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Swathes of sugar free swiss meringue buttercream covering a six inch layer orange layer cake

Mandarin Orange Cake (Refined Sugar Free)

This refined sugar free mandarin orange cake features two 6-inch layers of light, sweet orange cake and a large helping of silky, naturally sweetened vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream.

Category Cake
Cuisine American
Keyword mandarin orange cake, orange cake
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Serves 6
Author Amanda | Naturally Sweet Kitchen


Mandarin Orange Cake

  • 125 g unbleached plain flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 120 ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • 130 g coconut sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of 4 mandarin oranges
  • 120 ml mandarin orange juice about 3 mandarins

Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 170 ml agave nectar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 226 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla bean paste


Mandarin Orange Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and lightly grease two 15 cm (6 inch) round baking tins with butter. Line the bottoms with non-stick paper and set aside.
  2. Tip the flour, baking powder, and sea salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. Using a hand mixer, beat together the oil, coconut sugar, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl until emulsified. Add the orange zest and juice and beat well.
  4. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat just until the flour disappears. Repeat with the remaining flour and mix until smooth.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared tins and tap the bases on the counter a few times to release any large air bubbles.
  6. Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides and spring back at the touch. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Set a small saucepan filled with an inch of water over a hob on high heat. Once the water is boiling, turn it down to a low simmer.
  2. Pour the agave nectar and egg whites into a large, clean bowl and whisk until foamy.
  3. Place the bowl over the simmering saucepan and whisk frequently until the mixture is hot and registers 65-71°C (150-160°F) on a thermometer.
  4. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat the mixture on high using the balloon whisk of a stand mixer until the meringue forms stiff peaks and the bowl is cool.

  5. Swap out the balloon whisk for the paddle attachment and begin adding the cubed butter, one piece at a time, on a medium speed. Do not rush this step.
  6. Once all of the butter has been added, turn the mixer to a high speed and whip the buttercream until light and fluffy, about 2-4 minutes.
  7. Add the vanilla paste and beat on high again until fully combined and fluffy.


  1. Once the cakes have cooled completely, level the layers if necessary, then place one layer on a cake stand or serving plate.
  2. Top with ⅓ of the frosting and smooth the edges. Place the second layer on top and thinly crumb coat the cake. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Use the remainder of the frosting to ice the cake completely.
  3. Decorate with the cake with slices of fresh mandarin, rosemary sprigs, or anything else you desire.


  • This cake will keep sealed in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.