Spiced Cherry & Orange Loaf Cake

In the last few years, I’ve loved adapting my “normal” recipes and giving them a festive twist. One of my most frequent bakes is my Madeira Cake – it has won a prize before. To make it “taste like Christmas” I decided to add some heart-warming spices and zesty fruit and a some red fruits. What’s not Christmassy about that?

Cherry & Orange Cake

While I always make a Christmas cake every year, we typically don’t cut it in my house until after Christmas Day. Hence, I decided to create this recipe to tide us over until it’s time for the real deal.

Spiced Cherry & Orange Loaf Cake
Spiced Cherry & Orange Loaf Cake

This cake is incredibly easy to make and the zesty orange flavour pairs excellently with the spices. In my opinion, spices are vital in this cake. However, if you’re not a fan, you could try the orange zest, cherries and a splash of vanilla essence. My top tip is to use glace cherries and not fresh cherries. This helps the cake keep longer, if you don’t eat it straight away.

Hope you enjoy! Amy x

Ingredients
6oz margarine
6oz caster sugar
Zest of 1 orange
3 eggs
1 tsp orange essence
8oz self-raising flour
1/2 tsp mixed spiced
1 tsp baking powder
150g glace cherries halved
2 tbsp sherry (optional)

Method
Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin. Preheat the oven to 180C.

Cream together the margarine, caster sugar and orange zest.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, along with a spoonful of flour to help prevent curdling. Mix in the orange essence.

Lightly coat the cherries in flour and fold into the mixture along with the remaining flour, mixed spice, baking powder and sherry, if using.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes. Remove from the tin and allow to cool completely, ideally overnight, on a wire rack before cutting.