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This article was taken from our August 2019 Issue

Orange Yoghurt Cake with Orange Syrup and Mascarpone Buttercream

Try this delicious citrusy cake perfect for any occasion this Summer!

Recipe from Naked Cakes, Lyndel Miller, Murdoch Books, Photography by Mindi Cooke


Makes one 4-tiered 22 cm (8 ½ in) cake


  • 450g (1lb) plain (all-purpose) flour or gluten-free plain flour
  • 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of fine salt
  • 260g (9¼oz/1 cup) plain Greek-style yoghurt
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or natural vanilla extract
  • 300g (10½oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 300g (10½oz/1⅓ cups) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 175g (6oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 120g (4¼oz/½ cup) cream cheese, softened
  • 120g (4oz/½ cup) mascarpone
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 270g (9½oz/2¼ cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or natural vanilla extract
  • 250ml (9fl oz/1 cup) freshly squeezed and strained orange juice
  • 40ml (1¼fl oz) freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice
  • 75g (2½oz/⅓ cup) caster sugar
  • 80ml (2½fl oz/⅓ cup) orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Triple Sec 
  • Edible organic peach roses
  • Succulent leaves, such as jade
  • 30cm (12”) jasmine vine


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Lightly grease a 22cm (8.5”) round tin.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl and use a hand-held whisk to combine well.

Place the yoghurt, orange zest and juice and vanilla in another bowl and whisk to combine well.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the yoghurt mixture, alternating with the flour mixture and the beaten egg, and beat until well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin, smooth the top and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake stand in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Using an electric mixer, beat all the mascarpone buttercream ingredients together for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 4 minutes or until a light syrup forms. Remove from the heat and cool or serve warm. Store the syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

When the cakes have cooled slightly, prick holes all over them with a skewer, then pour a quarter of the hot syrup over each cake and leave to cool completely.

To assemble, place one of the cakes on a stand or serving plate and spread with a quarter of the buttercream. Repeat with the remaining cakes and buttercream, finishing with a layer of buttercream. Use some of the buttercream oozing out of the layers to lightly ‘whitewash’ the sides.

Transfer the cake to a pedestal or cake plate. Crown with roses – here I chose a large bloom and a few small delicate buds. I placed the large bloom on top of the cake on its side, and the smaller blooms alongside it. A few strategically placed pieces of jade add some green and texture and a feeling of the exotic. Trail your jasmine vine at the base of the cake. A few dropped rose petals look lovely too.

Note: Succulents, with their hardy flesh and woody stems, are decorative, but be careful not to place the cut stems on your cake where the sap can drip into the creams – it will not taste good! They should be cleaned and dried before use. Rinse in water and pat dry with a tea (dish) towel. Wrap the woody stems in foil or floristry tape.