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.

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