From guest contributor and friend, Rhonda of Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia, who has contributed three other wonderful page-32 recipes—Passionfruit banana tart, Honey snaps and Pitlai—Ayurvedic wegetables with dal.
Cakes and slices cookbook, 128pp.
by The Australian Women’s Weekly
Australian Consolidated Press, Sydney, 1987
Cooking on page 32
For 28 years, I have been using a cake recipe that I found in the Cakes and slices cookbook published by The Australian Women’s Weekly in 1987. That was the same year that tests confirmed that my son had an intolerance to dairy products, as well as many artificial colours and flavours, so I was looking for treats that didn’t contain any of those things.
In the cookbook, I found a recipe for Moist Orange Cake. I could see that the butter in the recipe could easily be replaced with dairy free spread, and that the milk could be replaced with orange juice. It was made originally as his birthday cake that year, and we all enjoyed it so much that it became a family favourite.
I hadn’t made it for a few years, but we live close to a large citrus growing area and I had bought a bag of fresh oranges at the Saturday Farmers’ Market and, when I decided to make a cake for afternoon tea on Sunday, seeing the oranges sitting on the kitchen counter reminded me about the recipe. When I pulled out the book and found the recipe, I knew that I not only had to make the cake, but I also had to photograph it, and write about it. Why? Because the recipe is on page 32!
Moist Orange Cake
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
2/3 cup castor sugar
1 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup milk
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon soft butter
1 tablespoon orange juice, approximately
1 tablespoon coconut
Grease a deep 20cm round cake pan, line base with paper; grease paper.
Combine all ingredients in large bowl, beat on low speed with electric mixer until ingredients are combined. Increase speed to medium, beat for about 3 minutes or until mixture is changed in colour and smooth. Spread into prepared pan. Bake in moderate oven for about 45 minutes, Stand 2 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool. Spread cold cake with icing, sprinkle with coconut.
Orange icing: sift icing sugar into small heatproof bowl, stir in butter and enough juice to make a stiff paste. Stir over hot water until icing is spreadable.
Keeping time: 2 days
How it played out
This time, as our son wasn’t going to be sharing it, I did use butter rather than dairy free margarine. However, I still used orange juice in place of the milk, because it adds to the flavour, but it also seems silly to juice an orange and then only use 1 tablespoon of the juice. I also mixed the coconut with the rest of the grated orange rind, because it looks prettier and also adds to the orange flavour of the cake.
It also keeps well—the listed keeping time of 2 days is quite an under-estimate.
It’s an easy cake to mix and bake, although in my oven it usually cooks in less than the 45 minutes, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on it from about 35 minutes on.
This is still a favourite cake of ours. It’s moist (and with all that butter, it should be!), and we enjoy the orange flavour.
Two cents from Peggy
Wow, such a beautiful cake. And another big thank you to Rhonda for contributing a dessert recipe that is so delicious. Love the idea to substitute orange juice for milk.
Guest contributions are always welcome, so feel free to share some of your own page 32 gems. I can be contacted on peggybright @ hotmail . com.
And if you have a moment, be sure to check out my travel blog.