Baking - Cakes

Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake with Mandarin Curd

August 4, 2015

Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake with Mandarin Curd-27

So, I made this cake without a reason. Which is OK, isn’t it? This cake, with it’s super fancy layers and curd filling, served no purpose other than to accompany an earl grey over a few afternoons this past week.

I guess there was a slight reason. I was hanging to use up some mandarins because I have a problem of buying too much fruit when it’s in season. But mostly, I felt like banging about in the kitchen making a pretty cake and taking some photos of it.

Reason enough, right?

Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake with Mandarin Curdx

Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake with Mandarin Curd-2

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Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake with Mandarin Curd-22

Let’s talk about this babe of a cake now, shall we? It’s a super moist chocolate buttermilk cake from Donna Hay. I had to change it slightly as it was way too much water. I find I do this often with Donna’s baking recipes, anyone else?

In between each cake layer is a lovely mandarin curd. It’s easy to whip up and you will have some left over for topping English muffins! Lucky you.

Lastly, the Italian meringue butter cream. This recipe never fails me. Except once on a 40 degree day, but I chucked it in the fridge and it whipped up perfectly. So yeah, it’s never failed, I suppose.

Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake with Mandarin Curd-33

Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake with Mandarin Curd
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  1. 1 cup (250ml) water
  2. 190g unsalted butter, chopped and at room temperature
  3. ½ cup cocoa
  4. 3 cups (450g) plain flour
  5. 1 tsp bicarb soda
  6. 3 cups (660g) caster sugar
  7. 3 eggs
  8. ¾ cup (180ml) buttermilk
  1. 170g caster sugar
  2. 4 eggs
  3. 50mL lemon juice
  4. 150mL mandarin juice
  5. 140g butter
  1. I used, as always Whisk Kid's recipe. I changed it to 3 egg whites, 200g total sugar and 130g butter and it worked a treat!
  1. Mandarin segments, pashmak and piped mandarin curd.
  1. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 20cm cake tin.
  2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one by one and continue to mix.
  4. Sift the flour, cocoa and bi carb and add to the mixer, as it continues to fold the mix on a low speed.
  5. Lastly, add the water and buttermilk. Beat until combined.
  6. Place half the batter into the cake tin and bake until cooked through, about 45 minutes.
  7. Allow to slightly cook before removing from the tin.
  8. Repeat with the second cake.
  9. Allow both cakes to completely cool.
  1. Place the juices and sugar in a small saucepan and heat on a medium heat.
  2. When simmering, whisk the eggs in a small bowl and add a small amount of the sugar and juice mixture and continue to whisk.
  3. Add the eggs back to the saucepan and whisk until combined.
  4. Return the saucepan to the heat and stir on a low heat until thickened and coating the back of a spoon.
  5. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  1. Cut each cake into two layers, giving you four layers in total.
  2. Pipe buttercream around the edges to create a buttercream dam and fill with three tablespoons of curd.
  3. Repeat with all layers.
  4. Ice the cake with a thin layer of buttercream and decorate.
Adapted from Cake by Donna Hay
Adapted from Cake by Donna Hay
erin made this
Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake with Mandarin Curd-26

What cake would you make for no good reason?

 P.S. How beautiful is the Acacia wood cake stand you see here? My friends at Forage and Find sent her to me and I promise to look after her. Check out their store for some more amazing home wares!

P.P.S. Is it weird to use a pronoun to refer to a cake stand?


17 thoughts on “Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake with Mandarin Curd

  1. Hannah | The Swirling Spoon

    Erin, I love the way you have frosted and decorated this cake!!! And using mandarins is so fitting for this time of year. They are just so sweet and juicy right now.
    I make cake for no reason quite often, in the name of … recipe testing! That means I’m often just eating cake for lunch >_>

  2. Claudia Brick

    OMG this is gorgeous! Such a good way to use all the mandarins around at the moment – and no, you definitely do not need a reason to make a cake. I certainly didn’t have one for the rhubarb, salted caramel and pistachio one I constructed a few weeks back! I love the naked look of your buttercream here – thick layers can get so overwhelmingly sweet and you really want the mandarin curd to shine through. Wish I could have a piece but may have to settle for attempting it myself! X

  3. Isabel

    Beautiful, Erin. You’re really nailing the food photography, with the white and orange against the dark blue background. I not only want to eat that cake, but the photo too!

  4. Pingback: The Ultimate Foodie Giveaway - erin made this

  5. jun ling low

    Hi you missed out the butter in the steps for making the curd. Are the measurements right? Love the photos!


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