Jaffa Cakes have always been a particular weakness of mine. When I was younger I could easily eat a whole packet in one go. Of course back then I could eat whatever I wanted and still be a size 8. How I wish I’d appreciated my teenage metabolism, now I just have to think of a packet of Jaffa Cakes and I go up a dress size!
I’ve always wondered why people make their own Jaffa Cakes. I mean, the shop bought version is pretty much perfection and they seem like way too much faff. That was until I spotted this post on Instagram of blood orange Jaffa Cakes from Bear Lemon and I knew I had to make some. So I spent ages researching recipes and, and you know what, it really is not much faff at all. Once you taste Homemade Jaffa Cakes the shop bought ones will never be quite the same again. I even converted 2 people who said they don’t like Jaffa Cakes at all. The only problem with this recipe is that I didn’t make enough. Next time I’ll double it.
Useful tips & links:
- I made the jelly with blood oranges as I just love them and they are in season. They are not as sweet as regular oranges so if using regular ones add a little lemon juice to the jelly to give it a bit more tang.
- Feel free to use packet orange jelly if you want to make this even easier. Use less water than the instructions state as you want a really concentrated orange flavour.
- The jelly discs need to be no bigger than 4cm wide. Despite my large collection of cookie cutters I had none small enough for this. I ended up cutting out the discs by running a knife around the base of a shot glass. I then remembered my mini muffin tray and that is actually the perfect size to use as a mold to make the discs individually.
- The sponge used for Jaffa Cakes is based on a Genoise Sponge recipe which traditionally uses no fat and relies on whisked eggs to be the raising agent. I have added melted butter to the batter as I like the richness it gives the cakes. You can use ground almonds to make these gluten free if you like, the sponges will be a little more dense.
- If you need these to be vegetarian, use agar agar or a veggie gelatine to set the jelly.
- I use dark chocolate of approx 70% here, use whatever strength of plain chocolate you like but I beg you not to use milk chocolate!
- For more sweet recipes using blood oranges have a look at this Rhubarb and Blood Orange Syllabub or Blood Orange Cake.
Homemade Jaffa Cakes
- The peel from one orange
- 150ml of orange juice from 2-3 blood oranges, or regular oranges with some added lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of caster sugar
- 2 gelatine leaves
- 2 eggs
- 60g of caster sugar
- 60g of plain flour
- 30g of unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease muffin tin
- A pinch of salt
- 150g of dark chocolate
- Start by making the orange jelly. Peel an orange in strips with a vegetable peeler. Put the peel, juice and sugar into a pan and heat over a medium high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Take it off the heat and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes.
- Put the gelatine leaves into cold water and allow them to soak until they are soft which should take less than 5 minutes. Reheat the orange juice until just about to boil, take the soft gelatine out of the water and squeeze it to get rid of excess water. Add this to the juice and stir until dissolved. Pour this through a sieve into a jug.
- Line a small cake tin, shallow baking tray or mini muffin tray with cling film and pour in the jelly mix. Allow it to set in the fridge for about an hour.
- Next make the sponge cakes. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4.
- Use a hand held mixer rather than a stand mixer as there is so little batter. Whisk together the eggs and sugar at high speed for 4-5 minutes until they are thicker, light and fluffy. To test if they are ready, hold up the whisk and the batter should fall slowly from the whisk and hold its shape for a few seconds.
- Add half of the flour, passing it through a sieve to keep it light and gently fold it through the egg mixture with a large metal spoon. When that is incorporated, add in the rest of the flour and the salt, again folding gently to keep as much air in the eggs as possible. Mix through the melted butter.
- Grease a 12 hole muffin or bun tray and pour a tablespoon of batter to each one. Bake for 7-10 minutes until the cakes are light golden brown, springy to touch and starting to come away from the edge of the tin.
- Allow them to cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning them out on to a wire rack. Place baking paper under the wire rack to catch the melted chocolate that will fall through the rack.
- While the cakes are cooling melt the chocolate over a bain marie. Put a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and add the chocolate to bowl. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water or the chocolate will burn. When melted, set it aside to cool.
- Take the jelly out of the fridge and cut out 4cm wide discs. Place the jelly on to the middle of the cakes.
- When the melted chocolate has cooled, pour approximately 2 teaspoons over the jelly and use the back of the spoon to help the chocolate to spread out over the cakes. You might need to work quickly here as if the chocolate cools too much it will be difficult to spread. You can run a fork through them to get the distinctive pattern if you like.
- When the chocolate sets, store them in an airtight container for 2-3 days, if they last that long.