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Mellow gingerbread with caramel oranges

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Mellow gingerbread with caramel oranges

Rich in colour and flavour, this easy-to-make gingerbread cake can be transformed easily into a dessert with a side-dish of caramelised fresh oranges. Both of these items can be made up to three days in advance, making it a very easy dessert to put together when entertaining on weeknights.


Mellow gingerbread

  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon each ground mace and cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 125 grams unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup treacle or golden syrup
  • ½ cup chopped orange peel

Caramel oranges

  • 6 medium oranges
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup brandy or extra orange juice
  • ½ cup orange juice or water


Mellow gingerbread

  1. Sift the dry ingredients together.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure you beat well after each addition to end up with a very fluffy, light mixture. Beat in the treacle or golden syrup.
  3. Carefully fold in the sifted dry ingredients and orange peel.
  4. Pour the batter into a well-greased, floured and lined 20cm diameter round cake tin.
  5. Bake at 160ºC for about 50-60 minutes or until a cake skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a cake rack to cool. Serve sliced with warm cream and Caramel Oranges.

Caramel oranges

  1. Thinly peel the rind from one orange and shred finely. Peel the remaining oranges thickly with a knife, removing every trace of the white pith as it is quite bitter. Cut the oranges into thin slices and place with the shredded rind of the first orange into a small heatproof dish.
  2. Put the sugar and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring, until the sugar turns a light golden colour.
  3. Lower the heat and carefully add the brandy and orange juice, keeping your arm well covered, as it will splutter.
  4. Simmer until the toffee dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes before pouring it over the oranges. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours before serving chilled.

Cooks Tips

Variation - Pour an orange syrup over the gingerbread when it is cooked, to make it denser. Simmer together half a cup of orange juice and quarter of a cup of sugar until dissolved. Add a couple of tablespoons of orange liqueur. Remove the cooked cake from the oven and while in the tin, carefully spoon over the syrup. Allow the cake to stand for about 15 minutes before removing from the tin. Serve with or without oranges.

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