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Semolina almond orange cake recipe

Semolina almond orange cake recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Cakes with fruit
  • Citrus cakes
  • Orange cake

Semolina and ground almonds give this cake a luxurious weight, and the whole oranges provide moisture and a sunny citrus flavour.

Cumbria, England, UK

173 people made this

IngredientsServes: 10

  • 2 oranges, scrubbed and roughly chopped (with skin)
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g semolina
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fiori di Sicilia (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Amaretto liqueur (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon icing sugar (optional)

MethodPrep:1hr ›Cook:55min ›Ready in:1hr55min

  1. Put the chopped oranges in a small saucepan, discarding any pips. Add 1 tablespoon water, then cover and cook gently for 30 minutes or until the oranges are soft and excess liquid has evaporated. Leave to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line the bottom and sides of a 23cm springform cake tin with baking parchment. Finely chop the oranges in a food processor or blender, or with a large knife.
  3. Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until they form stiff peaks. Gradually whisk in half the caster sugar, then whisk for 1 minute.
  4. Using the same whisk, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining caster sugar in another bowl for 2 to 3 minutes or until pale and quite thick. Whisk in the finely chopped oranges, then carefully fold in the ground almonds, semolina, vanilla extract and fiori di Sicilia.
  5. Stir in 3 spoonfuls of the whisked egg white to loosen the mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites with a large metal spoon. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and level the top.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Check the cake after 20 minutes and again at 30 minutes, and cover lightly with foil if it is browning too quickly.
  7. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then turn it out, peel away the parchment and transfer to a serving plate. Drizzle with the liqueur and sieve over the icing sugar, if using, before serving. The cake can be kept in an airtight tin for up to 2 days.


Fiori di Sicilia is a specialty baking ingredient, an extract of citrus and vanilla, available online. In a pinch, skip it and use a total of 1 teaspoon vanilla extract instead.


Semolina almond orange cake

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(20)

Reviews in English (16)

I made this with only 150g sugar, because that is all that I had! Chopping the oranges by hand works perfectly well. It was very lightly sweet, just the way I like it.-14 Apr 2014

Just not what we like. It came out all right, but after the first slice, no-one really ate it :-(-23 Jun 2014

This was really lovely! Easy to make and full of flavour!-14 Apr 2014

For the semolina cake, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and grease a 20cm/8in loose-bottomed square baking tin with butter. (If you don’t have a square baking tin, a 23cm/9in round cake tin will also work.)

Mix the semolina, sugar, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and orange zest together in a bowl until well combined.

Gradually stir in the melted butter and milk until you have a smooth batter.

Pour the batter into the greased tin and arrange the almonds on top in four rows.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the cake is golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the caramel sauce, place the sugar, butter and salt in a saucepan and heat until the sugar has melted, then stir in the cream. Bring it to the boil and let it simmer for 3 minutes until thick. Set aside to cool slightly before serving (the sauce can also be served cold).

To serve, serve the cake in slices with the caramel sauce and a dollop of crème fraiche. Garnish with a few mint leaves.

Recipe Tips

You can make this cake gluten-free by using gluten-free plain flour and baking powder.

Whole Orange Almond Cake

Our namesake hated seeing good food go to waste. True to form, his flourless orange and almond cake uses every bit of the citrus, pureeing them whole to extract all the flavor and oils from the peels and spinning them into this vibrant, virtually effortless dessert. By not stopping short of pureeing the oranges too fine, you wind up with little bits of skin, which will not be at all bitter after the long boiling and very pleasant to bite on. A tip from Beard himself: it will not rise very much, and you may wonder if it will ever bake firm. Don&rsquot worry, it will.

Editor's note: this recipe, which James Beard first published in The New James Beard (Knopf, 1981), is believed to be inspired by James Beard Award winner Claudia Roden's recipe for Orange and Almond Cake from her influential cookbook A Book of Middle Eastern Food (Knopf, 1968).


  • 2 large oranges (preferably seedless navels)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups ground almonds
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  • Thin slices of peeled orange sprinkled with confectioners&rsquo sugar and a touch of cinnamon, or fresh raspberries
  • Whipped cream


Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter and flour a deep 9-inch cake pan.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Wash the oranges and place them in the boiling water cover the pot. Boil until very soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, cool, cut into quarters, removing any seeds.

Process the oranges to a fairly fine puree in a blender or food processor, or put them through a meat grinder.

