Thursday, 27 February 2014

Mini orange, cinnamon and sultana loaf cakes

Cup of tea and a mini orange, cinnamon and sultana loaf cake

After a successful batch of mini lemon loaf cakes, I decided to try out a more adventurous recipe with my Lakeland mini loaf tin. After a search on Pinterest, I found this recipe by Laythetable – this recipe was for 6 mini loaves, using mini loaf paper cases. To use the 12 hole mini loaf tin, I doubled the ingredient quantities.

The original recipe suggested soaking the sultanas in Amaretto, which would be delicious! However, I didn’t have any Amaretto – after a rummage in our alcohol cupboard (which mostly contains gin!), the best  thing I could find to use as an alternative was Pimms! I also think Cointreau would be a great substitute if you have some! If you want to avoid alcohol entirely, you could simply use orange juice. As I did not plan my bake in advance, I only managed to soak my sultanas for about 45 minutes – this was ok and they did plump up a little, but the longer that you can soak them, the better!

The method for making the cake is fairly standard – it’s really important to beat the butter and the sugar thoroughly – at least 5 minutes in a stand mixer. When adding the beaten eggs, it should be done little by little to avoid the mixture splitting, however, if it does split, just add a little of the flour – this should bind the mixture back together.

Greasing the mini loaf tin well is really important. I really recommend a decent spray with Dr Oetker cake release spray and then rub the grease around with your fingers to ensure that every spot is covered.

The original recipe suggested finishing the cakes with a glaze followed by a drizzle, but I decided to go for a piped drizzle topped with a  sprinkling of orange zest. I have provided the methods for both so that you can choose!  

These cakes were really good – very moist and full of flavour! EHH took them into work and they were very well received – even by one colleague who claimed not to like orange cake!

Mini orange, cinnamon and sultana loaf cakes

Mini orange cinnamon and sultana loaf cake
  1. 75g sultanas
  2. Amaretto / Cointreau / Pimms / orange juice
  3. 2 oranges
  4. 1 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. 4 large eggs
  7. 170g self raising flour
  8. 60g ground almonds
  9. 230g unsalted butter
  10. 230g granulated sugar
  11. 100g icing sugar

  1. Place the sultanas in a small bowl or cup and cover with the alcohol / orange juice. Leave to soak for as long as possible – ideally overnight or longer.
  2. Strain sultanas through a sieve and reserve the liquid.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  4. Lightly grease the mini loaf tin (ideally spray liberally with cake release spray) or place 12 mini loaf cases on a baking tray
  5. Zest one and a half of the oranges (save the remaining zest and the juice of the oranges for use in the icing).
  6. Sift the flour, ground almonds, cinnamon and baking powder together.
  7. Using a hand/stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale, smooth and creamy.
  8. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk with a fork to combine yolks and whites. 
  9. Bit by bit, add the eggs into the creamed butter and sugar, beating thoroughly between each addition.
  10. Add in the sultanas and orange peel.
  11. Add half of the flour mix and mix gently, then repeat with the remaining flour mix.
  12. Spoon the mixture into the tin / cases evenly.
  13. Use a teaspoon to smooth the tops.
  14. Place in the oven for around 18 - 25 minutes. Turn the tray after about 14 minutes if your oven bakes unevenly. Towards the end of the bake, you may wish to cover with brown paper to present the tops browning before the middle is cooked.
  15. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing the cakes from the tin.
  16. Place the cakes on a wire rack to finish cooling.

To glaze (while the cakes are still warm):
  1. Juice one orange and mix this with a tablespoon of the soaking liqueur.
  2. Place the icing sugar in a bowl and add the liquid a bit at a time until it resembles runny honey.
  3. Use a skewer to make a few piercings in each cake, then spoon the glaze over each (around 2 tablespoons per cake).
  4. Top each glazed cake with a sprinkle of orange zest.

To ice with a drizzle (once the cakes are cool):
  1. Place the icing sugar in a bowl and add a spoonful of the soaking liqueur, followed by enough orange juice to create a smooth piping icing – it should be just a little runnier than toothpaste.
  2. Spoon the icing into a piping bag with a small round nozzle and drizzle across the cakes.
  3. Top each iced cake with a sprinkle of orange zest.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Mini lemon loaf cakes

I can’t believe it is nearly the end of February already! January whizzed by and I actually didn’t bake all month! February has been more productive but it has taken me until now to get around to writing things up! At the start of February, I decided it was about time to try out one of my Christmas presents – the Lakeland mini loaf baking tin. I’m a bit obsessed with little things generally and love my mini sandwich cake tin (but actually don’t use it nearly enough!), so this baking tin was near the top of my wish list this year! After a scour of Pinterest and the internet generally, I realised that there aren’t many recipes out there for mini loaf cakes. I was going to go with a general loaf cake recipe and adapt the baking times, but I found that Lakeland had a few recipes specifically for this tin, so decided to give the lemon loaf cake recipe a go!

The recipe is fairly easy to follow and quick to make. The only slightly frustrating thing is that it uses medium, rather than large, eggs. I only ever have large eggs and so had to lightly whisk three large eggs, weigh the mix and then spoon out the right amount (medium eggs are defined as those that weigh (still in their shells) between 53g and 63g and large are those that weigh between 63g and 73g; egg shells tend to weigh about 6-8g, so I aim for about 160g of whisked egg for this recipe).

If you don’t have ground almonds, you can replace with the same amount of flour, but be aware that the cakes will probably rise more. If you do this, I would suggest not using all of the mix in the cake tin.

When it comes to greasing the mini loaf tin, I find the easiest way by far is to spray it liberally with cake release spray and then just use your fingers to ensure that all sides are coated. This means that the cakes come out smoothly and perfectly!

The mini lemon loaf cakes are very cute! I topped mine with a piped zig-zag drizzle of the lemon icing but you could simply spoon the icing on, or water the icing down a little more and use it as a glaze rather than an icing. The cakes were moist and zesty and kept really well (in a cake tin) for about 5 days. They would be fab for an afternoon tea party, with lots of other mini cakes and treats! Definitely a recipe that I’ll be using again!

Mini lemon loaf cakes


  1. 200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
  2. 175g golden caster sugar
  3. 2 unwaxed lemons
  4. 3 medium eggs, beaten
  5. 200g plain flour
  6. 2 level tsps baking powder
  7. Pinch of salt
  8. 50g ground almonds
  9. 2 tbsp milk
  10. 150g icing sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. Lightly grease the loaf tin (ideally, spray with cake release spray).
  3. Cream together the butter and caster sugar until pale, light and fluffy.
  4. Grate the zest from the lemons, reserve 2 tsp zest to decorate, and add the rest to the mixture. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition.
  5. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Fold these dry ingredients into the cake mixture.
  7. Fold in the ground almonds.
  8. Add the milk and the juice from one lemon and mix until smooth.
  9. Divide the mixture between the Mini Rectangular Loaf Tin and level with a teaspoon.
  10. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and springy, turning the tin after about 18 minutes to ensure that the cakes bake evenly.  
  11. Leave the cakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then ease out onto a wire rack and leave until completely cool.
  12. Meanwhile, squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon.
  13. Mix the lemon juice into the icing sugar a little at a time, until the icing is smooth and runny and will coat the back of a spoon (it will need to be thicker – about the consistency of toothpaste – if you want to pipe the icing).
  14. Drizzle the icing sugar over the cakes and sprinkle with the reserved zest.