Cranberry and orange simply go deliciously well together. Put both ingredients in a cake and you’ll get the most wonderfully scented dessert. This simple looking Cranberry Orange Cake never fails to wow – it always bring out raised eyebrows and a “mmmm… very nice!” exclaimation from those who bite into it. Delightfully light and airy, it’s quite impossible to stop at one slice. The lemon drizzle on it makes it both sweet and tart, leaving a intoxicating taste in the mouth that makes you want to eat it again and again, making it truly a “perk-me-up” cake.

This is made using the french sponge cake method, i.e. whisking the egg yolks and the whites separately before combining both together. The trick in achieving a light-as-air sponge cake lies in whisking these two ingredients to the right consistency. Here are some important rules to digest first :

For the egg yolks :
– whisk it until it is about three to four times in volume
– it should be thick, creamy and pale yellow in colour
– the last stage has a “ribbon” effect, that is, when the whisk is lifted, the mixture falls from the whisk like a wavy ribbon

For the whites :
– make sure the bowl and the whisk is clean and entirely free from moisture and fats
– when the whites are foamy, whisk it until soft peaks are formed, then add the sugar
– after the sugar has been added, continue to whisk until the soft peaks become stiff
– once you have achieved this, stop whisking immediately (over-whisking will result in a DRY sponge)

You won’t go wrong if you do it right the first time. Happy baking !


For a 9″ round baking pan

5 nos. Egg Yolks
20 gm Castor Sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

5 nos Egg Whites

120 gm Castor Sugar

120 gm Cake flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder (optional – this is not required in making sponge cake but I personally find that it does add to its lightness)

(E) To prepare ahead :
80 gm Unsalted Butter, melted and leave to cool before use

60gm dried cranberry (cut coarsely)
60gm orange peel (cut coarsely)
– dusted with 1 tablespoon flour from (D) above

Method :

To prepare ahead :

1) Melt (F) and set aside to cool.

2) Grease and line a 9″ round baking tin. Set aside.

3) Sieve (D) twice and set aside.

4) Dust (G) with 1 tablespoon of the sieved flour & set aside.

5) Preheat oven at 180C.

To make the sponge :

6) Whisk (A) together until thick and creamy (note : see instruction above for whisking egg yolks). Add vanilla essence and combine well. Set aside.

7) Whisk (B), then follow by (C) until stiff (note : see instruction above for whisking egg whites).

8) Using a long spatula (or you may even use your hand), mix (B) to (A) and combine well.

4) Fold in (D).

5) Stir in (E) gradually in four portions, adding a portion at a time and stirring well after each addition.

6) Stir in (G) and mix well quickly (do not over stir to prevent air from escaping from the sponge mixture). Pour into prepared tin and bake for 30mins until done (test with a skewer).

7) Remove cake from the baking tin immediately onto a cooling rack.

9) When cake is completely cool, drizzle with lemon icing and garnish with some cranberry and orange peel (see recipe for Lemon Drizzle below).

Makes a good gift to give away !

Makes a good gift to give away !

To make Lemon Drizzle :

4 tablespoons icing sugar
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice (add more according to taste)
rind of 1 lemon

Method :
1) blend ingredients well together
2) drizzle sauce over cake and garnish with some cranberry and orange peel