Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chocolate Orange Cake (Gluten Free Or Not)

Jaffa Cakes! That is what they are called but they are not cakes.  They are hard to describe...but they are pieces of spongey goodness dipped in dark chocolate with an orangey bit in the middle.  When we are in England, my son and I really enjoy them.  Richard would have them if he could get some that are gluten free! I wonder if I could make a cake that would be similar in taste for Richard that is gluten free?  And then, I wonder if I could make one for my son that is made with wheat flour.  Turns out, I can!  Would you like to know the recipe?  Here it is!

Kay's Almost Like A Jaffa Cake: (Please note how to easily make this gluten free).

1 1/2 cups flour           (For gluten free- use 1 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup rice flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt  (I think this is 1/8 tsp)
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
Mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl.

2 large eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup orange juice
Mix all the wet ingredients together in another bowl.  Now, pour the wet into the dry.  Or, do like I do and just mix each one of those into the dry ingredients one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
I don't use a mixer, I just beat everything together with a fork.  We really need to use our muscles, ladies and gentlemen, why should machines do everything for us?
Have you remembered to grease and flour your pans?  Well, if you're anything like me you forgot, but hey, that batter isn't going anywhere.  Do it now, and then pour the batter in and put in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for...I think they took about 20 minutes but I couldn't swear to it in a court of law, you have to check. Your oven might be hotter than mine. Just peak at them and get them out when the cakes look done.  Now, with the gluten free cake, there was just enough batter for a nine inch cake pan.  For the regular cake for my son, I used two eight inch pans, but I could have just put it in the one pan.  Since it was 80 degrees outside, I wanted them to cook ASAP, so I put them into two pans.

Buttercream Orange Frosting:

3 3/4 cups Confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
3-4 tablespoons orange juice

You can use a mixer for this if you like.  Once again, I just used a fork.  I didn't have this much sugar, so I just used what I had and made just a little bit of frosting for Richard's gluten free cake.  I had even less when I made the regular flour cake so that was really more like a glaze.  It still had that chocolate orange taste that I was looking for!  Let the cakes cool and then frost them with this icing and place pecan halves around the edge for decoration!
  GUESS WHAT!?!  I just asked my son to do a blind taste test to see if he could tell which cake was gluten free and which one was not...AND HE GUESSED THE WRONG ONE!  He really couldn't tell any difference between the two!  That is wonderful news for folks on a gluten free diet!

They might not look like much but they both tasted really good.  That is the gluten free one on the bottom with the thicker frosting and that is the regular flour one on the top for my son.  The ONLY difference between the two recipes is the flour that I used for each one. 

While the cakes are baking, let's look outside my house, shall we?

Little chickadees on our bird feeder. They look like the blue tits in England, but these are black and white, very similar in behavior though.
Our cherry trees are just beginning to show their beautiful blossoms. 
The pink begonias in the pot have survived the wintertime in the garage during the times of cold weather.  When it is sunny, Richard has brought them outside.  The pansies are beginning to bloom quite nicely.
We love the dusty miller, we keep some in pots to put against the more colorful flowers, it makes for quite a contrast.    I say "we" but honestly, it is  Richard that does all the gardening.
Hope you enjoyed seeing some birds, flowering trees and flowers at our home! Let me know if you make the cake.  If you make any changes, let me know that too!  Hope you are enjoying Spring wherever you are.  It was 82 degrees today in Atlanta,  which broke a record for the highest temperature for this date.   I was hoping for a bit of a Spring before we went straight into summer...oh well!

Oh, I almost forgot...if you look at the SIBOL blog for today you will see that there is another article about SIBOL in the magazine KNIT TODAY, the April issue. (This is a magazine in England).  This is the same photo that was in the March issue of INSIDE CROCHET.  My photo is on the bottom row, the 2nd one from the left.  That is  the flower called "snow in summer " I am posing in front was taken on the Eastbourne seafront in England. 


