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Christmas is only a couple of weeks away and this year, we’re having my family to stay for the first time and we’ll have a house full from 23rd to 27th December. I’ve really begun to think about what kind of food I’ll be serving over the week and obviously, I have to keep Erin in mind for this as well. I’m not a big fan of a traditional Christmas cake or Christmas pudding and Erin won’t be eating these either. Something I always pair with Christmas is orange and cranberry so I wanted to put my own twist on a classic cake.
One of my absolute favourites is a Victoria Sponge with buttercream and jam. Honestly, I have never seen cranberry jam before so I thought why not make some instead. The new Ocean Spray® Wholeberry™ was the perfect choice. Instead of using only the cranberry juice, Ocean Spray® Wholeberry™ contains 40 crushed whole cranberries with in each serving!
Honestly, I had never made my own jelly before making these cakes and it was not quite as smooth sailing as I thought it would be. With John being vegetarian I first tried to make the jelly with Vege-Gel but unfortunately, 2 packets didn’t set the 1 pint of jelly that I tried to make. I’m not sure what I did but I’m sure it would work with a bit more trialing. Anyway, in the end I went for leaf gelatine and this worked a treat!
I wasn’t completely sure what shape cakes I was going to make when I started baking so I made a tray bake. This will allow you to choose Christmas themed shapes if you want to. However, I’ve put a recipe for regular fairy cakes below and these would be just as easy. If you feel like you want to do some cake decorating with your children and cut out the baking, you could always cheat and just buy some plain fairy cakes!
Decorating the cakes is the fun part. I used 4 sheets of leaf gelatine in my jelly and let it set for around 3 hours. This left me with a jam like consistency rather than jelly but this made it perfect for spreading. Cutting the cakes in half allowed me to fill them with a mixture of the Ocean Spray® Wholeberry™ jelly and buttercream!
As you have probably noticed, there is a sever lack of mention about orange so far. Sponge cake, cranberry jelly and buttercream is already quite a sweet mixture without adding in oranges. So, to add that bit of special flavour to the cakes I dusted the stops with edible clementine glitter snow from Sainsbury’s. This stuff smells and tastes amazing and it gives the cakes that bit of something extra. Teamed with some super cute Christmas decorations, these make great Christmas cakes for both children and adults.
Orange and cranberry cakes for children
- 125 g self raising flour
- 125 g sugar
- 125 g butter or margarine
- 2 eggs
- Vanilla essence
- 1 carton Ocean Spray® Wholeberry
- 4 sheets leaf gelatine (or alternative)
- Edible Clementine Snow
- Candied Orange Peel
- Add 4 sheets of leaf gelatine to a bowl of cold water and leave for 5 minutes.
- While the leaf gelatine is in the bowl, slowly heat 1 pint of Ocean Spray® Wholeberry juice without letting it boil.
- When the leaf gelatine has softened, add it to the juice and let it melt slowly.
- Transfer the mixture to a flat tray or jelly moulds and put in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours.
- Pre-heat the oven to about 180-200 degrees C / Gas mark 4-5.
- Mix together the butter and sugar and in a bowl until it becomes a smooth paste. Then, add the flour and stir.
- Add the eggs and mix together really well until it is a smooth and creamy mixture.
- Add roughly one tablespoon of mixture to cake cakes before putting in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- Once cooked, leave the cakes to cool before decorating.
- If you have made fairy cakes, each of these will need to be cut in half.
If you have made a tray bake, press out shapes with cutters and then cut in half.
- On one half spread enough jelly to coat the cake. You don’t want to use too much as it can cause the cakes to slide.
On the other half spread a good amount of buttercream
- The tops of the cakes can be decorated however you like. I found edible clementine snow to be simple and easy when paired with a Christmas topper. You could also add candied orange peels or make an orange flavoured icing.