Sicilian Orange Cake

This recipe for Sicilian Orange Cake comes from Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escape Cookbook. He, in turn, got it from Jill Dupleix’s column in The Times where she describes it as “the richest, moistest, butteriest and yet lightest orange cake in the world”.

With a description like that, the recipe is definitely worth a try. And try we did, using blood oranges rather than the normal oranges. The verdict? Absolutely and utterly delicious. Light, moist, soft and perfect with a cup of tea.

Perfect to make for mum this Sunday on Mothers Day!

Sicilian orange cake

Serves about 8

250g lightly salted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing

250g caster sugar

4 medium eggs

1½ teaspoons finely grated orange zest

250g self-raising flour

85ml freshly squeezed orange juice

For the icing:

125g icing sugar

5 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice


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

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

3. 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.

4. 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.


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