Citrus Cake

Just because we live on a miniscule budget, it doesn’t mean we need to do without treats. Treats are essential, I believe, to making us feel better about ourselves and our lives. Of course we need to cut our cloth to fit our measure, and that’s how this cake came about.

Originally, a lemon and poppyseed cake, I adapted this recipe to accommodate whatever I could find on special offer/left in the fruit bowl. I have made it with lemon,orange, lime and grapefruit (separately, of course). It’s another great stone soup recipe: I’ve substituted dark sugar for white and jaggery for sugar when I had none of the regular stuff.  I think what really makes this cake is the syrup. It turns a relatively run-of-the-mill cake into a real treat.

225g of Sugar

100g of Butter

100mls of Oil

Zest of 3 Lemons/4 Limes/1 Grapefruit/2 Oranges

2 Eggs

250g Plain Flour

2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder

3 Tablespoons of Poppy Seeds (optional)

For the Syrup:

150 of Sugar

100mls Juice from the citrus fruit you’re using

Preheat the oven to 180.

Butter a 20cm cake pan.

Beat together the sugar, butter, oil and citrus zest.

Beat in the eggs.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Fold the sifted ingredients (and the poppyseeds – if using) int the wet ingredients.

Pour the batter into the tin.

Bake for 50 minutes.

Transfer the cake from the tin to a wire rack.

Make the syrup by putting the sugar and juice in a small pan and bringing to the boil.

Turn the cooker down and simmer, stirring, for about ten minutes.

Poke a skewer several times into the cake.

Pour the syrup over the cake.

Allow to cool completely before cutting.

Citrus Cake


One thought on “Citrus Cake

  1. Greetings Hazel
    Here is my 2 cents worth, please keep up the solution based approach you have adopted as we need all the assistance we can get !

    For those who are particularly unaccomplished in the culinary arts I have the following cheap as chips recipe and gives a serving for 4 adults/children.

    1 bag of gluten free pasta 500g
    1 tray of 12 meatballs
    1 small jar of basil ( dried )
    1 small jar of garlic powder
    1 tin of Kidney beans
    1 tetra pack of passata ( Italian tomato sauce )
    1 baguette
    1 250 gram pack of butter

    equipment needed
    1 casserole dish or oven proof dish with lid
    1 large pot ( minimum 5 litres )
    1 Ladle
    1 mixing spoon
    1 a small bowl for mixing butter and garlic
    1 oven tray
    1 straining device for pasta

    preheat oven to 160 deg c
    mix basil and tomato sauce, add to casserole dish, add kidney beans and meatballs, cover with lid and cook for 1 hour.

    after 45 mins preheat water for pasta and add spaghetti, mix a small quantity of butter and garlic in a bowl and add to baguette and place in oven 5 mins before serving.

    total preparation time < 5 mins
    total cooking time 1 hour

    Total cost is related to local available sources but should be less than 8 euro if shopping at somewhere like lidl and aldi.

    simple and tasty

    For those slightly more advanced that want to try making pizza I use the following method which provides enough dough for two thin and crispy 12 inch pizza bases or one 16 inch thick base.

    2 cups of flour ( preferably unbleached but use what you can get )
    1 cup of half milk, half water
    2 sachets of bakers yeast
    1 pack of passata
    some basil ( grow it yourself and its free but for the cost of the seeds )
    a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar
    1 red onion
    1 pack feta cheese
    1 jar of green olives
    1 bunch scallions
    1 punnet of cherry tomato's ( i grow my own with seeds taken out of ones I previously purchased )

    any other topping you may wish to use subject to availability

    Equipment needed

    1 large mixing bowl
    1 flour sieve
    1 oven or pizza tray
    1 small bowl to mix tomato and basil
    1 pizza cutter or good sharp knife
    1 wooden spoon

    total preparation time 10-15 min's bearing in mind you have to let the dough proof for a couple of hours. A good tip would be to make it in the morning before going to work and as long as you cover the dough with a damp tea towel before leaving it should be fine by the time you get home.

    Total cooking time 7-15 mins at 200 degrees celcuis


    sieve flour in a large bowl, add yeast and mix in well, add sugar and salt, the salt limits the expansion of yeast and the sugar feeds it making sure all yeast is activated.

    mix well and add lukewarm milk and water ( I usually use warm water if the kettle has boiled in the last half an hour ) and stir with the handle of the wooden spoon ( this avoids it sticking to your hands during the initial binding process ) until dough comes together in a solid mass. turn out onto a clean lightly floured table top and knead for 7-10 mins or until the dough exhibits an elastane quality like putty. Spinkle a little flour into a mixing bowl and place ball of dough and cover with damp tea towel or cloth and leave for 30 mins in a warm area or over night if needed.

    Once the dough has risen to at least twice its original size, turn out of the bowl onto a clean lightly floured work top and roll flat without disturbing the texture too much, shape to tray, add a little tomato and basil sauce and spoon across pizza base liberally leaving an inch on the outside clean. Add toppings and place in a preheated oven for 7-15 mins at 200 degrees c and serve.

    Different brands of flour have different reactions when mixed with water so you may need slightly more or less water for the perfect mix. I purchase 25kg bags of pizza flour from the local cash and carry and they are less than €18 can will produce somewhere in the region of 100 pizza's based on a 250 grams per two cups at 25 cent per two pizza bases its worth buying in bulk.

    I hope these ideas for solutions help Hazel, I think you are the true spirit of this nation, while everyone else is moaning and complaining about the detriments of the financial crisis you are sharing your insights and experience on how to get through this and still look after your families health and well being.

    We need more critical thinkers and less doom and gloom merchants so thank you for taking the time to share. The citrus cake was absolutely delicious and is fast becoming a favorite in our household.

    Total cost should be under 8 euro and with the economies of scale buy buying flour in bulk you would be good for many other recipes too.

    Kind regards

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