Orange and Ginger Cake with Candied Walnuts

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I have a soft spot for citrus desserts, and this cake is no exception. What I love about this cake, besides its buttery crumb, are the bitter-sweet undertones of ginger and walnut. This cake is the epitome of warmth, with vibrant orange zest, spicy fresh ginger and bitter candied walnuts.

*makes one 2-layered 8-inch cake, serves 8-10

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  1. 267 g flour
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 175 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  6. 250 g granulated sugar
  7. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 3 large eggs
  9. 223 ml greek yogurt
  10. 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  11. 2 tablespoons orange zest

For the frosting:

  1. 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. 200 g powdered sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon orange zest
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1 tablespoon milk

For the candied walnuts:

  1. 50 g walnuts
  2. 20 g granulated sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  4. 1/4 tsp sea salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Grease and line two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, sugar, ginger, orange zest and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and greek yogurt to the butter mixture and fold until combined.
  5. Divide and pour the batter into the prepared baking pans and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, to prepare the frosting, add the butter to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy (about 4-5 minutes). Add in the powdered sugar in 2-3 batches and mix on medium-high speed until frosting is very creamy and light. Add in the vanilla and orange zest and mix to combine. Add milk (if needed) to adjust the consistency. Frost between and top top of the cakes.
  7. To make the candied walnuts, add the sugar to a saucepan over low heat and cook until sugar has almost melted. Add in the maple syrup and salt and whisk to combine.
  8. Finally, add in the walnuts, making sure to coat all of them in the sugar. Cook until they look crispy and smell toasty. Spoon walnuts onto a piece of parchment paper and allow to cool completely before placing on top of the cake.

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