Syrup Cake with Satsuma Sauce

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

Chestnuts, pumpkins, cranberries...all produce warm images of Thanksgiving in many parts of the country. But here in South Louisiana, our holiday meals are made with pecans, sweet potatoes and satsumas!


What's a satsuma? It's a great little citrus variety much like a clementine. Satsumas grow well in our subtropical climate. They're easy to peel, easy to section and just the right balance of sweet and tart. And most people who eat them find they can't eat just one!




Satsumas ripen in November so they're the perfect citrus for Thanksgiving recipes. We use them to garnish our turkeys, turn them into preserves, pair them with cranberries in our relish and even make beautiful sauces with these palm-size fruits.


In this Thanksgiving Week feature, we're chose one of Steen's oldest recipes, Gateau de Sirop or Syrup Cake and ladled it with a delectable sauce made from satsumas. We chose Chef Ken Smith's Satsuma Sauce, first published in Saveur in 2008, as our favorite. As an executive chef and avid baker, Chef Smith had sauced many wonderful desserts for his menu at New Orleans' Upperline Restaurant. Once we tried this sauce, we knew it was the essential one to share with our fans.


And just like the satsumas, we couldn't eat just one. We baked several gateau and whipped up sauce a plenty, finally snapping this pic, then quickly enjoying the wonderful dessert!


Syrup Cake

A Steen's recipe for over 100 yrs!


½ cup vegetable oil

1 ½ cups Steen’s Pure Cane Syrup

1 egg, beaten

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp baking soda

¾ cup boiling water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an oblong pan with baking spray. In a large bowl, combine oil, syrup and egg. Whisk to blend well. Add flour, spices and salt and whisk to blend. Dissolve soda in boiling water, then stir this mixture into the batter. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes or until firm in the center. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool. Yields 1 pan or 18 muffins.


Baking Tip: Measure oil first, then use the same cup to measure syrup. The thin layer of oil remaining in the cup will help the syrup pour right out of the cup without clinging.


Chef Ken Smith's Satsuma Sauce

(Saveur, 2008)


1 cup freshly squeezed satsuma juice or orange juice

1⁄2 cup sugar

1 tsp. satsuma zest or orange zest

3 Tbsp Grand Marnier

1 Tbsp cornstarch

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled

1⁄4 cup orange marmalade


Combine juice, sugar, and zest in a 1-qt. saucepan and stir until dissolved over high heat, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, combine Grand Marnier and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan. Bring sauce to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and marmalade. Let cool to room temperature before drizzling over cake. Yields 1 3/4 cups.



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