This White Cake With Orange or Lemon Vanilla Buttercream recipe comes from Romania. While I was doing my Pastry Chef training in Bucharest, I met Oana, who was attending the same school as me. We became friends very fast, as we share the same passion for cooking and baking and also, both have each a blog that we love. One day we got together at my house and she showed me how to make two simple cakes that would save any celebration requiring a proper cake. She gave me one recipe for a white cake and one recipe for a chocolate cake. Both of them are easy to make and can be dressed up in many ways.
I used the recipe of the white cake to make this beautiful winter holidays cake, covered in fondant and decorated with the cute snowman. I also chose to flavor the buttercream with lemon, but it goes amazing with orange as well. As you can imagine, I had a lot of fun making the cake and also the decorations, especially this little guy.
The ingredients are enough to make a 10 inches cake. The cake is a sponge cake that is made only with eggs, sugar and flour. There is no baking powder in this recipe, so the egg whites are beaten to a meringue consistency to incorporate air in the batter.
The buttercream is a French buttercream where eggs are cooked with sugar and flavors on a water bath(bain-marie) and butter is added at the end, little by little. It is a very silky and beautiful buttercream that I personally like a lot.
The Romanian cakes are usually moist from the syrup added to the cake before frosting. The cake is also sliced horizontally in 2-3 layers and filled with the buttercream. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the inside.
Make sure when you start baking, all your ingredients are room temperature. Also, try to do a mis-en-place, a French term used in the professional kitchens for organizing and arranging your ingredients before starting the recipe. Use bowls to measure all your ingredients and put them in order. If you need to chop chocolate or nuts for a recipe, for example, do that during this first stage. Separate eggs. Make sure your tools are clean and handy. It makes so much sense to me to do that, instead of running around the kitchen for ingredients or tools that are buried in some cupboard I cannot get to.
Now, you are ready. Let’s do the cake. It is easy to make and so much better than something coming from a box.
I used the following tools:
I love the springform pans, as it is much easier to work with them and you can use them not only for baking the cake, but also for building a cake that needs to be frozen before decorating.
For decorating the cake with fondant I used:
If you are interested in other cakes, feel free to go to this page where you can find a variety of them, all easy to make.
- Cake batter
- 7 eggs separated
- 7 Tbsps granulated sugar
- 7 Tbsps all purpose flour or cake flour
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Orange/Lemon flavored Buttercream
- 4-5 eggs
- a pinch of salt
- 12oz(350g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- lemon or orange zest (your choice)
- juice from 1 lemon or 1 orange
- (if you choose lemon flavor, use lemon zest and lemon juice, if you use orange, then orange zest, orange juice)
- 17oz(500g) unsalted butter (80%fat)
- 3,5 oz(100ml) water mixed with 2oz(50-60g) sugar bring to a boil. Cool down and use to moisturize the cake using a brush.
- Preheat oven to 350F(180C).
- Beat egg whites with a mixer to a soft peak (When you turn your whisk upside down, the peaks are just starting to hold. They're soft and melt back into themselves after a second)
- Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until a firm peak. Stop the mixer.
- Separately, mix the egg yolks with a fork, then add them slowly to the egg whites, incorporating them slowly.
- Mix the flour with a pinch of salt and add it also to the egg whites. Do not mix, just fold the flour slowly, being careful to not loose the air from the batter.
- Pour the batter into a 10" springform pan lined with parchment paper and bake it at 350F(180C) for about 40 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
- Let cool, then remove from the pan and slice horizontally in 2-3 layers.
- Orange/Lemon Buttercream
- Pour the egg yolks in a bowl and place the bowl over a pot with water on the stove(Bain-Marie or water bath).
- Add sugar, a pinch of salt, vanilla and the juice and zest from either lemon or orange(your choice of flavoring).
- Beat the mixture over the heat until it thickens. Let it cool.
- Cut the butter small and add it one at a time in your mixture, with the mixer(the method is mix for a second to incorporate, then stop. Add another piece of butter and repeat) Do not overmix as it can separate.
- How to put the cake together
- Slice the cake horizontally in 2 or 3 layers. Using a pastry brush, brush each layer with your cool syrup.
- With a spatula, spread buttercream on the bottom layer and apply the second layer of the cake over. Continue with buttercream and another layer of cake. Cover the cake with the rest of the buttercream and decorate to your choice.
- Don't forget to add love and pacience! 🙂