Dulche de Leche Clementine Cake

Dulche De Leche Clementine Cake

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: British


Beautiful soft, fluffy Dulche de Leche sponge filled with a silky smooth clementine flavoured swiss meringue buttercream. This layer cake not only looks beautiful but will also blow your mind in flavour with the sweet caramel flavoured cake and citrus orange from the buttercream.



Dulche de Leche Sponge

485g (3 1/4 cups) plain flour 

3 teaspoon baking powder

1 ½ teaspoon salt

240g (1 cup) plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter room temp

340g (1 ½ cups) golden granulated sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

¾ cup Dulche de Leche 

360ml (1 ½ cups) milk, room temp


Clementine swiss meringue buttercream

5 large egg whites

300g 1 ½ cups granulated sugar

440g (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed

1 teaspoon orange extract

Zest of 3 clementines

Pinch of salt

To decorate

½ cup Dulche de Leche

Dried orange slices

Rosemary sprigs, optional

Feuilletine flakes


For Dulche de Leche sponge

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease a two 22cm/9inch loose bottomed cake pans and line the bottom with greaseproof paper. 
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add clementine zest Add eggs one at a time beating until fully incorporated after each addition. Add vanilla extract and dulche de leche and mix until combined.
  4. Alternating between the flour mixture (3 additions) and the milk (2 additions), mix until fully combined. Make sure to not over beat.
  5. Pour the batter in your prepared cake pans and spread out evenly. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick entered into the centre comes out clean. If the sponge starts to brown too much, then cover the cake pans with foil. TIP: from 45 minutes keep an eye on the sponge, ovens range in temps. These are thick sponge cakes and require a long time to get the centres baked.
  6. Remove the pan and allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 25 minutes before turning out onto wire racks.


For the swiss meringue buttercream

  1. Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.Place bowl over a pot of boiling water ensuring the bowl does not touch the water and whisk the egg whites and sugar continuously until the temperature reaches 70C/160F. Sugar granules should feel totally dissolved when mixture is rubbed between finger and thumb.
  2. Remove from the bowl from the heat and carefully wipe the bottom with a cloth and place on the stand mixer.  With the whisk attachment fitted, beat on medium to high until the egg white mixture is completely cool. and the bowl is cool to touch. This can take 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with the paddle attachment. On medium speed, start adding the butter one tablespoon at a time, only adding the next when the butter is fully incorporated. Once completely added then continue to beat for another 3-5 minutes until the mixture is whipped and of a thick consistency. Note: if it’s lumpy then continue to whip until smooth.
  4. Add orange extract and clementine zest and whip until fully combined.

To construct the layer cake

  1. When the cakes are completely cool, if they are domed then slice the top off to form a level layer. Then slice each cake in half. You’ll be left with four even layers.
  2. Spoon a blob of buttercream onto your cake plate and place your first sponge cake layer, This will stop it from slipping. Using a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain piping nozzle, pipe the buttercream starting from the outside of the cake round working your way right to the middle. Then with a palette knife smooth that layer flat.
  3. Add the second layer of sponge. Pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge of the sponge only (shown in my image above). Fill the inside of the ring with a thick layer of Dulche De Leche and smooth flat.
  4. Add the third layer of sponge and repeat the process of piping a full layer of buttercream and smoothing flat.
  5. Lastly add the final layer of sponge. TIP use one of the bottom layers and flip it over to ensure a totally flat top to your cake.
  6. Pipe buttercream onto the top of the cake and smooth flat with a palette knife. I like the look of a ‘naked’ layer cake which is where there is barely any buttercream on the sides of the cake and the sponge shows through.
  7. Use a palette knife to add as much or as little extra buttercream around the sides of the cake and smooth flat around the sponge. You’ll be able to see all those beautiful flecks of clementine zest.
  8. Finally to decorate, sprinkle a ring of Feuilletine flakes around the edge, then add a ring of rosemary and then dried orange slices.


For the orange slices: Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, cut oranges into thin slices and lay on a baking tray. Bake on a low heat, 110C/230F for one hour and then turn over and bake for another hour. The slices need to have zero moisture and be dry and crispy. If they need longer in the oven, then return and check on them every 15 minutes. The thicker the orange slice, the longer it will need to de-hydrate.

Keywords: layer cake, dulche de leche, clementine

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