oranges & lemons: the twin cakes!

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Imagine an ultra-light, soft, moist, fluffy cake… just the cake (no additional whipped cream or butter cream, no cream cheese, no chocolate, no nuts, no …), but heavily flavoured w/ orange or lemon zest? Let’s have a go at it!

I got deeply infested by this idea when stumbling about a recipe for a simple – but absolutely delicious looking – lemon cake on An Italian in my Kitchen. So I thought about an easy approach…



I started & created “the twins”:

  • an orange flavoured
  • a lemon flavoured.

…and here we go…

There are less ingredients you – maybe – imagined (or even suspected):

We’ve got:

  • flour (the all-purpose type!)
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • icing sugar (the very fine type!)
  • vanilla sugar (the one w/ the vanilla seeds!)
  • butter (to be melted!)
  • eggs
  • cream
  • oranges (the organic type!)
  • lemons (the organic type!).

How to transform this into my “twins”?

We start w/ preheating the oven (160 °C w/ fan).

We melt the butter & let it cool.

We grease 2 baking tins w/ butter & trim to fit baking parchment for the bottoms.

We grate lemon zest & orange zest (attention: don’t mix them!)


For the record:
How many oranges & lemons do we need?
I wanted definitely a strong orange resp. lemon flavour in my cake – therefore I used more than the usual single orange or lemon: I doubled! The flavour is intense, but delicious.
Feel free to reduce the amount of orange/lemon zest if you like a less intense aroma!


We start w/ combining the sugar (aka all sugars!) w/ the eggs & beat it until fluffy.

We add the flour (including baking powder & salt) & beat again… (of course we use an electric handheld mixer!).

We add the molten butter & the cream & beat…

When everything is evenly combined we distribute the dough evenly among 2 bowls. Each bowl gets its unique flavour i. e. the zest.

We fold in the zest w/ a spoon & pour the dough in the cake tins… & at once in the oven!

“The twins” will need about 35 min. If a wooden pin inserted in the cake comes out clean it’s ready – otherwise give it another 5 min or so.


For the record:
Pls have in mind that each oven is individual: there are different manufacturers, there are different models, there are different electronics, there are different operating times, there are different operating modi… My data in my recipes rely always to my oven: take it as a starting point for your approach.


So: this was the main transformation!

Coming to the glaze!
(Of course the cakes are ready to be consumed after having left the oven & cooled down, but…)
I thought an additional glaze may improve the overall cake event!

Therefore let’s take some lemon juice & sugar, bring it to a boil in a small pot & let it simmer for about 20 min. The glaze is slightly sticky afterwards as long as hot & becomes really sticky when cooled down. So we spoon the hot glace over the still warm cakes. You may use a brush to distribute the glaze evenly. You may also use orange juice instead of lemon juice… (I admit that I did a lemon glace for both cakes for the sake of sparing effort & gaining efficiency.)

The glaze:
Be careful w/ the amount of lemon juice! If you use too much lemon juice the glaze will become really sour & acid & might ruin the cake! The recipe gives a ratio of lemon juice & sugar leading to a quite hearty glace fitting to the cakes.

A glaze isn’t a sugar icing!!!



oranges & lemons: the twin cakes!
Imagine an ultra-light, soft, moist, fluffy cake... just the cake (no additional whipped cream or butter cream, no cream cheese, no chocolate, no nuts, no ...), but heavily flavoured w/ orange or lemon peel? Let's have a go at it!
Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
for the cake:
  • 300 gr flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 175 gr icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 150 ml cream
  • 100 gr butter & some butter for the tins
  • zest of 1-2 organic oranges
  • zest of 1-2 organic lemons
for the glaze:
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4-5 tbsp sugar
  • 2 baking tins 25 cm
  • a handheld mixer
how to:
  • Preheat the oven (160 degrees C w/ fan).
  • Grease both baking tins w/ butter.
  • Put baking paper on the bottom of both baking tins.
  • Melt the butter & let it cool.
  • Grate the zest of the oranges & the lemons, but don't mix them!
  • Press out the juice of the lemons.
  • Mix flour, baking powder & salt.
  • Mix icing sugar & vanilla sugar.
  • Mix sugar & eggs w/ the handheld mixer until well combined.
  • Add molten butter & mix.
  • Add flour & mix.
  • Add cream & mix.
  • Pour 1/2 of the dough in another bowl & add the lemon zest. Distribute evenly w/ a spoon.
  • Add the orange zest to the rest of the dough & distribute evenly w/ a spoon.
  • Pour each flavoured dough in its own baking tin.
  • Bake in the oven for about 35 min.
  • If a wooden pin comes our clean when inserted in the cake it's fine. Otherwise add another 5 min baking time.
  • Let the cake in the baking tins cool down for about 10 min. Then loosen the edges of the cake from the tin (if necessary) & turn out the cake.
  • For the glaze mix the lemon juice w/ the sugar & bring it to a boil.
  • Let the glaze simmer for about 20 min until the glaze seems sticky.
  • Spoon the glaze over the cakes - maybe use a brush.
  • Let the cakes completely cool down.
Prep Time: This covers the preparations as well as the mixing of the dough. In addition it covers the preparation & application of the glaze.
Cook Time: It's only the baking time. You may add another 5 min to the baking time if a wooden pin inserted in the cake doesn't come out clean after 35 min.
Vanilla sugar: It's sugar mixed w/ vanilla seeds.
Oranges & lemons: If there are rather small oranges or lemons take 2 of them; if they are large 1 may be sufficient. Have in mind that we'll go for a real fruity cake!
Glaze: Lemon juice is rather acid & sour - so you'll need a lot of sugar! If you use too little sugar the glaze won't enhance the cake, but ruin it: therefore be careful! You may substitute 50% of the lemon juice by orange juice.
The cakes are very soft & fluffy: you may keep them just under a plate cover for 1-2 days.
When storing in the fridge the cakes become more dense & moist; you may store it in the fridge for up to a week.


(information on equipment)


I used 2 baking tins to produce an orange flavoured & a lemon flavoured cake. With the same amounts of ingredients you may create a round cake in a spring form. However, you should confine yourself to using either oranges or lemons…

The cake is perfect w/ a coffee, a caffé latte or an espresso… You may present it for breakfast & brunch as well as at coffee time…



The businesswoman with too many office hours thinks

The sight of the cake makes my mouth water!
It looks really fluffy – I imagine the bits of cake melting in my mouth w/ a sip of strong espresso…

I won’t need much to do the cake: only few ingredients & little time – might it happen that it goes wrong? Of course as an amateur baker w/ almost no experience… but it seems unlikely if I stick to the recipe rules!





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keep it simple. be flexible. always.