Sunday 15 December 2013

Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake - O is for...Orange

Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake
Oranges became popular in the USA in the 1880s with the expansion of the railway system. This meant that oranges from California and Florida could be transported around the country and the tradition of having fruit in the bottom of your stocking began. This idea was not a new one though and for its origins we have to return back to St. Nicholas. When he was still a lowly Bishop he heard of a poor man with three daughters. They were unable to marry as their father could not afford the marriage dowries. The next night Nicholas decided to find the poor man's house and drop three bags of gold down the chimney. The three daughters had hung their stockings by the fire in order to dry them after being out in the freezing snow all day. The bags of gold happened to land in each of the three daughters' stockings and then turned into balls of gold. In religious icons and paintings St. Nicholas is often pictured with three balls of gold or symbolized by three oranges.

Although the tradition of putting an orange, clementine, tangerine or satsuma in the bottom of a child's stocking may not be so popular today oranges are still used in a symbolic context in Christingle services. Since 1968 The Children's Society has been organizing Christingle church services. The orange given to each child symbolizes the world. The red ribbon round the orange is the blood of Jesus, the four cocktail sticks with sweets and dried fruit the four seasons and the candle or glow stick the light of Christ.

As an alternative Christmas cake for a Clandestine Cake Club meeting I made a Chocolate Orange Bundt cake. The idea was to replicate the flavour of a well-known brand of chocolate oranges that are always on sale at this time of year. If you are a bit unsure of making a Bundt cake do try this one as it is one of the easiest recipes to make.

Equipment: 10-cup/26cm Bundt tin, electric whisk.


6oz (175g) Plain flour
1 tbsp (15ml) Baking powder
6oz (175g) Unsalted butter, softened or baking spread
6oz (175g) Caster sugar
3 Large eggs, beaten
1 tsp (5ml) Orange extract
2 tbsp (30ml) Cocoa
2 tbsp (30ml) Milk


2½oz (70g) Icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp (15ml) Cocoa
1 tbsp (15ml) Water
½ tsp (2.5ml) Orange extract


1. Prepare the Bundt tin by greasing it and then shaking flour around it. Tip out the excess.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/Gas mark 3.
3. In a large bowl sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the butter, sugar, eggs and orange extract and beat well using an electric whisk.
4. Mix the cocoa and milk together and stir it into the mixture.
5. Spoon the mixture into the tin. Bake for 45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
6. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Once cooled mix the icing sugar, cocoa, water and orange together. Beat well until the icing is smooth. Spread over the cake and leave to set.

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