Tangelo cake


“I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors.” – Five Go Off in a Caravan

This is a perfect springtime cake. It is buttery and deliciously citrus-sy, but it’s not a fragile edifice that can’t travel in a picnic basket to a park, or a riverbank, or shady spot overlooking the beach. When I was thinking about creating the recipe I had in mind something like an old-fashioned maderia cake, but brighter in flavour, and not quite so heavy in texture, and I think I succeeded. I love tangelos and wanted to use them in this cake, but it would also be delicious to make it using oranges. The icing is not too overpowering, and you could even serve it plain – with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt yogurt and some fresh tangelo pieces, rather than as a traditional iced cake. We ate it with a cup of tea, while playing a game of Scrabble, on what was an unaccustomed lazy Saturday afternoon. I hope, if you make this cake, it will help to make the occasion special too.

tangelo cake2 resized
Serves 8-12

250 g butter, softened
250 g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract/paste
zest of 2 tangelos (or oranges)
4 eggs
250 g self-raising flour, sifted
100 ml fresh tangelo juice (or orange juice)

250 g icing sugar
1 tablespoon soft butter
50 ml tangelo, or orange juice (approximately)
zest of 1 tangelo (or orange)

Preheat oven to 170 C. Grease and line the base of a 22 cm round cake tin. In a medium-sized bowl beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and zest until creamy and light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Add the flour and tangelo juice and mix until well combined. Carefully turn out of the bowl and into the cake tin, smoothing the top to make it level. Make for 50 – 55 minutes, until a thin skewer inserted into the middle of the cake come out clean. Turn out of the tin onto a cake rack and cool completely, before icing. The cake will keep for 3 – 4 days, if it lasts that long! To make the icing,combine the icing sugar and butter, and beat together, adding enough tangelo juice to achieve a spreadable texture. Spread the icing over the cool cake and sprinkle over the zest in the centre.

tangelo cake1 resized