A lovely cake exuding the zestiness of fresh orange, this gorgeous cake uses rapeseed oil instead of butter as well as almonds in the ‘sponge’ to create a dense, moist cake that keeps for ages or would do if we weren’t tempted to cut just one more slice! Topped with a frosting that is the perfect foil to the luscious cake and decorated with crispy, homemade candied orange peel, this is a sweet revelation!
What you need…
1 x 23cm spring form cake tin, lightly buttered
5 large oranges
100ml rapeseed oil
4 large eggs
450g caster sugar
125g self-raising flour
125g ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
150g full fat cream cheese
150g crème fraiche
25g icing sugar
150ml cold water
What to do…
Preheat oven to 170°c / 325°f / gas 3.
Grate zest of 3 oranges into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Cut out the remaining flesh from the 3 oranges, chop roughly and chuck into your blender. Whizz, gradually adding the rapeseed oil until it is all thoroughly blended. Set aside.
Add 250g of the caster sugar and your eggs to the orange zest and, using a handheld electric whisk, whisk until the mixture is pale, thick and creamy.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, ground almonds and baking powder.
Carefully fold in half the puréed orange mixture into the egg mixture. Then fold in all of the flour mix before folding in the remaining orange purée.
Pour the cake mixture into your cake tin and pop it into the oven to bake for 1 hour or until the cake is golden brown and risen. Check it’s cooked by inserting a clean skewer into the centre: if it comes out clean, it’s done; if not, pop it back in for another 5 minutes and then check again.
Meanwhile, to make the frosting, whisk together the cream cheese, crème fraiche and icing sugar in a bowl and then pop it in the fridge until it’s needed.
For the homemade candied peel: using a vegetable peeler, peel the remaining two oranges and then julienne the zest finely (I forgot to do this last bit so my candied peel was chunky!)
Pour the water into a saucepan and stir in 150g of the remaining caster sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, stir in the julienned orange peel, then bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes to reduce the liquid and make a light syrup.
Strain the zest. Don’t chuck the syrup down the sink – it would be great for an orange drizzle cake or popped in the fridge ready for those fruity cocktails that require sugar syrup!
Sprinkle the remaining caster sugar into a shallow bowl, chuck in the zest and toss it about until it’s all coated with glistening, crunchy sugar.
Retrieve your cake from the oven and cool slightly in the tin before releasing from spring form and cooling completely on a wire rack.
When the cake is cold, spread the frosting over the top and then scatter over the candied peel. Simple but absolutely lovely! Indulge in your first slice of delectable orange cake with cream cheese frosting and candied peel and enjoy as your taste buds dance for joy!
James Martin, Home Comforts
Very easy and also very relaxed because the cake is in the oven for an hour, leaving you loads of time to do the frosting and candied peel in a leisurely fashion.