tips for baking Red Velvet Cookies

Here’s my top tips for baking my Red Velvet Cookies:

  1. Use gel food colouring. To get bright red cookies, you will need to use a concentrated gel food colouring, not the liquid type. I highly recommend using Sugarflair Red Extra
  2. Chill the dough. For at least 4 hours or overnight for best results. This will develop the flavours and improve the texture.
  3. Roll the cooke dough into balls. Use 2 tablespoons per cookie ball, roll in the palm of your hand and place on the baking tray. Do not flatten!
  4. Leave space between the cookies. Leave 5-8cm space between each cookie ball on the baking tray. They will need this room to spread out.
  5. (Under)Bake. 10-12 mins at 180°C is all these cookies need. You want the middle to be soft and under-baked but the outside edge to be set and firm to the touch.
Red velvet cookie dough

Red Velvet Cookies with White Chocolate Chunks

Nothing says "I love you" more than a batch of these freshly baked Red Velvet Cookies!
These red velvet cookies are flavoured with cocoa, vanilla and melted white chocolate chunks. They're chewy on the outside with a super soft and gooey middle.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Chill time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 20 mins
Course Afternoon Treat
Cuisine Baking
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

For the red velvet cookie dough

  • 160 g Unsalted butter
  • 100 g Caster sugar
  • 150 g Light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 1 medium Whole egg
  • 1 medium Egg yolk
  • 245 g Self-raising flour
  • 20 g Cocoa powder
  • 120 g White chocolate chopped into chunks
  • Red gel food colouring I highly recommend using Sugarflair Red Extra

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 60 g Unsalted butter soft at room temperature
  • 120 g Icing sugar
  • 60 g Full-fat cream cheese cold from the fridge

Instructions
 

Make the red velvet cookie dough.

  • Stir the flour and cocoa powder together in a bowl. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl melt the butter in the microwave until liquid. Now add the two sugars and mix together.
  • Mix in the whole egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and red gel food colouring (just enough until the mixture is bright red).
  • Add the flour, cocoa powder and the white chocolate chunks, and fold together until the mixture comes together into a cookie dough.
  • Cover the bowl with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.

Bake the cookies.

  • Take the cookie dough out of the fridge and leave to soften at room temp for 30 minutes.
  • Meawhile preheat your oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 and line two large, flat baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  • Take two heaped tablespoons of cookie dough and use your hands to roll it into a ball. Place on the baking tray and do not flatten. Repeat for all 10 cookies.
  • Leave space between each cookie ball on the baking trays so they have enough room to spread out. 
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes. The middle of the cookie should be super soft and underbaked, but the outside edge of the cookie should be firm and set.
  • Leave to cool and firm up on the baking tray for at least 15 minutes.

Make the cream cheese frosting.

  • Beat the butter until soft and smooth. Sieve in the icing sugar and beat together until smooth.
  • Take the cream cheese out of the fridge and add to the bowl. Gently fold together until fully combined. Be careful not to overmix otherwise the frosting will become too loose.
  • Spread or pipe the frosting on top of the cookies.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Keyword Cookies, Cream cheese frosting, Red velvet
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Cream Cheese Frosting

Problems making cream cheese frosting? Does it always turn into a lumpy, runny disaster? Trust me, I’ve been there! Finding a U.K recipe that actually works can be tricky, but believe me when I say that this one will not let you down.

It’s taken me years of failed attempts to finally develop a recipe for cream cheese frosting that is spreadable, pipe-able and silky smooth. I actually jumped for joy when it worked!

cream cheese frosting

Success tips for cream cheese frosting

  1. Use Full-fat Philadephia Cream Cheese
    In the U.K our cream cheese is more like a spread and thin in texture. I’ve found that low-fat versions or any other brand of cream cheese isn’t thick enough and results in a runny frosting.
  2. Beat the butter on its own for 1-2 minutes first.
    This will break down any lumps and make sure the frosting is completely smooth. You also want to beat the butter until it is really pale so that the frosting comes out a lovely bright white colour.
  3. Sieve the icing sugar.
    Making sure the icing sugar is really fine in texture will keep the frosting smooth and lump-free.
  4. Keep the cream cheese in the fridge.
    This is THE most important tip. You want the cream cheese to be as thick as possible, if it’s kept at room temperature it will start to loosen and become soft. Therefore only take the cream cheese out of the fridge when you are ready to use it in the recipe.
  5. Gently fold the cream cheese into the mixture
    At this step swap the electric mixer for a wooden spoon or spatula. Very gently fold the cream cheese into the mixture until it has JUST combined. Be really careful not to over-mix as the frosting can very easily turn to liquid.
cream cheese frosting

Recipe ideas for how to use cream cheese frosting

There’s plenty of ways you can use cream cheese frosting, it’s really versatile and pairs particularly well with vegetable or fruit cakes. Want some recipe inspiration? Check these out:


Ingredients

Makes enough cream cheese frosting to decorate 12 cupcakes or the top and sides of a two-layer 8inch cake.

  • 150g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 150g full-fat cream cheese frosting (cold from the fridge)

Method

Step 1

Cut the unsalted butter into chunks and put it in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric whisk or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on a medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes until super soft, fluffy and pale in colour.

step 1, beat the butter

Step 2

Sift half of the icing sugar into the bowl. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently mix the butter and icing sugar together first for 30 seconds (this will help stop the icing sugar from going everywhere when using the electric mixer). Now turn the electric mixer on a medium-high speed and beat together until smooth and fluffy.

step 2, sieve the icing sugar

Step 3

Sift the remaining icing sugar into the bowl. Repeat the same step as above, using a wooden spoon or spatular to first mix the butter and icing sugar together, then the electric mixer to beat together until you have a smooth mixture.

step 3, beat together

Step 4

Take the cream cheese out of the fridge and add it to the bowl. Use a wooden spoon or spatula (not the electric mixer), to gently fold the cream cheese into the mixture until smooth and just combined. Be careful not to over mix at this stage.

step 4, fold in the cream cheese frosting

Step 5

Use straightaway to decorate your bakes, or cover with clingfilm and store the cream cheese frosting in the fridge for up to 3 days. I used it to decorate these gorgeous Strawberry Cheese Cupcakes

strawberry cheesecake cupcakes