Friday, 18 April 2014

Sticky Orange Cake

Forget chocolate this Easter Sunday.  I know, I know it is traditional but hear me out.  Everyone will be eating it, everyone will (more than likely) be regretting the sheer quantities of that smooth, creamy, sweet decadent delight and will be after something that is a bit more refreshing, but just as delicious.

Let me present the Sticky Orange Cake.  It just screams of the spring time zing and bounce that those ridiculously cute spring lambs always seem to excude.  It's a great cake for teatime on Easter Sunday, a late afternoon snack that just tides you over into the evening as you lounge in front of the film, surrounded by the family and with a big steaming mug of tea.

It's also really quick and easy as well.  I first made it one night in a panic as I realised I had completely forgotten to get something for my work's bring and buy sale raising money for The National Autistic Society.  I had promised a cake to sell and I was damn well going to deliver.  I looked in my cupboards, saw the flour, eggs and oranges, scouted around online and saw this recipe and knew immediately what I could make. 

This cake is light, fresh, moist and the syrup really does make this a case of sticky fingers post munching's!  I've tweaked it slightly and added some spices, just a little to give it a bit of depth.  If you add more you take this cake out of the realms of spring and firmly into Christmas territory. 

You need:


For the cake

175 grams self-raising flour
175 grams caster sugar
175 grams butter
5 tablespoons milk
2 medium eggs
1 large orange (grated zest of, save the juice for the syrup) 
Teaspoon cinnamon
Teaspoon allspice 

For the syrup

75 grams caster sugar
1 large orange (juice of, use the zest in the cake)

For the icing

100g icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 large orange (grated zest of, you don't need the juice for the cake but it's good to eat anyway!)

Grease a medium loaf tin and preheat the oven to 180 degrees

Put the flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs and orange zest into a large mixing bowl. Whisk until all the ingredients are incorporated (I use an electric whisk but you can do it with a manual one, it just takes some time and some sweat!)

Pour the mixture into the loaf tin (try and resist the urge to eat the leftover cake mix, it's hard as it tastes really good!) and bake for 40-45 mins, until risen and golden.  The top may crack slightly but don't worry!  When a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake it is done.
When the cake has just about 5-10 mins left in the oven, heat the syrup ingredients together in a small saucepan. Remove the cake from the oven and make some holes in the top with a skewer.  Pour over the syrup, making sure to cover the whole cake (while the cake is still in the tin) and leave until the cake is completely cold.

Ease the cake from the sides of the tin with a knife before trying to remove it from the tin and turn it out onto a tray.  Mix the icing ingredients together, adding more milk or more icing sugar if the consistency isn't to your liking.  I find it works best as a thick pouring consistency.

Ice the cake haphazardly and scatter with the orange zest.  It should keep for a day or so in an air tight container.

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