Citrus confetti cake

Citrus confetti cake

Danielle Wood

Confetti sprinkles are an easy way to give cakes a fun party look. I like to match the colour of my sprinkles to the flavours of the cake inside to give people a preview of what they’re about to taste, so here we have pastel citrus colours. The meringue-based buttercream is beautiful for piping and leaves you with some leftover egg yolks to make your own curd.

For the cake:


Quantity Ingredient
450g unsalted butter
620g caster sugar
8 medium eggs, lightly beaten
620g plain flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
250ml whole milk
4 unwaxed oranges, grated zest
4 unwaxed lemons, grated zest

For the meringue buttercream:

Quantity Ingredient
400g unsalted butter
10 medium egg whites
450g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the pink grapefruit curd:

Quantity Ingredient
5 medium egg yolks
170g caster sugar
1 pink grapefruit, grated zest and juiced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
110g unsalted butter, cubed

To decorate:

Quantity Ingredient
How to make fondant confetti sprinkles


Quantity Ingredient
2 x 20cm round, deep cake tins
cake board or stand
piping bag, fitted with 1 cm plain tip
How to level & split a cake
How to fill a piping bag
How to fill cakes with jams or curds


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease the cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar for 3–4 minutes or until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating after each addition until they’re well incorporated.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a clean bowl. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Add the milk, continuing to beat, and then add the remaining flour mixture and the orange and lemon zest. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go and beat until just combined.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins. Bake in the oven for 70–75 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in their tins, then turn them out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  4. While the cakes are baking and cooling, make the meringue buttercream and pink grapefruit curd. To make the meringue buttercream, using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter for 4–5 minutes until pale and fluffy. Place the egg whites and sugar in a clean heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk and gently heat the mixture until the sugar has dissolved into the egg white (you can check this by feeling some of the egg white between your fingers – it shouldn’t feel grainy). Remove the bowl from the heat and, using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, start whisking on a low speed for 1–2 minutes, then increase the speed until the bowl has cooled down to room temperature and the mixture forms stiff peaks (about 10 minutes in total). Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time ensuring that each addition is well incorporated before adding the next one. It might look like the buttercream has curdled at this point but keep whisking and it will come back together. Once the buttercream is smooth and all of the butter has been incorporated, beat in the vanilla extract.
  5. To make the pink grapefruit curd, place the egg yolks, sugar, zest and juices into a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure that the water isn’t touching the bottom of the bowl). Stir constantly and add the butter a cube at a time, heating gently until all of the butter has been incorporated and the mixture has thickened (about 10 minutes). Strain into a shallow container and cover with cling film (plastic wrap) to prevent a skin from forming and set aside to cool. Chill until needed.
  6. Level the cakes by cutting off the domed tops and split each cake in half so that you have 4 layers in total. Fix your first cake layer to a cake board or cake stand with a small amount of buttercream. Fill a piping bag with the meringue buttercream and pipe a line around the edge of the first cake layer (this will stop your curd filling from escaping). Fill with 2–3 tablespoons of the pink grapefruit curd. Gently press the second layer on top of the first and repeat, then repeat again with the third layer, finishing with the final cake layer. Cover the cake with a thin layer of the meringue buttercream and chill for 30 minutes or until firm. Finally, cover the cake with a thicker layer of meringue buttercream with a smooth finish and use a plain icing tip to pipe a border around the top and bottom edge of the cake. Decorate with the confetti sprinkles.
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