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Horizontal image of a decorated dessert garnished with citrus segments and green leaves surrounded by whole fruit and a white towel.

Satsuma Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: One 2-layer cake 1x


When it’s winter and satsumas are on sale, you must make this cake with cream cheese frosting, yellow cake, and bursts of juicy satsuma.



For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Zest of 2 satsumas
  • Halved segments from 2 satsumas (optional)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces (1 block) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 45 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 2 satsumas

For Decorating:

  • 46 satsumas, segmented
  • Satsuma leaves (optional)


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 8-inch round cake pans, or 2 6-inch square cake pans, with parchment paper. Spray the bottom and sides of the pans with nonstick cooking oil spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together vanilla, milk, and zest. On low speed, alternate adding the flour and liquid mixtures to the creamed butter, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl with a spatula and mix a final time to combine. If using, mix in the halved satsuma segments until combined.
  5. Divide the batter between the two pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on the pan size used, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of each comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks before decorating with frosting and fruit.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until completely smooth and lightly whipped, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time. Depending on how thin/thick it is, you may need to add a close to 5 cups. Beat on medium speed until thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the milk, flavoring extracts, salt, and zest. Beat on high speed for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. When ready to decorate, spread a thick layer of frosting on one layer. Arrange a layer of satsuma segments on top. Gently cover with a thin layer of frosting. Place the other layer of cake on top. Decorate the top and sides as desired with frosting, and garnish with additional fruit segments and satsuma leaves.
  5. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: satsuma, vanilla cake, cream cheese, cream cheese frosting, mandarin orange