Kim Joy’s orange and stem ginger cat-themed mini-cakes

Feline groovy? Then you can bake these fun and simple iced cakes with ears and whiskers

These are simple, tasty and great fun to make. There will be some leftover candied orange, but you can use this to decorate other cakes, or just eat it (along with the leftover cake trimmings). Bonus!

Prep time: 10 min for cake, 15-20 min for candied orange, 10 min for buttercream, 5 min for icing, plus assembly/decorating time
Bake time: 20-30 min
Makes: 9


For the cake:
210g unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
210g caster sugar
210g eggs (about 4 medium eggs)
270g self-raising flour
3 tbsp whole milk
Zest of 2 oranges

For the candied orange ‘ears’:
1 orange
150g caster sugar
150g water

For the buttercream:
100g butter, at room temperature
200g icing sugar
Zest of 1/2 an orange
1-2tbsp whole milk

For the royal icing:
50g icing sugar
10g egg white

Plus:
30g crystallised stem ginger, roughly chopped into small pieces
Pink and black food dye

Heat the oven to 180C (fan)/ 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Grease a 9in x 9in (23cm x 23cm) square tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.

For the cake, cream together the butter, salt and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the self-raising flour, milk and orange zest, and mix slowly until evenly combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Meanwhile, make the candied orange. Add the sugar and water to a shallow pan, bring to a simmer and stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Slice the orange and place in the sugar syrup. Simmer for 15 minutes while turning occasionally, until the fruit is translucent. Transfer to greaseproof paper and leave to cool before cutting into triangular shapes for the “ears”.

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Next, make the buttercream. Cream together the butter and the icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest and milk, and mix again until combined. Transfer to a piping bag ready for later.

Now prepare the royal icing: mix together the icing sugar and egg white until smooth. Dye some pink and some black, and transfer to piping bags.

When the cake has finished baking, turn it out on to a wire rack and then peel off the greaseproof paper lining. Leave to cool completely before using a 2¼ in (6cm) round cutter to stamp out nine circles. Cut each of these horizontally in two, then sandwich a layer of piped buttercream and a sprinkling of chopped stem ginger between them. Add the cat face details using the royal icing, then top with a little more buttercream and the orange “ears”.

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