Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Spelt orange cake

I've had my head down with a deadline and haven't been baking, but last Thursday I felt an irresistible pull towards my KitchenAid mixer. For my birthday recently, some good friends gifted me not one, not two, but three Scandinavian cookbooks. In the interests of hygge, it seemed necessary to step away from the laptop and make a cake. I couldn't take too much time off so this recipe jumped out immediately as both simple and comforting.

I have a soft spot for orange cakes. This one adds a wholesome element by cutting the pale sweetness of the citrus with the grainy goodness of spelt flour. All the things you love about orange cake. And more. Highly recommended for anyone with a baking itch that needs to be scratched - hygge in a hurry.

Spelt orange cake
Adapted from Scandinavian Baking by Trine Hahnemann

I found wholegrain spelt flour in one of the larger Harris Farm Markets in the bulk food section but it should also be available also on shelves (pre-packaged) in good supermarkets or health food stores. The recipe below makes one large cake - I halved the quantity and baked a slightly smaller cake which was still pretty substantial.

300g butter, plus more for the tin
300g caster (superfine) sugar
finely grated zest of one orange, plus more for the top of the cake
4 eggs, lightly beaten
100g flour
150g wholegrain spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
150ml freshly squeezed orange juice
100ml double cream

Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Grease a 24cm tin and line base with baking paper.

Cream butter with 250g of the sugar and the orange zest til mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, waiting til each has been incorporated fully before adding the next.

Fold in sifted flours and baking powder, then 100ml of the orange juice and lastly the cream. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for one hour or until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.

Meanwhile, boil the remaining 50ml of orange juice and 50g of sugar in a small saucepan for a few minutes til it starts thickening. As soon as cake is out of oven, prick all over with a skewer and pour over orange syrup. Let sit in tin 10 minutes to absorb fully, then turn out to cool completely before topping with more orange zest to serve.


  1. Alice, this cake was amazing. Had a beautiful flavour and so moist. I actually did not have enough cream so used mostly sour cream. Thank you again for a great recipe.

    1. So glad you made it Alison - thanks for the tip on the sour cream. Almost always have some leftover to use up so an excellent excuse to make this again!