Heirloom recipes: Ali’s orange sponge

A great family recipe, handed down through the ages, is something to hold on to with all your might. Unlike many a material thing, a favourite family dish has the power to conjure up memories that make you glow. A stellar recipe, while not a gold watch, can be an heirloom, too:

Heirloom: a family possession handed down from generation to generation.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been sharing our special recipes with each other in the Yuppiechef test kitchen. Here is Ali’s Mum’s winning orange sponge. Over to you, Ali:

I grew up with a Mum who could bake. There was always something delicious to have with afternoon tea and my lunch box was the envy of my friends. This cake had me wrapped around its little finger and was the one that I’d request for birthdays and happy occasions. To me it tastes like a garden tea party and I hope to pass that taste memory on to my little ones one day.


1 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
125g margarine
Rind of one orange
185g flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
5ml baking powder
125ml milk

For the topping

1/2 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed orange juice is best)


1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C and grease your cake tin.
2. Beat together the sugar and eggs.
3. In a separate pan, melt your margarine.
 4. Add your melted margarine and orange rind to your sugar and egg mixture and beat well.
5. Now add the dry ingredients and milk alternately. Fold them in (don’t over beat at this stage).
6. Pour into your cake tin and bake at 180°C for 60 minutes, check your cake after 50 minutes.
7. Leave your cake to cool and mix up your topping ingredients.
8. Once cooled, pour the topping ingredients over the cake.
The topping is what makes this cake so be generous with the orange juice and don’t let it dry out – the juicier the better.

Serve with tea in china cups and invite friends.
Download print-friendly recipe.

Stay tuned over the coming week for more of our Heirloom Recipes. What recipe will you hand down to your kids?