The perfect cake for an Easter celebration - delicious, light citrus sponge with a tangy citrus glaze, topped with pretty candied orange slices. This impressive cake is simple to make and the extra time spent preparing the glacé orange slices is totally worth it. You will need a ring mould for this bake, which gives the distinctive shape and makes the cake cook quicker.
To make glacé orange slices, half-fill a medium pan with water and bring to the boil, lower the orange slices into the water and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and set aside. Put the granulated sugar into a pan with 300ml (1/2 pint) water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Place the orange slices into the sugar syrup and gently simmer in the mixture for about an hour.
Gently lift the slices from the syrup using a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack sat over a baking sheet to cool. Reserve the syrup. Sprinkle the slices with 4 tbsp caster sugar, and dry for approx 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Lightly grease and flour a 23cm (9in) ring mould. Place the softened butter and golden caster sugar into a bowl and beat well with a wooden spoon or electric whisk until light and fluffy – this will take about 3-4 minutes.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding 1 tbsp of the flour with each, then add the vanilla extract and the remaining flour and fold in carefully using a metal spoon. Add the soured cream, orange zest and toasted poppy seeds and fold through until evenly mixed.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared tin, then bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes in the tin before gently removing from the tin and cooling on a wire rack.
Prick the cooled cake all over with a metal skewer then gently brush with the reserved orange sugar syrup, spooning any remaining over the cake. Allow to cool completely.
To make the icing, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add the orange juice and zest and mix well. Place the cake onto a serving board or plate and drizzle all over with the icing. Cut each of the glacé orange slices in half and use to decorate the ring on top of the icing. Slice to serve.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Bake according to the recipe but stop before adding decoration or icing if called for. Allow to cool completely. Wrap well in clingfilm and tin foil (to prevent freezer burn) and freeze for up to 3 months.
Loosen the tin foil and clingfilm but leave to defrost in packaging at room temperature for several hours before serving. If you wish to serve the baked goods warm, place them on a baking sheet for 10 minutes in a moderate oven.
If you wish to add icing or decoration, add them after the baked goods have fully defrosted and are at room temperature.
See more Easter cake recipes
As part of a healthy balanced diet, we recommend this recipe for a special occasion or treat.