Spiced cakes are some of my favourite kinds. They ooze warmth, comfort and are delicious. Sometimes I feel the word spiced can be misleading – these are spicy in a way, but they do tend to awaken your senses and palate. I’ve used this concept a few times at Kitchen Therapy – Flourless Christmas Cake and Pumpkin & Carrot Spiced Cake, both of which are a great hit with even fussy eaters.
This cake is a bit inspired by Nigella – using whole oranges with seeds and pits into a cake. But I am not as fearless as she, so after boiling the oranges, I cut them open, remove the pits and seeds, and then crush them.
The cake is not very sweet, so the caramel in the frosting balances out the sugars. If you are forgoing the frosting, I recommend upping the sugar content to ¾ cup.
Note: I have been using a lot of mascarpone recently – no particular reason except that I stocked up on every tub in the city for a particular shoot, and am now trying to use it all up! You can substitute it with cream cheese or leave it out completely in the frosting.
- 2 malta oranges
- 1/4 cup butter, soft
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 3/4 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup mascarpone
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce
- orange slices
- Wash the oranges well and dry off.
- Place the oranges into a pot with some drinking water to cover the oranges.
- Bring to a boil for 30 minutes.
- Drain the water out and let the oranges cool down to room temperature.
- Cut the oranges into smaller pieces, removing seeds and pith.
- Place them in a mixer and crush them down into a pulp.
- Heat the oven to 200C.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.
- Add the eggs, vanilla, almond extract, and spices and whisk until fluffy.
- Add the orange pulp, baking powder, baking soda and salt, followed by the flour and whisk to combine.
- Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning over into a cooling rack.
- Whisk the mascarpone and caramel together.
- Slice the cake from the middle to create two layers.
- Spread half the frosting on top of the bottom layer and spread with a spatula.
- Place the second layer on top and spread the remaining frosting on top.
- Garnish with some orange slices on top.