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Recipe: Orange Spice Cake

Mel Hutchfield puts a festive spin on a classic spiced orange cake recipe.

What says Christmas more than the smell of citrus and warm spices? This recipe can also be used to make cupcakes.


The cake:

  • 170g room temp butter
  • 170g castor sugar
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 6 tbsp thick cut marmalade
  • 2 medium beaten eggs

The topping:

  • 225g icing sugar
  • Up to 250ml orange juice
  • Sprinkles, sparkles or other decoration of your choice


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4

2. Grease and line a shallow traybake tin with grease proof paper

3. Toast the fennel seeds in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until darkened and fragrant (but not burnt), then grind to a fine powder with a pestle and mortar

3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and smooth with an electric whisk or mixer

4. Add the marmalade and spices and mix in thoroughly

5. Beat in the flour a third at a time

6. Slowly beat in the eggs until the mixture becomes a smooth batter

7. Spread the mixture evenly into the tin and bake for about 20-25mins, until the top is golden and a cocktail stick comes out clean

8. Let it cool in the tin for 10mins then move to a baking rack to cool completely

9. Whisk the icing sugar, adding the orange juice a tablespoon at a time, until you get a smooth paste

10. When the cake is completely cool, spread the icing evenly over the top

11. Sprinkle with the decorations as generously as you like

12. Allow the icing to firm up a bit, then cut into squares

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