Serves 12
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If you’re a citrus lover, you would absolutely adore this sweet pea, cinnamon and orange cake, which encapsulates all your favourite things about the family of zesty, pulpy fruit. As this recipe calls for two cakes, layering them with a generous and haphazard spread of orange buttercream will definitely catch the eye – perfect for afternoon tea, intimate parties and beyond.


  • 3 cups (360g) frozen peas
  • 300 g unsalted butter, chopped, softened
  • 1½ cup (330 g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
  • ½ cup (125 ml) lemon juice
  • 3 cups (450 g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1½ tbsps ground cinnamon
  • 3 tsps baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes
  • Fresh pea tendrils, optional


  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water
  • ¼ cup (55 g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 small orange (180 g), sliced thinly


  • 300 g unsalted butter, chopped, softened
  • 3 tsps finely grated orange rind
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cup (800 g) icing (confectioners') sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) orange juice

Cook peas in a medium saucepan of boiling water for 3 mins; drain. Transfer peas to a large bowl of iced water; stand for 1 min. Drain well. Process peas until smooth.


Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease two deep 20 cm round cake pans; line bases and sides with baking paper.


Beat butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Beat in vanilla, rind, juice and pea puree. (Mixture looks curdled at this stage, however, will come together.) Fold in sifted flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in two batches until combined. Divide mixture between pans; smooth the surface.


Bake cakes for 35 mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave cakes in pans for 10 mins before turning, top-side up, onto wire racks to cool.

Reduce oven to 110 C.

Make orange crisps; line an oven tray with baking paper. Stir the water and sugar in a small heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil; boil for 2 mins. Cool. Place orange slices in a heatproof bowl; cover with syrup. Stand for 30 mins. Drain orange slices from syrup; arrange slices, in a single layer, on lined tray. Bake for 2 hrs, turning halfway through, or until crisp. Transfer orange crisps to a wire rack to cool. Store cooled crisps in an airtight container until required.


Meanwhile, to make orange buttercream; beat butter, rind and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add sifted icing sugar; beat on low speed until combined. Beat in juice until smooth.


Place one cake on a plate; spread top with half the buttercream. Place remaining cake on top; spread with remaining buttercream. Decorate with orange crisps and pea tendrils. Dust with a little extra cinnamon, if you like.

TIP Cakes and orange crisps can be made a day ahead; store in airtight containers at room temperature in a cool, dry place. Spread cakes with buttercream and decorate on day of serving. Un-iced cakes can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Photo: bauersyndication.com.au

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