Thursday 4 April 2013

Sodden Orange cake

Who would imagine a cake could be both sodden and light at the same time, but this orange cake, made with breadcrumbs and ground almonds and scented with orange and spice most definitely is.
It's coming up to my birthday and my daughter and her partner Leo are coming up to help me celebrate. Since this orange cake is one of Leo's favourites I am happy to have another excuse to bake one. The cake uses 8 eggs, so with my chickens still in hyper-drive, it's a win win situation.

Welcome Syria, country number 89!
And Panama, thank you for becoming country number 90!
Brunei makes it 91 countries, and you're very welcome, thank you!

For this recipe you will need,
100g of white breadcrumbs, I use my own white sourdough, 3 days old
400g of caster sugar
200g ground almonds
370ml of Vegetable oil
8 eggs
the thinly peeled rind of 2 oranges
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt

For the syrup
The juice of the 2 oranges & 1 lemon
160g of sugar
1 cinnamon stick broken up
10 whole cloves

Line a cake tin measuring 28cm by 8cm with baking parchment.

Begin by placing the orange peel and caster sugar in a food processor and process for a minute until the sugar has taken on a yellow colour and is speckled with fine orange peel. Place the orange scented sugar in a large bowl, process the bread into fine breadcrumbs and add to the sugar. Add the ground almonds and finally process the oil, eggs, salt and baking powder and add to the dry ingredients. Mix well and pour into the prepared baking tin. Place in a cold oven and turn on the heat to 180C, bake for 50 to 60 minutes until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, make the syrup by bringing the sugar, spice and juice to a simmer, simmer for 10 minutes and switch off the heat.
Pierce the top of the cake while it is still hot from the oven with a tin bamboo skewer, roughly 20 to 30 holes, using a tablespoon gradually pour the syrup over the cake so that the syrup seeps into the cake leaving the spice on the surface. I remove the cloves because a clove bitten into inadvertently does numb the mouth. I leave the cinnamon sticks though as a decorative feature.

It's good to remove rogue orange & lemon pips along with the cloves
This cake keeps really well for up to a week and is perfect served with a dollop of chilled creme fraiche.
This is the only cake I know where you don't have to pre-heat the oven.
Pulverising the orange peel in the sugar makes an enormous difference, a technique I use whenever I want to extract maximum flavour from citrus fruit.
If you manage to find GF bread that is reasonably sturdy, a ciabatta type for instance, it's possible to make a Gluten Free version of this cake, it depends very much on finding a GF loaf which isn't too soft.


  1. Dear Tobi, this looks just wonderful! Being the very clever cook that you are, I wonder if you have thought of an an egg free version? cheers julie

  2. I never feel stymied by meat free, rarely feel daunted at dairy free, I am getting a little more confident at gluten free but when it comes to doing without eggs in baking I'm afraid I will have to do more research. I know vegan cupcakes exist but I have never attempted one. This cake uses a lot of eggs which for me at the moment is splendid, the kitchen is beginning to look like someone cast a sorcerer's apprentice type spell on it, eggs everywhere. I love a challenge though so I shall get to work on it soon, best wishes and thank you for your comment, Tôbi

  3. I just about fell off my seat laughing then...I read your title as "Sodding Orange Cake" and thought that I was just about to read about the disaster of all times! ;). Love the recipe but our chooks have decided that laying eggs is beneath them and they would rather sit on golfballs in the nest than produce the eggy goodness that we keep them for. They are SO lucky that I am vegan or they might be in the freezer by now! If they don't start producing eggs soon I am going to have to minimise the flock as we have 30+ non producing hens and a crowing rooster that isn't doing his bit! Love the recipe and the free early morning chuckle :)

  4. This is definitely my favourite one. Cannot wait to have my bit :-) HAPPY BIRTHDAY Love Leo

  5. I have to say, sodden does sound dangerously close to sodding, having been asked if I know a way of making this cake without using eggs, I would be grateful for any tips. I have no rooster or cockerel as we call them, I felt sorry for my neighbours when I did have one, they live closer to my chicken enclosure than I do and he had a tendency to crow really loudly at 4 in the morning. The chickens seem happy enough without a man about and are laying eggs faster than I can cope with. I have only 8 chickens and am currently getting an egg every day from each. Best wishes, Tôbi

  6. Many thanks Tobi & hope you have (had?) a great birthday, cheers julie

  7. As my son is coming up for the weekend I thought I would bake a cake and this one looked to fit the bill especially as Tobi said it was easy. BIG surprise!!! my cake actually looks like his and it tastes great with a lovely cup of `The des alizes' thank you chef x

  8. Well let me tell you this Sodden Orange cake is Simply the Best!!!

    I love my tea breaks with Tobes.

  9. Sue is waxing lyrical over this one, so when she goes I am going to attempt it. Chris in Andalucia, Spain.

  10. Hello, I'm glad to hear my recipe will get an airing in Andalucia, I'm looking forward to my No1 tasting team coming home from holiday, best wishes Tôbi

  11. This is the best cake ever!!!! Heavenly.
    The happy gardener.x

  12. Thank you Happy Gardener, I'm working on more cake recipes to keep you happy, Tôbi.


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