Nanna’s simple and easy orange cake has past the test of time and been in our family as long as I can remember. Every Maltese family I know has an orange cake recipe up their sleeve.
Even the oranges used would come from two trees we had at the bottom of our farm which were growing near the Hawkesbury river bank. These orange trees produced the most amazingly sweet oranges. They were large and I remember them having the little extra bits at the bottom. My grandfather and aunty also had orange orchards at the time so if we didn’t have oranges from our tree, there was always a supply coming from somewhere else.
In Malta oranges were abundant when my dad was in his youth and every family always managed to produce an orange cake. I think these days the local grocer might provide an easier solution but it really doesn’t take long to bake this cake.
This orange cake was really simple to make. I rang my mum a few weeks ago for the recipe when I was devising my own recipe which I added ricotta and almonds. She doesn’t use a recipe but uses her brain instead. It is a simple cake she told me so all you need is a cup and common sense. I managed to get basic measurements from her and the cake turned out to be wonderful.
I have improvised a little and added some milk as I thought the cake mixture was a little too dry. I use two oranges for this recipe and I whizz them up whole with a hand blender. There is no need to zest or juice. My mum usually juices an extra orange and adds that in if she needs to and doesn’t use milk at all. The choice is yours.
I also used a bunt tin for my cake. My mum always used a bunt tin and it was a much nicer bunt tin than mine is. Her bunt tin has the wonderful grooves but mine is just a plain round tin with a hole in the middle. Any cake tin will do though. Once sliced the pieces of cake looked wonderful on a decorative or ceramic plate.
I actually took this cake to my daughter’s nursery cake sale. I sliced it and drizzled it with chocolate sauce to make it a little more appealing for the little ones. I loved the addition of melted drizzled chocolate sauce but that is optional.
I also tried this recipe by adding in an extra whizzed up orange. It also came out well but I needed to bake it for about 55 minutes. I haven’t included the recipe here as I felt it almost came out torte like and not a cake. It was still lovely and if you want to try that instead of using milk or some orange juice then go ahead. This cake has been taken to Dublin where I currently am visiting my husbands family. I also drizzled this with chocolate sauce.
This cake goes wonderfully with creme fraiche or cream.
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 200 grams softened butter
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 cups sifted self raising flour
- 2 oranges whizzed up with a hand blender
- 120 ml milk or orange juice
- 2 large handful raisins or sultanas (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180oC.
- Grease a bunt tin or any other large cake tin.
- In a food processor cream the butter and caster sugar.
- Slowly add in the eggs and beat until mixed well.
- In a large bowl add in the sifted flour.
- Add in the butter/egg/sugar mixture, oranges, milk or orange juice and raisins.
- Mix well together and pour into your cake tin.
- Bake in the oven for about 40 - 45 minutes.
- The cake will be done when a skewer is placed in the cake and comes out clean.
- Remove from the tin once slightly cool and serve with creme fraiche or cream.