19 June 2012

Whole Orange Cake

Oranges are cheap at the moment, and the quality is excellent. Don't forget to check the label to make sure you are buying Australian oranges to ensure they are top quality and of course to support Australian farmers.
This cake uses a whole orange and just four other basic pantry items, making it quick and easy. 

Whole Orange Cake

1 whole orange
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups oil
2 cups SR flour

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place the whole orange, sugar, eggs and oil in a food processor and blend well. Add sifted flour. Whizz until flour is mixed into orange mixture. Bake in a greased and lined loaf tin for 45 minutes until cooked.

Note: Olive oil gives a very moist cake but can leave a “taste”. I like to use half vegetable oil, half olive oil. The result is a lovely moist cake without the taste of the olive oil.

This is the original recipe as given to me. I have tweaked it somewhat to suit our eating habits, and the result is a delicious, moist cake, that is more nutritious. After all eating a healthy diet doesn't have to mean eating a dull diet.

The recipe I now make swaps wholemeal spelt flour for the self-raising flour and unsweetened apple sauce for the oil. I also cut the amount of sugar in the recipe and replace one of the eggs with flax seed and water (a great egg substitute).

The result is a very moist cake, almost a mud cake texture.

I also bake it in cupcake papers just to make it go further. I get 24 large cupcakes from the recipe and they take approximately 18 minutes to cook, depending on your oven. I'd start checking them after 15 minutes. The cakes are done when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Healthier Whole Orange Cake

1 whole orange, washed thoroughly
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp flax seed
1 tbsp water
1 1/4 cups unsweetened apple sauce
2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place cupcake papers into pan. Place the whole orange, sugar, eggs, flax seed, water and apple sauce in a food processor and blend well. Use a balloon whisk to aerate flour. Add flour to food processor and whizz until flour is mixed into orange mixture. Pour 1/4 cup mixture into each patty pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool on cake rack before frosting.

These cakes don't need an icing or frosting but they are very nice topped with a dollop of mascarpone icing.

To make the icing I mix mascarpone with icing sugar, add a squeeze of orange juice and mix. I'm sorry I don’t have quantities, I eyeball it. The mixture has to be firm enough to pipe or spread onto a cup cake without it running off. 

If you are going to use this frosting, you will need to keep the cakes in the fridge (mascarpone must be kept refrigerated).

I usually is make up the frosting and ice the cakes as I need them. The frosting will keep in a covered dish in the fridge for up to 5 days, the cakes will disappear long before that.


  1. I like the sound of this easy litle cake, but I am presuming you are using the entire orange skin and all. So I am not sure if my little processor will be tough enough to get through the thick peel what are your thoughts ???

    1. Maureen I use my little Breville food processor that is coming up for 23 years old to make this cake. Perhaps you could cut the orange into eighths instead of quarters so the pieces are smaller or just process the orange in batches, then add the other ingredients to combine.

    2. Thanks for your quick response, I will give it a go...

  2. Made this the other day, My Husband loved it. And it was easy. My loaf pan is a small one so I had enough mixure to make two smaller cakes.

    1. Which version did you make? I often make it up in cup cakes - they seem to go further in our house :)

      A great tip, especially with oranges being so cheap right now, is to process the orange and freeze it in ziplock bags, then all you need to do is slightly thaw it and whizz it with the other ingredients.

      I did a bag of oranges yesterday, just for whole orange cake.

  3. Hi Cath
    I was wondering if this cake is suitable to freeze, I have made it several times already but thought I might make the muffin size for a function if I can make them ahead of time and freeze them. What do you think?

  4. hi cath,think this whole orange cake a winner especially the healthier version.

    1. It is! It keeps well, although it doesn't last long in our house :)

      It freezes well too, especially in the muffin or cup cake sizes, or baked as a loaf and sliced - great for lunchboxes and picnics.

    2. Hi Cath,
      Thanks for posting this, the healthier version is just what I'm after. However, I don't have wholemeal spelt, just self raising wholemeal flour- will I still need the baking powder? Also, no applesauce- do I just stew and puree some apples, and does it keep ok, without any oil? Many thanks, and a slightly late..Happy New Year from the U.K! x

    3. Happy New Year to you too Wendy.

      If you're using wholemeal self-raising flour you won't need the baking powder - the SR already has a leavening agent in it.

      To make applesauce peel and core your apples and stew them with just a tablespoon of water. Don't add any sweetener, the apples are sweet enough. Cook them until they are very soft and then either use a stick blender to puree them or put them through a sieve.

      This cake never lasts long in our house, but it should keep for about 4 days.

  5. Hi Wendy,
    Just clarifying, whole orange means pips and all?

    1. Yes, the whole orange. Just cut it into quarters and put them in the food processor.


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