Orange 5-Spice Cake

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year and this year it is the year of the Sheep (or Goat in some cases). There’s a bit of confusion over which animal it actually is this year because the Chinese symbol that represents it is used to describe a variety of sheep/goat type animals. People born in the year of the Sheep are believed to be gentle and mild mannered, and do not like to be the centre of attention. I’m not sure how much I believe in the personality types, but I love Chinese culture and I find it so interesting. I decided to make this Orange 5-Spice Cake using the well known Chinese 5 spice and orange as it’s a flavour often used in Chinese cooking.

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by creaming together caster sugar and butter. I then added eggs and whisked in. Then I added fresh orange juice and mixed in.

In a separate bowl I weighed out plain flour, baking powder, 5 spice mix, mixed spice, cinnamon, ground ginger and cardamom. I mixed it into the batter and then poured it into a lined baking tray.

I baked it for 45 minutes until a skewer came out clean.

While the cake was still hot I brushed melted butter over the top and sprinkled on a topping made from golden caster sugar, cinnamon and mixed spice mixed together.

The Orange 5-Spice Cake was lovely and light with a great spicy flavour. I do think the orange flavour could’ve been stronger, but I was using up some zested oranges. I’d definitely recommend adding the zest of one orange for a stronger punch of orange! It tastes great with custard too (not sure how Chinese that is!) I hope you enjoy the Chinese New Year celebrations in your city this weekend!

Orange 5-Spice Cake


For the cake

  • 400 g Caster sugar
  • 115 g Butter
  • 3 Eggs large
  • 480 ml Orange juice
  • 560 g Plain flour
  • 4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp 5 Spice

For the topping

  • 25 g Butter melted
  • 25 g Golden caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spice


  1. Grease and line a 12" x 9" tin, pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 

  2. Cream together the caster sugar and butter. Add the eggs and whisk in. Then add the orange juice and mix in
  3. In a separate bowl stir together the plain flour, baking powder, 5 spice, mixed spice, cinnamon, the ground ginger and cardamom. Mix it into the wet ingredients to make a batter, then pour into a lined baking tray

  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean

  5. For the topping, mix together the golden caster sugar, the cinnamon and mixed spice

  6. While the cake is still hot brush the melted butter over the cake and sprinkle the sugar mixture all over the cake too

Recipe Notes

Mixed spice is a British spice blend containing Cinnamon, Coriander Seed, Nutmeg, Clove, Pimento, Ginger. If you can't get hold of it, use a Pumpkin Spice mix instead

You can find more of my Cake recipes by clicking here!

6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. That looks like such a light and fluffy cake! Never thought of baking with 5 spice, this is definitely one to go on my list.

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