  1. Dear Kay, another one of your lovely post with the bits of Kay-humour sprinkled in, and beautiful pictures to go with. The cake(s) sounds and looks delicious.
    Cherry blossoms!! None here yet, that will take at least another 2 weeks, if not more. Yesterday, we've had the warmest day of the year so far at about 20 Celsius (68 F). I had to work but all my windows were wide open, and I took my afternoon coffee on the windowsill, doing a bit of sunbathing.
    Since I'll be alone this weekend, I can feel another looooong walk coming up :-)))

  2. Dear Meike,
    That makes me chuckle, thinking of Kay-humour sprinkled in, oh, my, you really do have a way with the English language, my dear!
    That cake is really good and it is such a surprise that I have made something good, I had to post about it.
    You will see more photos of our cherry trees, they are so beautiful in full bloom!
    Now Meike, don't forget your sunscreen, must take care of that skin! :-) Hope you enjoy your looooong walk this weekend! :-)

  3. This cake looks fabulous. I'll try it and let you know how it went. I've got a cup measure in my cupboard so I can use the US measures.

    You live in a lovely, lovely place! thanks for sharing the Spring sights. Here in London it is fairly similar, I mean in terms of blossom and flowers, except for the sunshine (non existent today) and temperature (about 15 deg lower than yours!

    1. Hey Jenny!
      It's a simple cake but we like it! I don't use a cup measure, I just use a coffee cup!
      There are some not so lovely sights, but they don't make it onto my blog. If I can't find beauty, I will create it (or have someone create it for me!)
      Enjoy your Spring in London. Richard used to work in London, in the city, the oldest part. He still misses it.

  4. Hi Kay, Those cakes look and sound delicious!! Orange and chocolate are always a great combination. Your spring shots are so lovely - we are still working on getting rid of all our snow - slowly but surely - in the meantime, I will live vicariously through you. The cherry tree pic with the blue sky behind is gorgeous. I am going to remove the winter pics from my blog very soon and put up some from last spring instead - much more cheerier :) Also love your flowers and the chickadees xx

    1. Dear Jane,
      I love chocolate and orange together. Do you have Terry's chocolate oranges in Canada? I love those!
      Wow, snow...that sounds good, actually!
      Look forward to your Spring photos, even if from last year!

  5. Mmmmm, yummy Kay, that cake looks delicious. I'm sure I won't be making it anytime soon with my insane schedule. But a girl can still dream!!! Love those of my most favorite birds. Our resident chickadees built their nest in the top of our basketball goal last Spring. So cute. But my family didn't like that I wouldn't allow them to play until the babies were gone. Wondering if they'll do it again this year!!! Hope to hear the babies screaming for Mom & Dad!

    1. Dear Audrey,
      Lucky you, to have a nest of chickadees! Good for you that you wouldn't let anyone disturb the nest! You are a gal after my own heart.
      That cake is super easy, just notice it is flour/sugar/cocoa powder/eggs/oil/and OJ. You will NEVER find anything that is not easy to make on my blog. Trust me, NEVER! (If you use self-rising flour, you leave out the salt, baking powder & baking soda.)
      You don't have to frost it. But I am with you about being busy, you have two little ones!

  6. Mmmmmm...yum, yum, yum! The cakes look delicious. Thank you for sharing! Love your outdoor photos. Don't you just adore chickadees? They're playful and so much fun to watch. And once they get to know you, they aren't fearful. You can even get them to eat seeds from your hand (although it would take a lot of time and patience!)

    You have cherry trees? That is so awesome! They are lovely.

    1. Dear Martha,
      Do you remember the company Maxell, the one that used to make videotapes? They had a plant here in Conyers and the since the company was Japanese, they planted a lot of cherry trees. Since then, there has been a Cherry Blossom Festival at the end of March for the past 25 years or so...they are lovely when they are all in bloom!
      Love chickadees, wish I could get them to eat out of my hand. They will come down while we are near the bird feeder, but they chip and scold at us!

  7. Oh, Kay, I'm so happy you are putting your almond flour to such good use! Your chocolate orange cake looks and sounds divine, dear. I absolutely love that your son couldn't tell the difference between the two cakes. ;-)

    Chickadees are one of my very favorite birds. I love their looks and their kind of annoying song. We had a nest in our crepe myrtle bush once and worried so much about the babies until they were all gone because we had several cats.

    Love your flowers, too!


