My Sister’s Great Big Jaffa Cake Cake

The Big Jaffa Cake

The Big Jaffa Cake

Recipe: Clementine Syrup and Almond Cake

My sis should have her own baking blog.  What she doesn’t know about making cakes…and yet I cannot bake to save my life.  I think those genes were scattered to the four winds in our family.  So, I am passing on a (prize-winning in a bake-off excuse me for boasting of the provenance) cake recipe.  This clementine syrup and almond cake is a wonder to the taste buds.  In essence, it is an enormous oversized great big Jaffa cake.  But better.

For my non-UK visitors, a Jaffa cake is a little chocolate covered individual cookie with a very lovely light spongey base, a fabulous orange sticky preserve in the middle and covered in dark chocolate.  They sell in the UK by the truckload–they have a silly kids website here.

My sis’s recipe is not 100% original, but it is tried, tested, tweaked and twiddled.  The base is very moist and light, almondy and gorgeous and soaked in a sweet citrus syrup, then coated with a deeply rich chocolate frosting.  The link to the original recipe is here.   People at her last office used to sidle up to her desk and try to  sweet-talk her into making this for high day and holiday celebrations, and then they just started outright emailing their requests.  It’s really that good. 


  • 200g unsalted Butter
  • 380g Caster Sugar
  • 4 sweet Clementine oranges, zest grated, and juiced
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 medium-sized Lemon
  • 280g ground Almonds
  • 5 medium-sized Eggs, beaten
  • 100g plain Flour, sifted
  • Scant, meagre, tiny pinch of Salt
  • Candied Orange Slices to decorate, or feel free to be creative!

For the chocolate topping/frosting:

  • 90g unsalted Butter, cut into smallish dice
  • 150g 70% dark Chocolate, broken up
  • ½ tbsp honey
  • ½ tbsp cognac


Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius/325 degrees Farenheit. Lightly grease a 24cm baking tin, I think this is equates to a 10 inch round baking pan.  Line both the sides and base with baking parchment.

Keep back 80g of sugar for the syrup.  Combine the butter, the remaining sugar and the clementine and lemon zest in a bowl. Do not work the mix too vigorously or incorporate too much air, i.e. this means thoroughly stirring rather than whipping the mix. Add half the ground almonds and continue mixing well to fold through all the ingredients. Next, add the eggs slowly, making sure they are well worked into the mixture. Add the remaining almonds, the flour and salt and work until the mix is evenly combined.

Scoop the cake mix inside the tin and level out. Bake for 50-60 minutes and make sure to turn the cake a couple of times in the oven to ensure even baking, it seems to maybe want to brown unevenly, we think this is the ratio of almonds to flour that could be behind this, but are open to other explanations.  A skewer inserted should come out moist when the cake is done but not clinging with raw cake batter obviously.

Five minutes from the end of the cake cooking time, boil the remaining sugar and the citrus juices (approx 100-120 ml in volume but not more) in a little saucepan until they form a thin syrup.  Do not use too much citrus juice or the syrup will be too runny.  Remove from the heat. Take the cake out of the oven, and immediately spoon all over and brush in the hot syrup mixture, making sure it all soaks through.  Attempt to do this as evenly as you can as it is well worth the effort to spread out that citrussy lovely taste.  Allow the cake to cool.

To make the chocolate topping/frosting, put the butter, chocolate and honey in a heat-proof bowl and place over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until all is melted, remove from the heat and stir in the cognac.  Pour the chocolate topping over the cooled cake, distributing the topping how you like it: either let it dribble down in an artistic and rustic way, or smooth it round the sides for a more polished look.  When the topping has set (it is a soft mix though remember) decorate to your taste.  Long curly strips of orange zest could be nice, slices of candied orange segments or strips of candied orange would be fab, edible gold stars like my sis recently tried, or just let your imagination fly.

And all I have to do now is to persuade her to share the even more famous Coffee and Walnut Cake recipe.  She brought that cake round our house in the summer as a gift, and my hub and myself ate it, ALL by ourselves.  Two people, one cake.  Jeez it was embarrassing.


11 thoughts on “My Sister’s Great Big Jaffa Cake Cake

  1. Oh I love jaffa cakes, yet haven’t had one in years. Why? This cake looks absolutely gorgeous. I like the sound of the cognac in the frosting. Coffee and walnut cake, don’t even get me started. I wouldn’t have needed another person to do it justice.


  2. Wow, this looks amazing. If my oven weren’t so temperamental I would give it a go. Sadly, it only does 200C unless I open and close the oven door every 5 mins to let heat escape; not conducive to cake making.


    • I have ishoos with my oven too, here is where my next one is coming from: There is a hotpoint double built-in oven there with 18 hours left on the bidding currently at £93, the list price is £650. Some have just been returned and dont have the box, ie nothing wrong with them, and come with a 6 month guarantee. Read about it today and couldn’t believe what I was seeing — I know it is just down to luck but if you can sit there bidding as the bids close, you have as good a chance as anyone. It is like trying to get a concert ticket, same thing really.


  3. Thanks for visiting me and your comment … I tried to reply back on your About page but there seems to be a glitch with being able to post comments there that you might like to look into …

    This cake does look amazing – always looking for good ideas and think this is one of those. I will keep an eye on your blog via Google alerts.

    (As for getting more traffic, as you are in the UK why not join the UK Food Bloggers Association where you can tell everyone about your latest posting on the group called I’ve Blogged. Lots of friendly people there and plenty of great ideas!)

    ‘Meanderings through my Cookbook’


    • Thanks, something not quite right generally with blog today, stats are showing massive spike on the graph but only 35 views, it is either an April Fool by WordPress or my blog is crashing under the weight of traffic….chance would be a fine thing!


      • I think we are not the only ones with issues – visit the message boards … It could well be a Fool (except I always understood that they had to be before noon, which it may be in the US but is certainly not now in the UK!) If you problem continues tomorrow I would get in touch with Support – I’ve always found them very helpful.
        … mind you if it was increased traffic (my views have gone up by 1,000!) it would be great!


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