Sunday, 21 July 2013

Orange and Almond Loaf Cake

In the warm weather, I really haven't felt like baking.

Of course, I made Mama CupAndSaucer birthday cupcakes the week I got back, but other than that I've had no desire to bake. The idea of being in a kitchen when there's sunshine to be soaked up is not a fun one. 

In addition to this, when I was making the buttercream for the birthday cupcakes, my beloved electric hand whisk, which has been in use for as long as I can remember, gave up the ghost. It was a sad sad day, and something I think I can only get over by saving up for and buying a KitchenAid. It's a hardship, having to buy something I've pined for for years, but I'm sure I'll cope.

But until that day, I'll have to return to making things by hand (unless I cave and buy a cheapy hand whisk to tide me over). And when making this yesterday, I remembered what a simple pleasure that is. Beating the crap out of a bowl of butter and sugar and eggs is a lovely way to take out any frustration that's developed as a result of burning the backs of your legs, and really works your triceps.

This was originally a Hummingbird Bakery recipe, but as Tarek Malouf would probably have my guts for garters for daring to make something by hand, I adapted it. I also took the word "yoghurt" out of the title of the bake because a) the amount is so small as to possibly be deemed unnecessary and b) I used creme fraiche anyway. I also omitted the baking powder by accident and it still rose- hence why there isn't any in my recipe below.

You Will Need
A loaf tin (lined with baking paper), an oven, a big bowl, scales, a spatula

190g butter
190g caster sugar
The finely grated zest of an orange
3 eggs
60g ground almonds
190g plain flour
A tablespoon of creme fraiche
A handful of flaked almonds

What To Do
Start by making sure your butter is really soft, particularly if you're making this by hand. Beat it for a little while by itself, then cream with the sugar. Beat in the orange zest. Add your eggs one by one, mixing super well after each addition to prevent the mixture from curdling (I think this is what curdling is- when the mixture isn't properly emulsified). After the last addition, keep beating until it feels like your arm is about to fall off. Then beat a bit more.
Fold in your ground almonds and plain flour in two lots- this will make sure it's all properly incorporated. Beat in your creme fraiche (gently), and pour into your lined loaf tin. Sprinkle a handful of flaked almonds over the top, and bake at 170C for about 50 minutes- though if it isn't cooked through at this point, put it back in for another five to ten minutes.

Enjoy in the sunshine with a cup of tea.


  1. This looks so yummy. I love anything is almonds in :) I'm such a terrible baker though, it never turns out right.

  2. Ah this look amazing! My brother's amazing at baking but I, sadly, am terrible. One day I'll get the hang of it x

  3. Ooh this looks so tasty, I like almonds, they're pretty & taste goodxx

  4. This looks so bloody gorgeous! I agree though when it comes to this heat we've been having and baking, I really don't feel in the mood to be even hotter then what it is. I think it's time for lots of angel delights, mousses and no bake cheesecakes! x

  5. This looks grandma taught me to bake and she did everything by hand...I now do everything by hand too so I'm on baking strike until the weather gets cooler!!

  6. This looks so so nice! I've gotta try this :) xx

  7. Oh yum yum! Looks so good, and sounds pretty simply to do. Maybe a Saturday night treat for me :)


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