Melody Pfeffer Cake, as seen on Worst Bakers in America, Season 2.
Recipe courtesy of Jason Smith

Citrus and Honey Cake

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 3 hr 30 min (includes cooling and setting time)
  • Active: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: one 8-inch cake


Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:


Chocolate Ganache Drip:



Special equipment:
three 8-inch round cake pans; small sheet of bubble wrap, washed well
  1. For the frosting: Beat the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until combined. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar and continue to mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the honey and mix until smooth.
  2. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and lightly flour three 8-inch round cake pans.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Mix together the buttermilk, honey and vanilla in a second medium bowl.
  4. Beat the butter and white sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the orange zest and then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Gradually add the dry and wet ingredients, alternating, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
  6. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  7. Place one cake onto a serving plate or cake stand and top with about 1 cup of honey cream cheese frosting. Repeat with the second cake, 1 cup more frosting and then the last cake. Crumb coat and frost the cake with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate until the frosting is set, about 20 minutes.
  8. For the chocolate ganache drip: Place the disks into a heat-resistant bowl (glass or metal). Warm the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it just starts to boil. (I always look for small bubbles forming around the edge and a soft boil starting in the middle.) When you see that it's just starting to boil, pour it into your bowl of disks and let sit for 1 minute. Whisk the ganache until it's uniform in consistency and there are no bits of the disks left on your whisk. Cool the ganache at room temperature for about 30 minutes (or until the ganache itself is room temperature).
  9. To decorate: Melt the pale yellow melting chocolate disks over a double boiler. Lightly grease a small sheet of bubble wrap with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the melted chocolate over the greased bubble wrap with an offset spatula to spread into an even and thin layer. Place into the refrigerator just to set, about 15 minutes.
  10. Gently pull the bubble wrap to remove the chocolate, then break it into large shards. Put the ganache in a squeeze bottle and drip it down the edge of the cake. Squeeze a small amount on top of the cake and spread to cover (or leave the top uncovered). Decorate the cake with orange slices that've been brushed with honey, along with shards of "chocolate honey comb" and yellow and orange candy balls.