• 175g margarine/soft butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 3 clementines
  • 3 tbsp whole milk
  • 175g self raising flour

I usually don’t care about the weather one bit. I’ve never been great friends with bikinis or short denim skirts after a boy once told me I have fat knees. (He was right, irritatingly.) Cold weather is fine by me. That is, until I had children.

Now cold and especially rainy weather makes me feel a bit claustrophobic and panicked.  Today I have played Thomas, Duplo, farms, hiding, read 5 Thomas books, made Play Doh pigs, helped colour in Percy the green Tank Engine and served a snack of sultanas as a half time break whilst watching Show Me, Show Me. That was all before midday. Both sons were unaffected by this exertion. They take it in their stride. I however am exhausted.

I baked this cake purely to entice the sun out. It’s very light and yet syrupy. It’s my new favourite cake. I may add pistachios next time too.

Ingredients:

175g margarine/soft butter

175g caster sugar

3 eggs beaten

zest of 3 clementines

3 tbsp whole milk

175g self raising flour

juice of 3 clementines

50g caster sugar

Thoughts on tins: I used one of those silicone traybake pans. Purely so I didn’t have to do any greasing or lining. It measured 24cm x 20cm. You could use a traditional tin or a different sized tin. Just be careful that you adjust the baking time. For a larger pan the bake time is usually less as the cake is less thick. For a smaller tin the bake time is usually longer. You’re looking for the edges of the cake to be pulling away from the sides and for a skewer to come out of the centre clean.

Okay, now for the recipe, it’s very easy. Preheat the oven to 170C. Check the rack is in the centre of the oven. Cream the margarine/butter with 175g caster sugar until really light and creamy. Takes about 4 minutes in a stand mixer. Add the beaten egg gradually, dribble by dribble. Then add the zest and the milk. Worry not if the mixture curdles. Fold in the flour with a metal spoon, pour into your tin, level with the back of a spoon and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden on the top and a skewer comes out clean from the middle. Leave to cool on a wire rack still in the tin and then make the sugar syrup by boiling the juice of 3 clementines with 50g of caster sugar for about 2 minutes until the sugar dissolves and it’s bubbling away. Poke holes in your cake with a skewer and pour the syrup over the top. Leave to cool before you cut.

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