Cakes & Bakes

Orange Sponge Cake


I love looking at recipes in the weekend papers and in magazines. I often cut them out, but it may take years before I try them, if I ever do.

I saw a recipe by Tom Doorley in The Mail at the start of the year, for Orange Cake and it caught my eye. I finally got around to trying it this month. Dylan (9) and I made it one Saturday afternoon. It actually worked out to be (accidentally) perfectly timed. I had my first ever half marathon the following day and it was lovely to come home to dinner and a nice dessert. This cake will always remind me of my first half, in Lough Boora, Co Offaly, so it’s kinda special. Even apart from being sentimental it was devoured by everyone – the kids surprised me and loved it. We all had seconds – so that’s high praise. I bake so much, that we often give cake away, this was consumed entirely by us.

Recipe and tips below.


  • 170 g soft butter
  • 170 g caster sugar
  • 170 g self – raising flour
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs (recipe didn’t state size, I used large as that’s what I had)
  • 1 orange (organic or unwaxed. I had neither and just used a normal orange)

For the icing:

  • 85 g soft butter (recipe didn’t state salted or unsalted. I normally use unsalted for icing, but either works)
  • 230 g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas 4.
  2. Line two round shallow cake tins 18 cm tins with buttered paper.
  3. Cut the butter and put into a mixing bowl with the sugar and the eggs.
  4. Sift in the flour and baking powder.
  5. Finely grate most of the orange zest into the mixing bowl, saving a heaped teaspoon for the icing.
  6. Beat together the contents of the bowl until smooth and creamy.
  7. Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake for 20-30 minutes in the centre of the oven.
  8. When the cakes are done they will spring back when gently poked with a finger. Take them out of the oven and remove from the tins onto a wire rack and peel off the paper. Leave to cool.
  9. For the icing: Put the butter into a bowl and sift in the icing sugar. Add the 2 tbsp of orange juice and the reserved zest. Beat well until pale and creamy.
  10. Spread half the icing over one of the cooled cakes and put the other cake on top and cover with the remaining icing.

Some @thecakemum observations/tips:

  • The cake took 25 minutes to cook in my oven. Remember each oven is different, so do keep an eye on the cake when baking for the first time.
  • We didn’t get a huge amount of zest from our orange, so I’d suggest buying a really large one or go wild and buy two. We only kept half a tsp for the icing as we needed the rest for the cake and I only had one orange in the house.
  • If the icing doesn’t seem spreadable enough, gradually add some more orange juice, bit by bit.

Happy Baking

De (aka thecakemum)

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