Orange Zest & Cranberry Loaf
Cakes are always a celebration.
Irrespective of whether they are all dolled up with cream or fondant or simply prepared in a baking tin of your choice. Simple tea cakes add that extra zing to your evenings or while you indulge them as a light dessert for breakfast. I personally love baking cakes without all the decorations and jazz. Which is also something my customers at Spicecharmer Bakes thoroughly enjoy as well.
Ths delicious butter cake made with orange zest and fresh orange juice, plus cranberries is a delight!! My take on the butter cake is that it must be buttery but not too overwhelming in flavour or texture, and neither too sweet! It should be something that is easy to go with tea and doesn’t leave a greasy after taste when you are done with it (that's if you can stop at one slice). That is something this recipe achieves. ook for butter with a high-fat content though, it makes a lot of difference. I normally serve them in bite-size portions to go with tea, we all know how important tea is!
But considering this was baked for the blog, I had to jazz it up and bake it in a Nordic ware loaf pan.
You can bake this recipe in a normal 8-inch loaf pan or cake pan as well. Remember to keep all ingredients at room temperature while you start off to make this delicious cake. The oven needs to be preheated at 180C for 10mins and depending on your oven, the baking time may vary. The toothpick test however always helps to check the readiness of the cake.
This is a dense cake, you are not looking at bubbles here so remember to tap the tin prior to putting it in the oven for baking.
1 Cup or 225g Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons or 175g White Castor Sugar
1 and 1/2 cups + 1 Tablespoon or 190g All-Purpose Flour, Sifted
3/4 Teaspoon or 3g Baking Powder, Sifted
1/4 Teaspoon or 1.4g Table Salt
80ml Full Cream Milk
20ml Orange Juice
Zest of 1 orange
3 Large Eggs
1 teaspoon or 5ml Vanilla Essence
1/2 Cup - Cranberries
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees C and line your 8 x 8 inches baking tray with parchment/butter paper.
Beat the unsalted butter slightly for a couple of minutes to fluff it up and loosen it. You may use either a hand blender or a stand mixer for this.
Add in the sugar to the butter and cream both together until light and fluffy. This should take about 8- 10mins on medium speed.
Add in the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. Mixing well is important at this stage so that they do not curdle!
Add in the vanilla extract and salt and mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and mix well.
Sift in the flour, cranberries and baking powder mixture into the batter and mix using a spatula or hand mixer stopping immediately when there are no longer any lumps of flour.
Add orange juice and zest. The best will be to use a spoon to fold it in to prevent overmixing.
Transfer the batter to your lined baking tray and hit it against the counter a few times to dislodge excessive air bubbles.
Bake the cake for about 52-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool at room temperature for an hour before serving.
Cool the cake upside down for a denser finish. This cake tastes best after being stored overnight at room temperature.