Golden Orange syrup cake recipe

As much as the scone invokes images of the UK to me, this is a food postcard of where I live now.  This cake is fabulous, and to me, pretty much everything about it screams sunny spanish days, from the oranges to the almonds, the fact it uses olive oil instead of butter or vegetable oil, it is a little(or big) slice of sunshine on a plate! So it may be cold outside, but bring a little warmth to your insides!

Although eating cake is never going to be the best thing for the waistline, the fact this is made with mono-unsaturated fats is no bad thing.

This comes from a Sainsburys recipe card, I never got round to making it until I moved here, but I should have, it’s simple to make, and is packed full of taste.  This also keeps really well, if anything it improves from being left a couple of days in a container in the fridge, so it’s ideal as a make ahead cake.  The card says it makes ten slices, they would be pretty huge slices, so I’d say you can get twelve good sized slices.

The cake comes together in two stages, the cake slowly baked, and an orange syrup poured over the finished cake.

I really like cakes that don’t use too much flour, or any at all for that matter, this one has a little, but leans to ground almonds (sorry anybody that can’t do nuts) and semolina for the majority. The semolina grains puff up wonderfully as this cooks, and soak up all the lovely orangey syrup once baked. This totally banished the grim image I had of the semolina from school days!


22cm / 8.5 inch loose bottomed round cake tin

Electric whisk (prepare for some serious muscles if whisking by hand!)

Baking paper

Large mixing bowl

Small saucepan for the syrup

If your cake tin isn’t exactly the right dimensions use it and don’t worry, mine is only 21 cm and it works just as well! Grease well and line the bottom.

Preheat your oven to 180 deg C, 350 deg F, gas mark 4.

For the syrup

250g / 8oz caster sugar

150ml / 5 fl oz  water

300ml / 10fl oz  orange juice

For the cake

4 medium eggs

250g / 8oz caster sugar

250ml / 9fl oz  mild olive oil

100g / 3 1/2oz plain flour

2 x 5ml / teaspoons baking powder

300g / 10oz semolina

200g / 7oz ground almonds

150g / 5oz ready to eat / dried apricots, finely chopped

250ml / 9fl oz  freshly squeezed orange juice(2-3 oranges) The first time I made this I used a carton of juice and it was still very good.

Firstly, make the syrup by putting the ingredients into a small saucepan and simmering for ten to fifteen minutes, stirring from time to time.  As it cools the consistency will become syrupy.

For the cake, into a large mixing bowl put the eggs and sugar and beat well until thick, fluffy and creamy.

Whilst continuing to mix, slowly add the oil.
Sieve the flour and baking powder together, and add to the eggs and sugar mix, gently fold it in.

When the flour is mostly folded in add the semolina, and fold

add the almonds and repeat, then add the apricots and orange juice

and finish mixing together. Folding rather than mixing helps to keep the air you put into the eggs, making the finished cake light.

Pour the cake mix into the tin

and bake for one hour and fifteen minutes to one hour thirty.  Test it’s cooked with a skewer, if it comes out clean it’s done!

I realised whilst taking photos that the cake barely rises, which leave me wondering if the flour and raising agent are necessary. Something for me to play with possibly.

Tips to give your cake less of a crust. You can cover the top with foil, and also wrap the outside of the cake tin in baking paper, insulating the cake. I follow these guides, and also turn my oven down a little from the recommended heat, as it seems to run hotter than it says!

Take your cake out of the tin and put it onto a plate with a raised lip.  With your skewer make lots of small holes in the cake, then gradually add the syrup until it has absorbed it all.

The first time I made this cake I don’t think I made enough holes as the syrup ended up pooling round the cake, not in it so much (hence needing a plate with a raised edge!), so be liberal in your hole making!

The recipe card I got this from says once cool serve with with quartered fresh figs, but the greatest thing I learned is that if you can leave this, untouched, until the next day before taking your first slice, you’ve let the syrup fully absorb into the cake and it is greatly enhanced.

Hopefully the friends that requested something sweet that wasn’t banana based will like this one!

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4 Responses to Golden Orange syrup cake recipe

  1. Adriene says:

    I’ve been looking for this recipe! I made it years ago and loved it, but have since lost the card. Thanks for posting it!

  2. Laura Perrin says:

    This looks absolutely GORGEOUS. I never cook (could literally ruin a bowl of cornflakes if left to my own devices), but your way of talking through every step (and passing on your tips!) makes me itch to have a bash!

    Hope your girls loved it. Very impressed 🙂 (and not banana in sight!) x

    • Glad you like the look of it Laura, and I’m hoping that by talking through the steps clearly I can hand hold those that want to have a go but lack the confidence. But not in a “you’re a moron” way! And if you do try it, but have any questions you can always ask, I’m generally to be found somwhere online at the mo!
      Not many people know this but I attempted a chocolate cake in the microwave at 16 that literally would have broken teeth, and it put me off baking for ages.
      Unimpressed with the girls, they’re not huge fans of it, but are finishing off the scones instead. I may try freezing some of this and seeing what it keeps like.
      You got the meaning of the mention then? x

  3. lynwynnedwards says:

    This seems to be a variation on lemon drizzle, try the Hairy Bikers recipe it’s devine.

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