Monday, 18 July 2016

It's My Birthday and I'll Bake If I Want To (Or Jaffa Cake)

chocolate orange cake

It was my birthday at the weekend there.

As you get older birthdays aren’t quite as exciting as they were when you were younger.
When you are really young, there is the anticipation of the toys and games you thought you might be lucky to get. Being born in the summer, it was great getting loads of new stuff to play with when the schools were off.

chocolate orange cake

And as you get older, birthdays become more about going out and getting drunk with your friends.
Whilst I’m not that old, these days I like to be surrounded by family and friends and that is exactly what this birthday was.

My nephew was playing the bagpipes at an event on the day, close to our home, so we wandered over there to listen to him and have a walk about the gardens in which he was playing.

My family all trooped across to ours after and my friend Claire (whom I have known since we were 8) and her husband Iain visited us as well.

We sat and had cuppies (cups of tea or coffee as we call them) and a slice of cake.
Yes, I had made my own birthday cake. People might think it’s quite a sad thing to do, but when I have the baking gene, and it’s something I enjoy why not? It’s something I’ve always done as the picture below shows – this was taken a quarter of a century ago – hence the dodgy haircut. I think I was quite into the Charlatans!!

Anyhoo, this year’s cake was a chocolate orange affair. I have no idea why. I just fancied whipping up something with a choccy orange flavour – and orange happens to be my favourite color. Maybe it was something to do with that subconsciously?!

The cake was a regular yellow cake recipe with orange extract added. And the frosting was a chocolate frosting made from mandarin infused cacao powder, plus more of the orange extract.

I used my new Scraper Mixer Pro from Sage which beat the ingredients together in no time at all.

chocolate orange cake

I made some mini meringue kisses to adorn the top of the cake. These are optional but if you would like to make them, the recipe for them can be found here (just use orange food colouring instead). I sparingly put the frosting around the edges like these popular ‘naked’ cakes that are around at the moment and it was as simple as that.

chocolate orange cake

Here’s how I made it…

print recipe

Jaffa Cake
Orange flavoured sponge cake with chocolate orange frosting
  • 170 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 340 grams granulated sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 200 grams plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 180 ml milk
  • 430 grams icing sugar
  • 100 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (with orange flavouring if you can get it)
  • 170 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 125 ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
Preheat the oven to 180C (160F) and line and grease two 8” cake tins.Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.Add the eggs one at a time until they are incorporated into mix. Add the extract and mix these through also.Add one third of the flour mix to the batter and mix this through.Add one half of the milk, mixing this through.Repeat with another third of the flour, mix and finish with the last third of flour.Divide the batter between the two cake tins and pop into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre.Allow the cakes to cool fully.To make the frosting, place the butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder, orange extract and half the milk and a bowl and mix until smooth. If it’s a little too thick, add some more of the milk, a little at a time.To decorate the cake, spoon about a third of the frosting on to one half of the cake and spread with an off-set spatula.Place the second layer of cake on top and add another third of the frosting on this top, spreading with the spatula.Sparingly add the frosting to the sides if going for a roughish finish or just smear as much as you have left on.Decorate the top with mini meringue kisses if you have made them, or even orange smarties, bits of a chocolate orange, or jaffa cakes would be smashing too.Chill until ready to serve then enjoy with a cuppy.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 8" two layer cake

chocolate orange cake


  1. Happy Birthday! What a great celebration cake, mmmm. I enjoy making my own cakes too, I say why not! At least that way you get something you like!

  2. My friend likes to make her own birthday cake too. I even have to ask her if she is doing so because I have to stop myself automatically baking something for her birthday! The best of happy belated birthday wishes to you. Any person in their right mind would love this cake as their birthday cake. Including me - one of my favourite flabours to put with chocolate is orange :)

  3. Happy birthday - if you can make a fabulous cake for your birthday I don't think it is sad, I think it is brilliant and glorious (I make my birthday cakes too - it is a great excuse to bake something decadent) - and fun to see you with all that hair

  4. Birthday wishes. What a fabulous cake, best to make your own than have one bought for you I think. I have also made a Jaffa cake - its vegan

  5. Happy but very belated birthday. The very best way of getting a good cake on your birthday is to make it yourself - I'm all for it. This is an excellent birthday cake. I promise it wasn't planned but Sproston Green came up on my random playlist just before I read this.

  6. Happy Birthday Stuart! Your cake sounds delicious and I love the pretty meringue kisses on top. That mixer is a star too.

  7. Happy Birthday..... and here's to many more cakes to come!
    This one looks lovely. Particularly loving the meringue kisses on the top!


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