Mary’s spiced whole orange cake

As seen on tv

This cake has a wonderful citrus flavour. Add a little more spice if you want it to be very spicy. You’ll need a food processor to make it.






For the cake

1 small, thin-skinned orange

275g self-raising flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

275g caster sugar

275g baking spread, taken straight from the fridge

4 medium eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground mixed spice

For the orange icing

50g unsalted butter, softened

175g icing sugar, sifted

250g full-fat mascarpone cheese

To decorate

1 large, thin-skinned orange

50g caster sugar


1To make the cake put the whole orange in a small pan. Cover it with boiling water from the kettle, then boil for 30 minutes until soft when prodded with the tip of a small knife (top up with more boiling water as needed). Drain the orange and leave to cool.

2 Heat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.When the orange is cold, cut it in half and remove any pips. Put the whole orange, including the skin, into a food processor and blitz until you have a medium chunky texture. Remove 2 tablespoons of the mixture and save for the icing. Scoop out the remaining pulp into a bowl and set aside.

3 Add the remaining cake ingredients to the processor (no need to rinse out the bowl) and blitz until just smooth – be careful not to overbeat the mixture. Remove the blade, then carefully stir in the orange pulp using a plastic spatula.

4 Divide the cake mixture equally between the prepared tins and spread it out evenly. Place in the heated oven and bake for 30–35 minutes until the sponges are well risen, lightly golden brown and shrinking away from the sides of the tins. Allow to cool in the tins for a few minutes, then turn out the sponges on to a wire rack. Peel off the paper and leave to cool completely.

5 To make the icing, put the soft butter into a mixing bowl and gradually beat in the icing sugar using a hand-held electric mixer.When the mixture is very smooth add the mascarpone and beat together until thoroughly combined. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons of orange pulp and mix in evenly with a wooden spoon.

6 Carefully slice each sponge in half horizontally to make 2 layers. Divide the icing into 4 portions, then use to sandwich the 4 layers, finishing with icing on the top.

7 For the decoration, use a rinder or canelle peeler to take long, thick strips of coloured peel from the large orange. Alternatively, thinly peel the orange using a vegetable peeler, then cut the peel into fine pencil-thin strips. (Use the leftover orange for juice or a fruit salad.) Put the orange peel strips into a small pan. Cover with boiling water from the kettle and add half the sugar, then boil for 1 minute.

8 Drain the strips and place them on a small sheet of baking paper. Sprinkle over the remaining sugar and toss the strips gently to coat (they will curl). Leave in a warm place to dry out for as long as possible – overnight is best. Decorate the cake with the orange curls.This cake is best eaten on the day it is made, but can be kept for up to 3 days in a cool place.

Recipe taken from new book, The Great British Bake Off: Everyday by Linda Collister ( forewords by Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry) published by BBC Books at £20