Moroccan orange and almond cake

Moroccan orange and almond cake


  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC / Gas Mark 4. Place the shelf in the centre of the oven. Grease and line a 20cm (8 in) cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Grate the rind from the orange, reserving some for the decoration, and squeeze the juice from one half.
  3. Place the butter, orange rind and sugar in a bowl and beat together until fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the semolina, ground almonds and baking powder, then fold into the cream mixture with the orange juice.
  5. Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
  6. To make the syrup, place the orange juice, sugar and cardamom pods in a pan over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer until syrupy – our tester found it could take up to 40 minutes! Also your syrup will be thicker if you make it the day before.
  7. Turn the cake out into a deep serving dish.
  8. Using a skewer, make holes over the surface of the warm cake.
  9. Drizzle the syrup over the cake, then set aside for 30 minutes.
  10. Dust with a layer of icing sugar and decorate as desired with orange zest, crushed pistachios or edible flowers.

Recipe for SPANA World Tea Party on 11 July, which is supported by Joanna Lumley. SPANA is asking everyone to hold a Moroccan mint tea party, Ethiopian coffee morning or other world-themed tea party this summer to help raise funds for the charity, which provides free veterinary treatment for working animals in developing countries. Order your “SPANA World Tea Party” fundraising pack by visiting or by calling 020 7831 3999.

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Moroccans are famous for their hospitality so there's always plenty of tea and cake on offer to visitors! This recipe is a speciality in Morocco


1 orange
115g (4 oz) softened butter and extra for greasing
115g (4 oz) golden caster sugar 2 eggs (beaten)
175g (6 oz) semolina
100g (31?2 oz) ground almonds 11?2 teaspoon baking powder Icing sugar for dusting
For the syrup
150ml (1?4 pint) orange juice (freshly squeezed)
70g (21?2 oz) caster sugar
Optional: 8 crushed cardamom pods


Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 8-10 slices
Nutrition: n/a