Beat the eggs in a bowl until thick then add the ground almonds, salt, sugar, baking powder, and orange puree. Mix well.

Pour into cake pan and bake for 1 hour, or until the cake is firm to the touch when pressed with the tip of your finger.

Remove the pan to a rack and allow the cake to cool. Turn it out of the pan into a serving dish. Serve garnished with orange slices or berries and whipped cream.

From Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food by The James Beard Foundation/Rizzoli Publishing.

Free Healthy Recipe - Orange and Almond Semolina Cake

This is a delicious recipe for anyone who loves dessert but has to watch their blood sugar levels. The semolina and almond meal have a lower GI than processed white flour and the egg whites boost its protein content which will also help. It's still a delicious sweet sweet and makes for an impressive entry at any dinner or lunch party.

Place the whole oranges in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 1 hour.
Drain and set aside to cool.

When the oranges are cool enough to handle, remove the skin and pith from one orange and place it in a food processor with the other two whole oranges.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Combine the semolina, almond meal and baking powder together in a bowl. Beat the egg whites until stiff and set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks into the honey.
Beat the almond meal and semolina in with the egg yolk mix and quickly add the orange puree. Fold the egg whites through the cake mixture.
Fill a small lined cake tin and place blanched almond halves over the top to decorate. Cook at 180C for the first 15 minutes. then reduce the temperature 150C and cook for a further 75 minutes.

Serve with orange segments and sheep's yoghurt sweetened with maple syrup and vanilla.

Note: A gluten free version of this cake can be made using polenta in place of semolina.

Makes 10 servings (serve = 1 slice of cake)

Nutritional Information - Per Serve
Kj 1046 kj
Calories 250 kcal
Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Total Carbohydrate 26.6 g
Total Protein 8.4 g
Fibre 2.8 g

Disclaimer: The Food Coach provides all content as is, without warranty. The Food Coach is not responsible for errors or omissions, or consequences of improper preparation, user allergies, or any other consequence of food preparation or consumption.

Orange Almond Semolina Cake

You are going to love this super-soft, fragrant orange cake made with almond flakes. In a small bowl, zest in two oranges and grate only the surface of the orange if you zest the white part the cake will have a bitter taste. Squeeze the juice of the lemons and you will need 100 ml of the orange juice. In a mixing bowl, add one cup of fine semolina flour and pour in the orange juice then let the flour sit soaked in the orange juice for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the dry ingredients by sifting three-quarters cup of flour into a mixing bowl together with almond flour, baking soda and a pinch of salt. Lightly whisk the dry ingredients to combine then set it aside. In another bowl, add one cup of the softened unsalted butter together with fine sugar then mix the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy light, fluffy and pale.

Add in 4 large eggs one at a time while mixing the egg really well after each addition. Bring the soaked semolina flour and add it in the butter-sugar mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Add in the lemon zest and the sifted dry ingredients and fold them in until all the flour is moistened then add 1 tablespoon of orange juice and continue folding until you get a smooth batter with no lumps.

Prepare a round or square baking tin, greased and lined with a parchment paper then pour in the batter, smoothen the top with a spatula then top with half a cup of almond flakes. Bake the cake in 350 degrees Fahrenheit preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Once out of the oven let the cake cool completely before slicing.

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This is a fantastic recipe, much better than many other Greek recipes out there-and I say this as a Greek! Have made this many times and everyone, family and friends alike, love it.

This recipe works well with other ground nuts besides almonds. Also I've found, interstingly enough, that this reipe can easily be modified into cookies by ommiting the eggwhites and syrup. The balance of citrus and vanilla blend wonderfully into the nutty cookie!

This was a wonderful cake. I would like to know if this is really the recipe that would be used by a Greek grandmother, because I made it for a Greek-themed dinner party, but even if it's not, it had a very complimentary set of flavors to the rest of the meal and all the guests loved it. It has an excellent texture and sweetness. I would like to try it with rose-water, but also might try it with an ouzo syrup instead of brandy. The only downside is that it's not especially attractive being served out of the pan in squares. I like cake baked in rounds and sliced in wedges so might try that next time. I used a 9x13 pan (instead of 12x18) and it was still done in 36 minutes.

This smelled absolutely heavenly. I made it just as written. Judging from the sweets at our local Greek bakery, the syrup should still be quite thin so it can soak through. I don't like rose water, so it was very nice to be able to make these without, even if it is not traditional.

