Not So Clear Memory

Since I finally got my a**e into gear and started this blog, I have wanted to give you the recipe for a cake that Grandma often made, a cake that I loved to eat, and I loved to watch her ice; but I cannot remember what the filling was.  So I asked Andrew.  Now some of you may think that given his current memory problems that wasn’t my best idea, but his long-term memory is good.  Not this time though.  He knows that chocolate was involved somehow because he remembers scraping the bowl.  I should have asked Suzy yesterday but I forgot.   So here is my version of Grandma’s Orange Cake.  This is essentially a Victoria sandwich cake with the addition of orange zest and a wee bit of orange juice to the mix.

What always made it special for me was that Grandma iced it beautifully with orange glacé icing and then she feathered chocolate icing onto it.  I thought, and still think, that the feathered icing added a special something to the cake – a little bit of extra care that seemed somehow to make it taste better.  I can’t begin to explain feathered icing without committing plagiarism so here is a link which explains it beautifully –  Of course, you could just ask Suzy….

Orange Cake – Ingredients

  • 200 g / 8 oz caster sugar
  • 200 g / 8 oz butter, softened
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 200 g / 8 oz self-raising flour, sifted
  • Zest of one orange
  • 2 tablespoons / 30 ml orange juice


Heat oven to 190 C / 170 C (fan oven) / Gas mark 5.  Butter two 20 cm / 8 inch cake tins.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add a quarter of the egg mix with a large spoon of flour.  Repeat until all the egg is used up.  Turn the mixer down and add the orange juice and zest.  You really don’t want the mix to curdle so do this bit carefully.  Add the remainder of the flour.  Put half of the mix into one of your prepared tins and the balance into the other tin.  Bake for about 20 mins.  Cake should spring back to touch.  Leave for 5 mins and then put onto a baking rack.

Now this is the bit that we can’t remember – was the filling orange flavoured or chocolate flavoured?  So here are two options.

Chocolate Butter Icing – Ingredients

  • 100 g / 4 oz soft butter
  • 125 g / 5 oz icing sugar, sieved
  • 1 tablespoon coca powder, sieved with the icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence


Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix.  If you’re using a mixer, use a low speed because the icing sugar will fly around!

Orange Butter Icing – Ingredients

  • 100 g / 4 oz soft butter
  • 140 g / 5.5 oz icing sugar, sieved
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence


Put in a bowl and mix.

Use whatever filling you have chosen to sandwich together your two cakes.

Orange Glacé Icing – Ingredients

  • 100 g / 4 oz icing sugar, sieved
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice


Mix icing sugar with juice in a bowl.  Beat until smooth and all lumps have disappeared.  The icing should coat the back of a spoon – too thick, add a wee bit more juice; too thin, add a wee bit more icing sugar.

For Chocolate Glacé Icing, remove two teaspoons of icing sugar after you have weighed it, and add two teaspoons of cocoa powder, then sieve together.  Use water to mix with the powder.

To do the feathered icing, look at the link I gave you.  The one thing I remember Grandma saying is that the orange icing mustn’t be too hard before you pipe the chocolate icing otherwise it won’t feather properly.


2 thoughts on “Not So Clear Memory

  1. The filling was orange butter icing and I am very surprised at you forgetting! Why? Because Mum did not want to waste the remaining orange juice so some was put into it instead of vanilla essence. However chocolate sounds yummy too. thanks for the memory, I had forgotten about this one

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