Winter Spice Cake

Limbo Month

Happy new year from The Marmalade Teapot!

I demolished the gingerbread house yesterday (a sad but satisfying moment), meaning that as much as I may be in denial Christmas is officially over & normal life resumes. However  I still remain in that holiday mentality for now, it’s difficult to relinquish whilst the house still contains the remains of various chocolate tub selections.

January has got to be my least favourite month, I call it limbo month.. it’s long, uncertain & intermediate. I’m an organised person by nature, I enjoy planning & having something to look forward to, so the restricting month of January is indeed my foe. Every year I remain on edge as I longingly wait for my leave to be approved in work, dreaming up all of the wonderful possibilities the year might have in store for me (funding permitting).


2016 had its ups & downs, it wasn’t my best to say the least. This year however I’m determined to change my luck. I have my wish list & I’m going to strive to successfully complete it by the end of the year.

Of course, the usual suspects appear: holidays, large purchases, a very much overdue promotion & of course improving the content & success of the blog (you lucky so & so’s).
I once again have a few pennies to spare & as I draw ever nearer to the dreaded 3 – 0  I feel the need to spend & enjoy my efforts whilst I still can.


Whilst my hopes & aims for the year are rather extensive (expensive!) three things are certain:

1. I will travel
2. I will eat (a lot)
3. I will of course bake


As I continue to improve my skills in both baking & design this year, I truly hope that this blog will do justice in showcasing the transition. So what is my first bake of 2017? It’s iced, spiced & utilises the lovely new kügelhopf I received at Christmas.. winter spice cake. This cake truly is simple to make as it utilises those store cupboard ingredients that come into their own during the cold winter months. It’s a slightly denser sponge due to the rye flour & almost borders on savoury if not for the sweetness of the icing to contrast.


(makes one 22cm bundt)


  • 225g butter
  • 225g soft dark brown sugar
  • zest x2 oranges
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g rye flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp star anise (ground)
  • 1/2 tsp carraway seeds
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp orange juice

For the icing:

  • Juice 1/2 an orange
  • 220g icing sugar


  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter, orange zest & sugar
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time
  • Add in the flour, baking powder & spices to the mixture & beat until thoroughly combine
  • Pour the mixture into a well-greased 22cm bundt tin& level using a spatula
  • Bake the cake at 180°C for 50 minutes
  • Allow the cakes to cool in its tin for 10 minutes before removing & allowing to cool fully on a cooling rack
  • To make the icing, simply combine enough orange juice with the icing sugar to make a pourable, runny consistency
  • Optional: chop 1 tbsp of dried cranberries to add some colour



  1. I love kügelhopf-shaped tins, though they do seem to make for a slightly denser cake! I remember trying kügelhopf when I lived in Alsace (it’s practically the region’s favourite cake!), have you tried it?

      1. Yes, it’s leavened with yeast; it tastes slightly more like bread than brioche (or perhaps that was just those I tasted!) and is often eaten for breakfast in Alsace. I probably have one of those postcards with a recipe of it somewhere back home in England… I’ll keep my eyes out here in France/ will have a hunt for it when I move back to the UK in the summer 🙂

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