One of the very best things about home baking is that even with a few basic ingredients a richly satisfying sweet treat is but an hour or so away. Some of my favourite recipes are those that are born from just playing around with what I have left over in the store cupboard and I've had no endless amount of fun challenging myself with only the ingredients available immediately to hand.
This sultana loaf may seem relatively inauspicious, but is definitely well worth the small amount of effort it will take to create it. With warm spicing, sweet citrus aromatics and a wonderfully rich texture, it's a great big hug of a loaf cake and perfect for the wet and windy days we've all been enduring. Although I'm sure I will find myself still making it when the summer sun eventually arrives!
Prep time: 15 Mins
Baking time: 60-65 Mins
175g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
175g Light Muscovado Sugar
175g Vegetable Oil
2 Large Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1tsp Lemon Extract
1tbsp Orange Juice
Let us begin you and I. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4, grease a 23cm (2lb I think!) loaf tin and line completely with
baking paper (or one of those handy loaf tin liners if you have one). Sift the flour and baking powder together into a large mixing bowl, then add the sugar and mix to combine, ensuring any lumps of sugar no longer remain. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg, then mix lightly.
Pour the oil into a fresh bowl or large jug, then add the eggs and beat together with a fork. Tip into the flour mixture along with the vanilla extract, lemon extract and orange juice, then mix together to a smooth batter. Fold through the sultanas, then spoon into your prepared tin and gently ease to the edges. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for around 60-65 minutes, until a metal skewer can be cleanly removed when inserted into the middle of the cake. It's worth checking the cake after 50 minutes and if it is nicely brown on top then just lightly cover with a sheet of tin foil for the last 10-15 minutes.
When you are happy the loaf cake is baked remove from the oven, leave in the tin for 20 minutes, then carefully remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Slice, serve and devour.