I was delighted to be invited by Waitrose to make a recipe for their Stir-Up Sunday event – it’s that time of the year when Christmas cakes and puddings need to be whipped up in time for the festive season! I was generously provided with a gift voucher in order to buy the ingredients, but the recipe, as always, is my creation – so for Christmas with a twist, this is my gluten-free Cranberry and Orange Cake.
Everyone can have too much fruity, boozy richness, so if you’ve got several events that need sweet treats over Christmas, how can you ring the changes? That was my starting point for this quick and easy cake, so I decided it had to be light in texture, but still festive in taste. It’s a cake for people who don’t like Christmas cake or pudding, it’s a cake for those who, like me, are gluten-free, and it’s a cake for that last-minute Christmas party when you need to bake something, quick.
To a basic sponge mix, I added flavours that evoke Christmas for me: oranges – sweet, citrus, and utterly Christmassy; cranberries – festive and jewel-like, adding just a touch of grown-up tartness to an otherwise sweet cake; and almonds – a touch of marzipan flavour, but more delicate, and adding moisture and lightness to the sponge.
I kept the decoration simple too – just a drizzle of icing, made with juice from an orange, and extra cranberries, caramelized with a little sugar. It’s enough to make it look festive without it being sickly or over the top.
If you’re looking for the taste of Christmas, but in a totally different cake to a traditional Christmas cake, this might just be the recipe for you – I hope you enjoy it!