A Loaf Cake Series: the orange one

Is there anything that screams understated cool – in the baking department – more than a loaf cake?

The joy of a humble loaf cake served, casually, on a cake stand, with a cup of tea – you can’t beat it. That is, unless you happen to have some of the best scones in the freezer, ready to go.

Photo credit: foodnetwork.co.uk

I’m a pretty ardent advocate of the loaf cake. So I’m going to share my favourite of the understated loaf cakes here in a series of failsafe loaf cake recipes. Could I say loaf cake any more times? Loaf cake.

I did once make this orange loaf cake in a regular round cake tin though, as a birthday cake for my mother in law and it also turned out quite nicely. But for now we’ll stick to the loaf variety.

Orange loaf cake 

This is an exceptionally moist and completely delicious cake. It will be your absolute go-to teatime cake, once you’ve tried it. It’s so popular here that I very rarely get around to icing it before it is all eaten, still warm from the oven. And if you needed further evidence of how good this tastes, it was eaten before I had chance to take a photo for you.

I have, on occasion, added some chocolate chunks to the mixture or a handful of poppy seeds and that turned out very well too…but we have simple tastes around here and so I normally stick to the classic plain orange cake. With the added bonus that it appeals immensely to adults and children alike.


175g butter, softened

175g caster sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

3 eggs, beaten

Zest of 2 oranges

225g Mix of self raising flour and ground almonds at whatever ratio you deem fit / have in your cupboard. I usually go for about 175g flour, 50g ground almonds

1/2 tsp baking powder (omit this if you are not using any ground almonds)

6tsp freshly squeezed orange juice


Preheat oven to 170C/325F. Grease and line loaf tin.

Cream butter, add sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs in 3 stages. Don’t panic when it looks a bit curdled, it will all come right in the end.

Add orange zest.

Sift flour and baking powder into a separate bowl, and mix with ground almonds. Fold in to the mix, along with the orange juice.

Spoon into the tin. Bake for around 50 mins, depending on how keen your oven is.

Optional icing:

2-3tbsp orange juice, mixed with 75g sifted icing sugar.

The orange loaf cake. Understated smug (the best kind?); fairly lazy (especially when you leave out the icing); entirely delicious.


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