Orange drizzle and a surprise element

We went out for afternoon tea the other day at the excellent Parkside Café in Locking, Somerset. Everything is homemade and delicious There’s always a variety of cakes to choose, and one of my two choices was orange drizzle cake… with apricots! A great combination. I have made drizzle cakes with extras, my favourite is poppy seeds, but I never thought of adding fruit, and if I had it might have been citrus… although chunks of orange or lemon might just go mushy. Maybe I should experiment.

Here is something I wrote a while ago about my character Thomas Radwinter when he was at home looking after his little boy; I have tweaked my original post to add apricots:

In one of my books which feature Thomas he makes a lemon drizzle cake… however, he realises he has no lemons so he makes it with oranges instead. His little son thinks it’s called an orange surprise cake… and so ever after that was what it was called.

This was based, as you might guess, on something which happened to me! Here is my recipe which I used to call ‘accidental orange drizzle cake’


  • 8 oz butter
  • 8 oz self-raising flour
  • 8 oz castor sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of 1 orange and the juice of 1½ oranges
  • optional poppy seeds


  • 2 oz castor sugar
  • juice of 1½ oranges
  1. cream butter and sugar together until really pale and fluffy
  2. add zest then eggs and flour alternately
  3. gently add the orange juice (and poppy seeds)
  4. put into a greased lined cake or loaf tin
  5. bake at 180ºC, gas mark 4, 350ºF for 40-50 mins, or longer if it isn’t quite ready
  6. make the drizzle by gently heating orange juice and sugar until the sugar is all dissolved – don’t boil
  7. while the cake is still warm, stab it all over with a fork then spoon the juice and sugar mixture evenly over the top
  8. eat when cold – or don’t wait and eat it with cream while it’s warm

PS my featured image is vaguely orange coloured!

Here is a link to the first Thomas book:


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