It’s not easy to get much done when you have a small child who is – at best – trying to climb up your trouser leg and – at worst – being very quiet just outside your line of sight. So making a cake is probably quite far down most parents list of priorities. But for those of us who loved to bake in the days before babies but have now consigned the cake tins to the back of the cupboard: I have a message for you. Just Do It. It may result in a kitchen strewn with dirty pots and pans, a screaming child and a batter smeared face. But guess what, at the end of it all – you have a WHOLE CAKE to eat, in a quiet corner, all by yourself. And what better reward could there be?!
I was quite excited to find a cake recipe by Skye McAlpine recently where the ingredients are measured in a yoghurt pot. There’s just something satisfying in using some discarded packaging as your measuring device. One step away from just chucking it all in and hoping for the best (and hopefully with slightly better results). An added bonus is that I imagine older children could be roped in on the action if they could be in charge of the pot.
January is the month of marmalade making so there are plenty of Seville oranges about and at this time of year beautiful, fragrant and juicy blood oranges are also available in the shops. So I decided dedicate this cake to them by using some of the delicious zest in the cake and juice for the icing, to which I’ve also added stem ginger for a little spicy hit.
I also must note that as there is no butter in this recipe you can almost certainly put this cake in the category of Health Food. It has olive oil in it, after all?
This is my adaptation from the original recipe by Skye McAlpine
you will need a 23 x 13 cm loaf tin or similar size
For the cake:
- 125g pot of natural yogurt
- 3 eggs
- 2 pots of caster sugar
- ½ pot of olive oil
- the zest of 1 blood orange plus a squeeze of the juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 4 pots of self-raising flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
For the icing:
- 1 pot icing sugar
- juice of half an orange
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- 2 balls of stem ginger, finely diced
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 then Grease and line you cake tin.
Pour the yogurt into a small mixing bowl and use the pot as your unit of measurement. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar, then beat vigorously until the mix becomes light and fluffy, and pale in colour.
Now add the yogurt, olive oil, orange zest, ground cinnamon, ground ginger and a pinch of salt; mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. Sift in the flour and the baking powder, then stir until the batter is smooth.
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 35 – 40 minutes, until it is lightly golden on top and a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Because it is quite a wet batter, it can be tricky to tell if the cake is cooked through – so gently press on top, and if it springs back then it is done. Take the cake out of the oven and turn it on to a cooling rack, then leave to cool completely before icing.
When you are ready to ice the cake, sift the icing sugar into a small bowl and add the orange and lemon juice.
You want the icing to be runny but not so thin that it won’t set – when you hold up the spoon, the icing should trickle off slowly. Adjust with the orange and lemon juice as necessary. Use the teaspoon to drizzle the icing over the cake, then sprinkle with the stem