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  • Writer's pictureThe Feeder

Japanese Orange Cake

Updated: Feb 7, 2021

by Linda Eunson

Growing up, we used to call the small, peel-able oranges we would get at Christmas, Japanese oranges. I now know them as mandarin oranges and was curious about why we called them "Japanese." I turns out that way back in the 1880s Japanese immigrants to the US received mandarin oranges from their families back home. The tradition spread across the US and the arrival of the delicious fruit from Japan came to signal the beginning of the holiday season.

This tea-cake uses just the orange peel, so it's important to use the thin-skinned mandarin oranges. You can see the "candied" skin studded throughout the cake!


4 mandarin orange skins (save the fruit; squeeze the juice to use it in our Mandarin Drizzle Cake)

1 1/4 cups water

1 1/2 cups sugar (I use less)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

2 eggs

1 1/2 to 2 cups flour, you don't want your batter to be too stiff, adjust accordingly

3 heaping teaspoons baking powder.

To Make

Grease a loaf pan and pre-heat oven to 350F/180C.

Chop finely the skin from 4 mandarin oranges.

Put orange skin into a medium sauce pan. Add 1 1/4 cups water and bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, until water is almost absorbed. Watch closely!

Add to the pot sugar and salt and bring back to a boil. Let sugar dissolve and add butter. Stir. Transfer to mixing bowl and let mixture cool.

When orange mixture is cool, add eggs and beat well. Do not add eggs to hot mixture or they will scramble.

Add 1 1/2 to 2 c flour and baking powder to the bowl. Mix well.

Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean.

Slice and enjoy!

An avid baker, Linda has been in Singapore since 1994 and has been a career coach for the last 20 years.

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