This Kilkenny celebrity chef's recipe for a citrus sponge cake is the perfect centerpiece for any party or even a posh afternoon tea.

Fresh zings of orange, sweet honey and wonderful buttery sponge, Edward Hayden's orange and honey layered cake is the perfect light, elegant and very sweet treat. 

Orange and honey layered cake recipe


For the sponge:

- 350g butter, softened

- 350g caster sugar

- 1 orange, grated zest

- 350g self-raising flour

- 6 large eggs

For the icing:

- 700g icing sugar

- 350g softened butter

- 1 tablespoon orange juice

- 1 tablespoon honey

To garnish:

- Orange segments

- 1 handful pistachio nuts, shelled

- Honey

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- Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3. Grease and line three 20cm sandwich tins.

- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and orange zest until very light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and mix in the flour.

- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake is well set – a skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come away spotlessly clean and dry. When the cake is cooked, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool in the tin, as it will still be quite soft at this stage.

- Cream the icing sugar and butter together in a large mixing bowl for at least 4-5 minutes. Add in the orange juice and honey to flavor the icing. The addition of some boiling water will make the icing really soft.

-Pipe or spread the icing between each layer of sponge. Garnish with orange segments, pistachio nuts, and a final drizzle of honey.


Ideally, you should make the sponge the day before you require it.

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* Originally published on our sister publication Food & Wine.