Orange loaf

  • serves 8
  • A little effort

This zesty orange loaf from Valentine Warner makes the perfect accompaniment to your mid-afternoon cup of tea. It's the perfect bake for when you're just beginning to welcome in Spring.



  • oranges 2 medium-large, well scrubbed
  • lemon 1, unwaxed
  • golden caster sugar 175g
  • unsalted butter 175g, plus extra for greasing
  • self-raising flour 175g
  • baking powder ½ tsp
  • eggs 3
  • icing sugar 100g, sifted


  • Step 1

    Peel strips from the oranges with a potato peeler and cut each strip into thin shreds. Finely grate the lemon zest and put aside. cut the oranges and lemon in half and squeeze the juice. Reserve 1 tbsp juice and put the rest in a small pan with the orange zest shreds. Add 100ml water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly and simmer for about 30 minutes or until well softened.

  • Step 2

    Stir 50g golden caster sugar into the pan and boil for about 5 minutes until the liquid is syrupy and reduced to around 2 tbsp. Scoop out roughly a third of the orange shreds and put in a small bowl. Pour the remaining orange syrup and shreds into a large bowl and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Heat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas 4. Base line a 1.2 litre non-stick loaf tin with baking parchment and butter well.

  • Step 3

    Put the remaining golden caster sugar, butter, flour, baking powder, eggs and lemon zest in a food processor and blend on the pulse setting until just combined, thick and smooth. Transfer to the large bowl with the orange syrup and fold in lightly.

  • Step 4

    Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for 35 minutes or until well risen and pale golden brown. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack until cold.

  • Step 5

    To make the icing, blend the reserved citrus juice with the icing sugar until smooth. Put a plate under the cake while it is on the cooling rack. Drizzle the icing over and leave to set for 10 minutes. Scatter the reserved orange shreds on top of the icing and serve in thick slices.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 415
  • Fat 21.2g
  • Carbs 54.3g
  • Fibre 0.7g
  • Protein 5g
  • Salt 0.39g