Soft sponge cake with a subtle orange colour and flavour, covered with white icing and all your favourite sweets!
This is a simple sponge tray bake recipe with orange zest and colour to give it some extra zing. The best bit is obviously the topping. Use whatever sweets you like. If you’re not a fan of Haribo or dolly mixtures, you could stick to chocolate, hundreds and thousands or other sugar sprinkles. A very easy tray bake which will go over well with kids of all ages.
I found the original recipe – Sweetie Tray Bake – at GoodtoKnow, where the cake is topped with melted white chocolate instead of water icing: another good option!
Ingredients (enough for 16 slices):
- 200 g / 7 oz butter (room temperature) or margarine
- 200 g / 7 oz caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 200 g / 7 oz self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Zest of one large orange (keep the orange after you’ve removed the zest as you can use its juice later)
- Orange food colouring (I used approx. 10 g of orange gel colouring – which is 2-3 teaspoons – but you can use as much as you want to get a shade of orange you like)
For the decoration
- 200 g / 7 oz icing sugar (sifted)
- 7 – 8 tsp orange juice
- If necessary, gradually add additional tsps of water to the icing sugar until you get a thick white icing
- Any kind of sweeties you want! I’ve used Haribo, dolly mixtures, Maltesers, Smarties and hundreds and thousands, but you can use anything you know will go down well with your intended consumers!
Grease your baking tin and line with greaseproof paper. The original recipe uses a 9 x 9 inch (approx 23 cm square) tin. As you’ll see from the pictures below, my tin in longer and thinner (approx 30 cm x 18) and the cake turned out just fine. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees C (160 fan)/ Gas Mark 4 / 350 degrees F.
The original recipe uses the all-in-one method, but when making sponge cake I nearly always beat the butter and sugar together first. Use an electric mixer (or hand beaters), to beat the butter and sugar together for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs, beating your mixture after adding each egg.
In another bowl, sieve together the flour and baking powder. Add the orange zest.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix gently until combined. Finally add your food colouring. If you’re worried about making your cake batter too orange, go slowly, adding a little colour then stirring through, etc.
Pour the mixture into your prepared baking tin.
Bake for about 20 minutes. It might take as long as 25 minutes, but in my oven the cake was nicely browned after just 20 and a knife inserted into the middle of the cake came out clean.
Leave your orange sweetie cake to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes until your can pick up the baking tin with your bare hands. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
The original recipe covers the cake with melted white chocolate, but I decided to use white water icing flavoured with the juice from the orange I zested for the cake batter. Depending on how big the orange was you used, you may only need the juice from half of it. I used 8 teaspoons of orange juice, adding the teaspoons to the icing sugar one at a time and stirring through after each addition. I then needed to add a couple of extra spoonfuls of water to get the icing to the thick consistency I wanted. Don’t worry if you go too far and the icing becomes too runny, simply add some more icing sugar to the mix to thicken it up.
Use a serrated knife to cut the edges off your orange sweetie cake to better reveal the colour inside.
Spoon your icing onto the cake and, if necessary, give it a little push with the back of your spoon to encourage it to flow out to the edges.
Sprinkle your orange sweetie cake with your choice of treats and serve!
If you would like other recipes featuring a hint of citrus:
Lemon sponge layer cake with lemon curd and vanilla buttercream filling.
Lemon sponge cake with white and yellow feathered icing.
Claire Huston / Art and Soul