Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

When life hands you oranges, make Sicilian Orange Cake

I know that the saying goes something like that with lemons, but as the fruit bowl was full of oranges I had to go with that, though come to think of it, sub lemons for oranges and this cake would probably still work. It is a light, citrussy cake whose texture is fluffy yet moist. It is a real, real orangey treat. And even if it is cliche, it is the perfect cake for tea.

The recipe is taken from Rick Stein's super cookery book, 'Meditteranean Escapes', a tome that is well battered and splattered as it has been used frequently in the past, present and no doubt, the future. It is also very easy to make with very little faff, for example sifting, adding flour alternately with liquid yadda yadda. Once you've beaten your butter and sugar and added your eggs, just bung the rest in in order and ensure it is well mixed without being overworked. Simple. The icing does not have to be a thing of beauty either. The picture in Stein's book shows the icing trickling over the top and down the sides of the cake. Understated and beautiful, like this cake. I tried the same but, being cack handed, I got something like the spring melt of Alpine snow caps, but it didn't detract from the fact that this cake tastes utterly sublime.

Lola and Finn gave this massive thumbs up. Phill had two slices for pudding. After being made yesterday, I'd be surprised if it lasts much longer than this evening.

Sicilian orange cake taken from 'Meditteranean Escapes' by Rick Stein

Serves about 8 people


250g lightly salted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing (I used unsalted with a pinch of salt)
250g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
1½ teaspoons finely grated orange zest (two oranges worth for me, but may depend on the size of your oranges)
250g self-raising flour
85ml freshly squeezed orange juice (two oranges worth for me)

For the icing:

125g icing sugar
5 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice


Preheat the oven to 170C/gas mark 3. Grease and line a 22cm clip-sided round cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

Using an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar together for 4-5 minutes until very pale.

First egg...
Fourth egg...

 Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each one, if necessary adding a spoonful of flour with the last egg to prevent the mixture from curdling.

Beat in the orange zest.

Add the flour all at once and mix in well, then slowly mix in the orange juice.

Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer, inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean. If it starts to brown too quickly, cover loosely with a sheet of lightly buttered foil.

Leave the cake, in its tin, to cool on a wire rack, then carefully remove the sides and base of the tin and peel off the paper. Put it onto a serving plate.

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the orange juice until you have a spreadable consistency.

Spread it over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides, and leave to set.

Serve cut into slices and ENJOY!

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