Orange & Pineapple Cake

I recently made this fresh orange and pineapple birthday cake for a colleague who always has a sunny disposition.

Orange & Pineapple Cake (1)

The cake itself is a no-brainer orange-scented sponge, but it’s jazzed up with a pineapple soaking syrup to keep it moist. The ombré orange icing is completely optional, but it does make the cake look that much more impressive for a little bit of extra effort.


  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 5og caster sugar
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest of one orange, reserving 1/2 tsp for the icing
  • 125g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the soaking liquid:

  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (canned, bottled or fresh)
  • 15g icing sugar

For the icing:

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • Approx. 2 tbsp pineapple juice
  • Orange food colouring (or mix red and yellow) (opt.)

Makes a 6-inch double-layer cake.


Step 1: Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Grease and line two 6-inch round cake tins.

Step 2: Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in one egg and about 2 tbsp of flour (to prevent curdling). Beat in the second egg. Finally, sift and mix in the remaining flour and baking powder. Divide the batter equally between your tins and bake for 25 minutes. While the cakes bake, mix the 1/4 cup pineapple juice and icing sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil until the sugar has dissolved and the juice has thickened slightly.

Step 3:  Once the cake are out of the oven, allow them to cool for 5 minutes. Then pour on the pineapple syrup and allow to soak for at least an hour. (You may transfer the cakes to the refrigerator midway.)

Step 4: To make the icing, simply beat the butter until light and fluffy, then add in the icing sugar in a bit at a time while mixing. Add in the orange zest and enough pineapple juice to thin the icing to a spreadable consistency. Colour the icing if you so wish.

To get the orange ombré icing, you’re going to have to divide the icing into three batches and dye each batch progressively darker shades of orange. (Make sure you have more icing for the lightest shade of orange and use that for the crumb coat.) Then with a spatula or piping bag, start with the darkest colour at the bottom and work your way to the top with the lightest shade. (Passion for Parties has an excellent photo tutorial of the process.) You can leave the sides textured, but if you want to smooth them out, just use a dough scrapper to help you. (Check of this Basics post for more information.)

Orange & Pineapple Cake (2)

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