Giant Orange Doughnut Cake (12 slices)

July 1, 2017

Mum is a citrus fruit fan, so when her birthday came up I decided to make her an orange cake.  Traditionally this recipe is called ‘Ciambella della nonna’ and is popular in Sicily.  Though not all the traditional ingredients have been used here, I reinvented and added my own touch. It’s fuss free to make and very tasty.


Ingredients for the cake:

  • 250g Unsalted butter

  • 250g Golden caster sugar

  • 2 tsp Vanilla bean paste

  • 3 tsp Baking powder

  • 4 x eggs

  • 300g Plain flour

  • Zest of two oranges

  • Juice of half an orange

  • 1 tsp Orange blossom water

Ingredients for the syrup:

  • 100g Granulated sugar

  • Juice of one orange

Ingredients for the topping:

  • 300g icing sugar

  • 2 tbsp Orange juice

  • Zest of an orange


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 / Gas mark 3,

  2. Cream together the butter and the sugar,

  3. Add the vanilla paste and one egg at a time whilst whisking (I use an electric whisk),

  4. Add the flour, baking powder, zest, juice and blossom water and whisk until well combined,

  5. Pour mixture into a well greased doughnut shaped baking dish and cook for 50 minutes on the middle shelf,

  6. With a toothpick, test the cake and make sure that no mixture sticks to ensure it is well cooked,

  7. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the baking tray,

  8. Place the granulated sugar and the juice into a saucepan and cook until it turns to a syrup consistency,

  9. Remove the cake carefully from the baking tray, and place onto a wire rack,

  10. Spoon the syrup over the cake and allow to cool completely,

  11. Mix the icing sugar, zest and juice in a bowl until well combined,

  12. With a spoon, or a plastic sandwich bag with the tip cut, pour the icing topping over the cake and then allow to set,

  13. Enjoy with a cup of tea, or even some champagne.

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