Honey layer cake with orange mousse

Honey layer cake with orange mousse

Scandinavian Christmas
Lars Ranek

This is for a special occasion; we always serve layer cakes for a celebration or a birthday. In more rural areas, layer cakes are more common; in fact, in many regions you are more likely to be invited to a ‘cake table’ than to dinner. At these gatherings, you start with a wheat bun, then take a piece of both coffee cake and layer cake, nibbling on cookies in between. Scandinavia is cake paradise.

For the cake


Quantity Ingredient
salted butter, for the tin
3 eggs, separated, plus 1 whole egg
100g caster sugar
225g honey
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

For the orange mousse

Quantity Ingredient
6 gelatine sheets
50g icing sugar
200ml freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon finely grated unwaxed lemon zest
3 tablespoons finely grated organic orange zest
500ml double cream, lightly whipped

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
5 oranges
3-4 tablespoons grand marnier
or 3-4 tablespoons orange juice
1 organic orange, finely grated zest


  1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 150°C. Butter the sides of a 24cm round springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Beat the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar and honey until the mixture holds a ribbon trail for eight to 10 seconds after the whisk has been lifted. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and spices, then fold this into the batter. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the batter, too. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes. Make sure the cake is done by sticking a knitting needle into it. If nothing sticks to the needle, it is ready. Remove the cake from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  3. For the mousse, soak the gelatine in cold water for five to 10 minutes. Sift the icing sugar into a separate bowl and mix in the orange juice and lemon and orange zests.
  4. Remove the gelatine from the water, squeezing out the excess, and place in a small bowl over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bowl does not touch the water). Heat until melted, shaking the gelatine gently without stirring. Stir the melted gelatine into the orange mixture, then pour the liquid through a sieve. Fold it little by little into the whipped cream, then place in the fridge for about one hour.
  5. To serve, cut the oranges into segments. Cut the cake into three horizontal layers and sprinkle the bottom and middle layers with the Grand Marnier or orange juice. Place the bottom layer of cake on a serving dish. Spread with one-third of the mousse, then arrange over a layer of orange segments. Repeat with the next layer, then place the last layer of cake on top. Spread with the remaining mousse and orange segments and sprinkle with the orange zest. Let the cake rest for 30 minutes, then serve.
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