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St Clements cake - an orange and lemon recipe

For some reason, there were two nursery rhymes that terrified me as a child: the one that starts "hush little baby, don't say a word, mama's going to buy you a mocking bird". It seemed like the saddest litany of failure after failure, and if my mum tried to sing it to me, I'd cry.

I think it terrified me due to the game that went with the rhyme: kids chanting the phrase "here comes a candle to light you to bed, here comes the chopper to chop off your head", while you'd run between them in an effort to avoid your own mock murder.

"Here comes a candle to light you to bed, here comes the chopper to chop off your head", they'd gleefully intone, as their victim attempted to dodge a mock beheading.

But for all the glum threats, the nursery rhyme's nod to oranges and lemons gives this recipe its name, and also for the old school icing-plus-sponge-cake combo that reminds me of the 5p cake stalls at every infant school bazaar.

St Clement's cake


(for the cake)
3oz of vegan marge
2 and a half oz of sugar
Zest of one clementine
2oz of mixed peel
Teaspoon of baking powder
5oz of self raising flour
Pinch of salt
Two teaspoons of clementine juice

(for the icing)
1 and a half oz vegan marge
4 oz icing sugar
Teaspoon of soy milk
half teaspoon of lemon extract
Plus a little mixed peel for decoration

How you do it

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and grease a loaf tin.

Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the clementine zest and mix.

Add the baking powder and salt to the flour, mix, then add the mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix the two together until the whole lot looks like breadcrumbs.

Add the mixed peel, clemtine juice and Alpro, then stir once more until fully combined.

Cook in the oven for about 22ish minutes, or until a knife or cocktail stick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Leave the cake to cool completely, then start making the icing.

Cream together the marge, icing sugar, lemon extract and soy milk until it comes together to make a smooth icing.

Top the cake with the icing and decorate with mixed peel.

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