I love this version of the traditional Middle Eastern version of semolina cake (sometimes called Basboussa). I added rosewater and orange blossem water to the sugar syrup in lieu of lemon/cinnamon. When I make it again, I may make 1.5 recipes to yield a slightly higher cake. As is, in this sized pan, it was under an inch in height. Otherwise excellent.

I made this wonderful cake. It was easy, but best of all it was delicious. I am making it again tomorrow.

You'll need to start the sugar syrup as soon as you put the cake in the oven since it took about 20 minutes (not 10) at a fairly high temperature (not a simmer) for my syrup to become "viscous."

I loved this dish! Being from Greece myself, I knew what I was looking for, and it was fantastic! It was almost as good as my mother's but much more simple. I highly recomend this dessert to all who are looking for an authentic greek dessert!

Ottolenghi’s Lemon-Semolina Cake

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

The April issue of Bon Appetit featured mini lemon-semolina syrup cakes, a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s next cookbook, a dessert one, which is still in its recipe-testing phase. While I am not into mini anything right now — the less greasing/pan preparing the better — and while I don’t care for extra steps like syrup making (so lazy!), the ingredients for the cake looked so good: one half cup of semolina flour and lots of almond flour, butter, sugar, and fresh lemon juice.

I finally got around to making the cake last weekend using a loaf pan instead of a muffin tin, and, for whatever reason, replacing the butter with oil. Oh my. The cake was so incredibly moist — I know! Sorry. But there’s no other word, is there? — and delicious and perfectly sweet and lemony. For me, it doesn’t get much better than a lemon loaf cake, and this one is about as ideal as can be.

This past week I made it two more times, once with grapeseed oil and once with butter. I had no doubt I would prefer the cake made with oil — I often do — but with this one, I’m not sure. The differences are subtle. I ate and I ate and I ate hoping to discern a decisive winner until I discovered the good news: you can’t go wrong either way.

These are my observations: when the cake is made with oil, it will taste — wait for it — a little oily. When the cake is made with butter, it will taste richer and have a denser, more marzipan-like texture. Making the cake with oil allows you to whisk by hand, which is a little easier — no need to soften butter, no need to whip until light and fluffy. In a taste test with friends, more people preferred the cake made with oil, but for me, the one with butter has a slight edge.

Butter or oil? Something to ponder this weekend as you scour your cupboard for that half cup of semolina flour, because you know it’s there and what better way to use it up?

These are the dry ingredients: almond flour, semolina flour, baking powder, and salt:

This is what the batter looks like when made with butter:

When made with oil:

The cake with the darker crust was made with oil:

This is the cake made with butter:

This one below is made with olive oil. Above left is made with grapeseed oil.

Whole Orange Almond Cake Recipe

Grab 2 navel oranges (about 14 ounces in total) …

And plunge them into generously-salted boiling water. Cover the pot and let the fruit boil until perfectly soft — 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and let cool. UPDATE: The longer the fruit boils, the less bitter it will be.

Cut the oranges into quarters, and remove seeds (if you did not use Navel oranges, which are seedless).

Then toss the orange segments into a food processor…

And grind them to a fairly fine puree.

To make the batter, break six large eggs into a large bowl…

And beat them until they turn pale and thick. Update: There’s no need to use a standing mixer for this batter. A large bowl and wire whisk will work out just fine!

Beat in 1 cup of sugar…

A generous pinch of salt…

1 1/2 cups almond meal (UPDATE: I now use 2 cups almond meal)…

1 teaspoon baking powder…

And the orange puree.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan…

And bake it off at 400°F until golden and firm. Beard said “about 1 hour,” but my cake was done at the 50 minute mark. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and allow it to cool. UPDATE: I now bake the cake for a full hour, and cover the pan with aluminum foil when the batter starts to darken after 45 or 50 minutes.

As anti-disaster insurance, run a plastic knife between cake and pan.

Then release the cake from its springform prison.

Plate the cake, and, if you wish, shower it with confectioners’ sugar.

As I mentioned earlier, this cake smells like a citrus grove in Provence. It has a moist, slightly chewy crumb, thanks to the bits of orange peel in the batter. Although I detected a hint of bitterness from the orange pith, Mr. Fox did not.

As a matter of fact, Mr. Fox thought the cake was pure heaven! He ate two big slices for dessert last night. And this morning, he devoured another fat slice for breakfast.

Think you’ll give this Whole Orange Almond Cake recipe a try? Talk to me in the comments field below. And if you do make the cake, please post your review!

