Cakes and Desserts,  Celebration Foods

Orange Sugee Fruit Cake

This cake combines the tangy zest of oranges with the rich flavours of traditional semolina cake. Moist, flavorful, and incredibly versatile, this recipe is a treasure trove for cake enthusiasts, offering a delectable treat that gets even better with time.

Stored in the refrigerator, it maintains its freshness for a minimum of two months, while freezing extends its lifespan up to an entire year! Perfect for those moments when you crave a delightful indulgence or as a thoughtful gift that brings joy to loved ones, this cake is a true showstopper.

One of the secrets to its unique taste lies in the choice of oranges used. Opting for slightly sour oranges infuses the cake with a delightful tang, balancing the sweetness for a more enjoyable eating experience.  You can use unsalted butter to suit your taste.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Preparation time:  30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour + 1 hour

Serves:   8

4 medium oranges

500 g mixed dried fruits

60 ml brandy or orange juice

200 g slightly salted butter, room temperature

200 g dark brown sugar

3 large eggs, beaten

1 ½ teaspoons mixed spice powder

200 g fine semolina

100 g ground almond

1 tsp baking powder


3 seedless oranges

150 g caster sugar

150 ml water


  1. Place the 4 oranges in a pan and cover with water.   Bring to the boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and cook the oranges for 40 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C.   Grease a 20cm spring form cake tin and line the base with non-stick paper.
  3. Cut the cooked oranges, remove any pips and discard.  Process the oranges in a food processor until finely chopped.   DO NOT PUREE IT.
  4. Place the dried fruits, brandy and chopped orange pulp and mix well.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale.
  6. Add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  7. In another bowl, combine the spices, ground almonds, semolina and baking powder.
  8. Fold into the creamed mixture along with the dried fruit and orange pulp.
  9. Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes.
  10. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C and continue to bake for a further 40 mins. Cover the top of the cake loosely with aluminium foil if the cake becomes too brown.
  11. Cool cake in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  12. To make the decoration, slice the oranges to a 5mm thickness.
  13. Place the sugar into a saucepan with water and cook over a low heat, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved.
  14. Put the orange slices in the pan and stir well.
  15. To keep the oranges submerged in the syrup, cut out a circle of greaseproof paper to fit into the pan and place over the fruit.
  16. Cook over a low heat for 1 hour until glossy and translucent. Remove and spread out over greaseproof paper to cool.
  17. To serve, dust the whole cake with icing sugar, then arrange the oroange slices, overlapping, over the top of the cake

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