Orange & Pecan Cake

I like to think of this cake as an alternative Christmas cake. Yes I said the ‘C’ word!!

My Mam is famous for her Christmas cake but I really don’t like any Christmasy desserts. I do love nuts, cinnamon, ginger and orange though so here is my cake focusing on these ingredients.

This Orange & Pecan Cake also includes apples, carrots and beetroot. All three give a lovely moist texture to the cake whilst sneaking in a contribution to your 7 a side! Parsnip or courgette could also be used. I used golden beetroot in this version but have used regular beetroot too which will result in a lovely purple colour in the cake.

The inspiration for this Orange & Pecan Cake came from a recent Anna Jones column in The Gaurdian newspaper. Anna’s weekly column focuses on seasonal recipes which makes it a great source of food knowledge and ideas for your kitchen.

Serves 12.

  • 80g pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 180ml rapeseed oil
  • 200g plain regular or spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp bread soda
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 100g carrot, grated
  • 100g beetroot, grated
  • 70g apple, grated
  • zest & juice of 1 orange

Topping:

  • 120g mascarpone
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • zest & juice of 1/2 orange
  1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F. Line the base of a 21cm round cake tin or springform cheesecake tin with parchment. Lightly oil the circular sides and dust with flour.
  2. Place the pecans in an ovenproof dish or roasting tin and roast for 5 minutes.
  3. Place the eggs and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat together until pale and fluffy with an electric hand whisk. Slowly pour in the oil as you continue to whisk until well combined.
  4. Sift in the flour, bread soda, baking powder and spices. Fold the mix together with a large spoon or spatula.
  5. Stir in the grated vegetables and apple followed by the orange zest and juice and roasted nuts.
  6. Pour the cake mix into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then remove and fully cool on a wire rack.
  8. For the topping: simply place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  9. Spread the topping over the cake and serve with extra orange zest on top as you like.Orange & Pecan Cake; Delalicious; Sinead Delahunty

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