Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Arthritis Friendly Recipe: 'Great British' Orange Drizzle Cake

The UK is about to go baking mad with the start of a new season of the BBC's tremendously popular 'The Great British Bake-Off'. For those of you unlucky enough to have never seen the programme, it's essentially a cake-baking competition with keen apron wearing contestants whipping up increasingly extravagant baked good in a Cath Kidston-style marquee. It's somewhere between cooking show, pastiche of Britishness and soap-opera - in short it is brilliant. 

I love to watch it but it is one of those shows that slightly frustrates me as someone with arthritis. I watch the contestants kneading, rolling and chopping and wince at the thought of trying it myself. I see them brandish piping bags and feel a little like I'm missing out. So I've been doing my own baking, my own way. This is a recipe I came up with to support another Great British themed event; this time Arthritis Research UK's 'Great British Garden Party'. It's a twist on the traditional lemon drizzle cake. There is no juicing of lemons or cracking of eggs involved so it is by far the easiest cake recipe I know for those with sore hands or wrists. Better still, it's delicious. So delicious that maybe next year I'll enter myself to the Great British Bake Off and show them how it's done!

230g plain flour
200g caster sugar
25g ground almonds (optional - replace with same amount of flour or polenta)
2 ½ tsps baking powder
50ml (three large tablespoons) rapeseed or sunflower oil
200ml orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract

Drizzle (optional)
50ml orange juice
35g caster sugar

Makes 12 large slices

Grease a large loaf tin (or use a silicone one) and pre-heat oven to 180C.

Put all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and lightly stir together. Add the juice, oil and vanilla extract and either blend together with an electric whisk or a few stirs.

Pour the cake mixture into the tin and cover lightly with foil. Bake for about 35-40mins or until the cake is well risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean.If using the drizzle, mix together the orange juice and sugar in a small bowl. Keep the cake in its tin and poke a few holes in it with the skewer, then pour the drizzle over it.

Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes before removing from tin. 

Arthritis diet notes:
Compared to most cakes this cake has a better nutritional profile whilst tasting every bit as good. The rapeseed oil makes it a good source of omega 3 fatty acids - plant derived omega 3s aren't as well utilised by the body as fish derived ones but they still can help reduce inflammation in arthritis. The cake is still high in sugar so it should be treated as a treat.


  1. Mmmm .... cake looks delicious! Usually a pound cake such as this would require 2 sticks of butter! A lot for sure. Not good when you have arthritis. Sugar is terrible for us too. Right? Do you eat sweets everyday Kate? Just wondering.

    I will try this recipe. In the past I did use some grapeseed and sunflower oil. Need to restock.

    How are you feeling this week? With a bit cooler temps .... knee flare-ups here. Just wait until winter.

    Enjoy reading your posts.


    1. I try not to eat sweets every day - certainly don't have cake every day! Too much sugar can cause inflammation so you need to go easy with it but a little of what you fancy every now and again is no bad thing :)

      You could probably watch the Great British Bake Off on BBC IPlayer online. Worth a go, it's good TV.


  2. Oh. Forgot to mention .... does The Great British Bakeoff air in America? Maybe the BBC channel? Would like to see a few shows.

    When a person does not suffer the pain and soreness of arthritis .... they can do all sorts of things related to cooking, baking and whatnot. I was doing fine for many years. Now it takes a lot of energy and strength to work in the kitchen. We all have to eat meals though.


  3. Another mouth-watering cake recipe, Kate! This sounds SO good. I think I'll try it next time my uncle asks for a treat.

    What a wonderful Olympic Games Great Britain and London treated the world to! It was just glorious!

    I hope this finds you experiencing little RA pain and feeling terrific.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the Olympics - it was a lot of fun here! My arthritis is flaring a bit at the moment but I'm doing ok, getting steroid-ed up...Hope all is well with you

  4. ooh, yummy! Would it still work with the same quantities if you omit the ground almonds? I'm allergic to nuts...

    ps let me know if the photo of Lucy succeeded in furthering your argument ;)

    1. Yes just replace the almonds with the same amount of flour or polenta. Lucy helped, how could her photo not!



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