Annabel Langbein’s Orange Lightning Cake

February  4, 2016
6 Ratings
Photo by ALM Media
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

I call this a lightning cake because you make it in a flash. It’s so quick and simple and yet it has an amazing flavor, like something your grandmother might have made, that has everyone coming back for seconds. The whole orange keeps it wonderfully moist and tender so it makes a great dessert cake. —Candy Hutzell

What You'll Need
  • 1 orange, unpeeled
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ounces butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup golden raisins or raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease an 8-inch-diameter cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Cut the orange into quarters, remove the seeds and whizz in a food processor until finely chopped. Dissolve baking soda in ½ cup water and add to the food processor with butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. Whizz to combine. Add golden raisins or raisins, and walnuts, if using, and stir with a spoon or pulse several times to just combine (don’t whizz them or they will break up).
  3. Pour into prepared cake tin and bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean (about 1 hour). Orange Lightning Cake will keep in an airtight container for up to a week or can be frozen.
  4. This recipe is from Annabel’s TV series Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook: Simple Pleasures, screening now on PBS. The accompanying book, containing all the recipes from the series, is available on To preview the series go to and for a PBS screening schedule go to For more great Annabel Langbein recipes see

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  • Giselle Mottiez
    Giselle Mottiez
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2 Reviews

Giselle M. February 4, 2023
This is a consistent and incredibly delicious cake. At Christmas I added dried cranberries in place of the raisins and topped it with ganache. Got rave reviews.
Karen May 5, 2019
Cake is in oven but the problem was....the food processor couldn't fit all of the ingredients. Had to dump them into a big bowl and then add the flour and the raisins and nuts. You must have used a very large food processor. Will post again when cake is done.