Whether it’s for dessert or a tea-time treat, cake is perfect for any occasion.

While it’s not the most festive of puddings, a homemade sponge has a rightful place on the Christmas table.

Those looking to stray from basic chocolate and vanilla flavours should look no further than Mary Berry’s spiced orange cake.

Her recipe made its debut in one of her classic books, Mary Berry’s New AGA Cookbook, and couldn’t be easier to follow.

Described by the baking expert as “fresh”, the flavours blend perfectly for a fruity yet festive twist.

READ MORE: Exact place to store cranberry sauce, onions and sprouts before Christmas


Serves eight

  • One small thin-skinned orange
  • 275g self-raising flour
  • Three level teaspoons baking powder
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 225g butter, softened
  • Four eggs
  • One teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • One teaspoon mixed spice

For the filling

  • 50g butter, softened
  • 175g icing sugar, sifted, plus a little extra for dusting
  • Two level tablespoons orange pulp, reserved from the cake

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Mary Berry’s spiced orange cake recipe

The cake is intended to be split into two sponges sandwiched together by the orange filling.

Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas four then grease and base-line two deep 20cm tins with baking parchment.

Place the whole orange in a small saucepan, cover with boiling water and simmer until soft for about 20 minutes, then set aside to cool.

When the orange is soft and cold, halve it and remove any pips before blitzing it in a blender or food processor. Do this until the whole orange, including the skin, is cut into “medium chunky” segments.

Reserve two level tablespoons of the orange pulp for the icing, and leave the rest in the processor. Add the remaining cake ingredients and blend until smooth, taking care to avoid overmixing.

Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins then bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Leave to cool in the tins for a few moments, then turn out, peel off the paper and finish cooling on a wire rack.

To make the filling, cream the soft butter and sieved icing sugar together then spoon in the reserved orange pulp.

Mix then layer onto one of the sponges and sandwich the other one on top. Sieve more icing sugar over the top of the cake.

The cake is best eaten freshly made but it will store in an airtight container for two to three days. Alternatively, freeze the filled cake for up to two months, just thaw two to three hours at room temperature before consumption.

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