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Julia’s Pantry: Gâteau à l’orange – Orange Cake

Easy to make orange cake

I recently needed to make a cake – something quick and easy but delicious and pretty too. I was off to a Clandestine Cake Bake meeting and, as usual, was running behind schedule and I just didn’t have time to make anything complicated or that took hours to bake.

A neighbour came to the rescue with this great recipe for an iced orange cake… I decided to decorate my cake for Christmas. I used a heart shaped tin rather than an 8 inch one and it was perfect and I cut out a paper Christmas tree and placed it on the cake and dusted icing sugar over. When I removed the paper I decorated the “tree” that was left behind and then just drizzled the cake with the icing – lovely!


100g Butter
2 Eggs
1 Orange
100g Caster sugar
100g Icing sugar
125g Plain Flour
1 Teaspoon baking powder

For the Icing

100g Icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons of freshly squeeze orange juice (from the orange in main ingredients)


1. Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4/350°F.

2. Butter and flour the sides of an 8 inch cake tin and line the case with greaseproof paper; grate the orange zest finely.

3. Melt the butter very gently in a saucepan and put to one side.

4. Whisk together the eggs, caster sugar, icing sugar and orange zest until it’s quite light and a little bit fluffy even and then stir in the melted butter.

5. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and fold together gently.

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.

7. Bake for 35-40 minutes – though I’d recommend you check it at 30 minutes as oven temperatures can vary and over cooking will spoil this cake.

8. Remove the cake from the oven when it’s ready, leave it to stand for a few minutes then remove from tin and let it cool completely before you ice.

9. To make the icing simply sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the orange juice a little at a time, stirring well between additions so that it doesn’t go too runny. Spread the icing on the cake.

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