    1. Dear Shirley,
      That almond flour is the best, you are so right about that. Good for you and tastes good too, what could be better? I thank you so much for sending it to me and I will make sure that I always keep a trusty bag of almond flour in my fridge now!
      We love our birds! We hope to get more photos of them, but they are quick little guys!
      I know how super busy you are, thanks for taking the time to visit my blog and leave a comment. You're the best!

  8. I learned to like the Jaffa cakes when I was in France and every time I would go back home I’d buy some. But I have found some at Publix and also at the International Farmer’s Market near Cumberland Mall. What I like about them is that they are not too sweet. The orange filling is a bit like orange jello. It’s a great idea to try making them as a cake. I like chocolate orange jelly sticks that Trader Joe’s sells – have you tried them? They are not cookies but confectionary.

    1. Can you tell that it was hard for me to describe Jaffa Cakes?
      If you try to make this cake, let me know what you did occur to me that perhaps the orange taste could be stronger if I used a bit of orange liqueur. I think I might try that sometime, but I would have to buy the orange liqueur first!
      Trader Joe's...not sure how close one of those would be to me. Our Publix has some English biscuits and we have tried the expensive little boxes only to find they are stale. Oh well! Just have to visit England!

  9. Hi Kay I have recently discovered your blog and will be a regular reader. I am from England and my daughter has a fiancee from Georgia. It is really interesting to hear about Georgia and see your beautiful photographs. I enjoyed the Keep Calm and Carry On post, the Moody Blues post and will enjoy reading some older posts when I have time to myself. Sandra A.

    1. Dear Sandra,
      Oh, wonderful! How did you find my blog? You might like my post called England At Her Best!
      You might like to read the posts on Stone Mountain. That is a MUST SEE when you come to Georgia for a visit, and I hope that you will!
      Thank you so much for telling me the posts that you like! Please comment again! (And I can hardly type without using exclamation marks!) :-)

    2. Hello again Kay - its lovely that you reply to your comments! I am fond of exclamation marks too! I think I possibly found your blog via Attic 24 which is a big favourite of mine. Perhaps you left a comment there and I noticed your blog name which attracted me becaouse of our connection with Georgia. My daughter has been to America many times now and Georgia on some of those trips. I hope to visit one day. I think that will definately happen! What I have seen of your blog so far has been really interesting, I will certainly go and find England at her Best and read up some more on Georgia.
      Thank you Kay.
      Sandra A

  10. That sounds like a great cake, Kay. I love the fact that your son couldn't tell the difference. I've never had a cake like this before, but the chocolate and orange combination sounds tasty.

    1. Dear Linda,
      Please try it when you get the chance, please notice it is only flour/sugar/cocoa powder/eggs/oil/oj...That's it, other than the things to make it rise..the baking powder, soda, and salt!
      No milk in it, so would it be good for those who can't have dairy?
      Thanks for your comment! Hope you are well & happy these days!

  11. No chance of me being able to bake a cake, but you have made my mouth water, and I'm off to buy some Jaffa Cakes.
    Thank you for following my blog, and your nice comment. My header picture is not a sign, it is a little leaded light window in what used to be a outside toilet many years ago.

  12. Your blog is so funny! And I am with you on the Jaffa cakes!
    I will have to go back and look more closely at that photo...every little detail on the buildings in England just stops me short in amazement, which is bad when someone is walking behind me!

  13. looks like spring at your place!! and time for a delicious piece of orange cake!!

    1. Oh yes, it is! And let me know if you make this cake. It is good and easy, my two favorite things about a recipe!

  14. That cake looks fabulously delicious and those cherry trees look like they will be giving you tasty fruit. Our cherry trees in Illinois had "sour" cherries that were wonderful in tarts and pies.

  15. Dear Kay,
    Alas, we have these cherry trees only for their beauty. I WISH we could have real cherries from them...but that is just not the case! I think other cooler parts of the country are better for cherries, one of the Japanese companies donated a lot of cherry trees to this county and ever since the early 80's it has been popular for people to plant them in their yards. They all look so lovely blooming all over the town and county!

  16. Hello Kay,
    Looks and sounds very good - I will have to make it soon!