Ma'amoul (Syrian semolina biscuit)

One of My favourite Syrian desserts is ma’amoul, baked semolina and flour dough filled with pistachio, date or walnut, and flavoured with orange blossom water.



Skill level

The shape and design of ma’amoul are made by pressing the filled dough into a special wooden mould and it is made during the Easter holiday and a few days before Eid. The aroma of baked ma’amoul fills the whole city of Damascus.


  • 250 g fine semolina
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 150 g ghee
  • 1 tspdried yeast
  • ¼ cup milk, warm
  • 1 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 tsp ground mahlab
  • 1 tbsp vanilla powder
  • 100 g roast pistachio, walnut or almond, crushed
  • 80 g dates, pitted
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Icing sugar, to dust

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time 2 hours or overnight

This recipe uses a ma'amoul mould to achieve this distinct shape and design. They can be purchased online.

  1. Combine the semolina and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the yeast with warm milk (or water) and mix until the yeast has dissolved.
  3. Melt the ghee on low heat then cool. Pour the cooled ghee into the semolina mix and work with your fingers to form a dough and mix in the yeast. Add fennel, mahlab, vanilla and knead the dough into a soft ball. Let it rest for two hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  5. To make your fillings, combine your choice of roasted nut, dates, sugar in a food processor and blitz for 60 seconds. Add orange blossom and a pinch of salt and blitz for another 60 seconds. You don't want the filling to be a paste, more of a chunky filling.
  6. To assemble, place 1 tbsp of ma'amoul dough in the palm of your hand and flatten to a thickness of ½ an inch.
  7. Add about 1 tbsp of filling to the centre and then press the edges together to form a ball and close the dough.
  8. Dust the wooden mould in flour. Gently press the filled ball with your palm until it becomes even with the mould's surface. Tap the mould's edge on a board until the ma'amoul drops out.
  9. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper leaving a few centimetres between each biscuit. Bake for 10-15 mins or until the dough becomes golden.
  10. Remove them from the tray to completely cool before dusting them in icing sugar.

The amount this recipe yields depends on the size of your mould. Some moulds are larger or smaller.

• Ground mahlab (sometimes called mahlepi) is an aromatic-fruity spice. It is available from Middle Eastern and Greek grocery stores.

Orange Semolina Cake

All over the Middle East you will find recipes for semolina cakes. This Orange Semolina Cake is exceptionally moist and the perfect end to a well-spiced meal. The recipe is from Paul Hollywood’s visit to Nicosia,Cyprus on his show City Bakes. As with most semolina cakes, this one is soaked with a delicious sugar syrup. But unlike other semolina cakes that I have eaten, the ingredients call for mastic.

My only familiarity with mastic is as chewing gum, so I was skeptical at first. But I have come to trust Paul Hollywood. He has the joie de vivre and puckishness of Julia Child and is fastidious in his baking. So if he said to use mastic…. Apparently, it is not uncommon in Greek and Cypriot cooking. Also known as the “Tears of Chios,” which sounds much more poetic than “gum,” it is a tree resin with a unique, refreshing flavor. While I am willing to adapt recipes to my own tastes and preferences, when I can, I try respecting the traditions and cultures that I am mimicking as long as they don’t conflict with mine. This Cypriot Shamali cake (known as Basbousa in other parts of the Middle East) is an example.

If you don’t wish to purchase mastic (mine came from Amazon) the cake should still be delicious without it, although you might want to increase the amount of orange zest. The flavor of the mastic was quite subtle and not like anything I could easily identify. It was definitely there, however, and quite nice. And since travel seems unlikely anytime in the near future, I was willing to spring for this (for me) unusual ingredient. As an armchair traveler, it seemed a relatively cheap investment.

Because semolina cakes are soaked in syrup, they hold up well and are even better the next day when everything has melded. You need to pour the syrup over the cake while the cake is hot from the oven. This will help the cake absorb all of the delicious orange-scented syrup. And you don’t want to miss a drop. It will seem like an enormous amount of syrup, but don’t get scared off. The cake will absorb all of it. And surprisingly, for all of the sugar, the cake is not extremely sweet.

The measurements are as I found them. I own a small, relatively inexpensive kitchen scale and have learned that conversions from weight to measures is not always accurate. No matter how you pack your measuring cup, however, 200 grams will always be 200 grams.

This cake is lovely and easy to make. Try it soon. You won’t be disappointed.