It’s been 4 years – more or less – since frugalfeeding’s beginning. And what better way to commemorate my catalogue of over 400 recipes than with cake? An Orange Spice Traybake to be precise, finished with an indulgent layer of mascarpone cheese, infused with fresh orange and sprinkled with vibrant zest.
Inspired by the one and only Mary Berry, my Orange Spice Traybake is flavoured primarily with an orange, boiled for half an hour, blended and thrust wholly into the mix. Where we differ? Mary’s sweet tooth, raging unabated despite advancing years.
Sickly sweet cake doesn’t do it for me. It’s unnecessary. You lose all the flavour of the cake behind a sugary veil. It’s not a problem inside a Victoria Sponge, but when you have spices and an orange waiting to steal the show, it’s disappointing to mute their performance.
The result is quite a “grown up” cake; a hint of sugar darting about behind the scenes. Firm but moist, the sponge possesses an easily recognisable orange element, with a pleasing, but subtle, bitterness arising from the retained peel.
Finally, the creamy, indulgent mascarpone icing, delicately flavoured with blended orange and decorated similarly, is welcomed with every mouthful. Alone, the sponge would be delicious, but the mascarpone helps keep things light throughout.
Orange Spice Traybake
Makes 1 large traybake
for the cake:
- 275g butter
- 175g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 275g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder, heaped
- 1 large orange
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
for the icing:
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- 75g butter
- 75g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp blended orange
- orange zest to serve
- Place a large orange in a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Simmer for 30 minutes until soft. Chop, blend and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C(fan). Grease and line a square baking tin (22x22cm).
- Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs thoroughly, one by one. Fold through the flour, baking powder, blended orange (saving 2 tbsp) and the spices.
- Tip the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. A knife, when inserted, should emerge clean.
- After 10 minutes cooling, turn out your cake and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, cream together all the ingredients for the icing and beat until thickened. Using an electric whisk helps. Place in the fridge until the cake is ready to ice.
- Once everything is appropriately chilled decorate your cake. Spread the icing liberally on the top and finish with a little fresh orange zest. Serve with optional party hats.
Cost: Traybakes, not always iced, are often the cheapest cakes to make. This Orange Spice Traybake is a little different; a result of the mascarpone. But it shouldn’t set you back more than around £4.50.
If you’d like to reduce the price of the cake by over £1, while retaining the decoration, full-fat cream cheese will happily stand in for the mascarpone. But don’t expect it to be as creamy.