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Orange and Almond Cake

There are two recipes for one in the Muesli Bar Challenge this week.  The jumping off point was Stephanie Alexander’s adaption of Claudia Roden’s adaption from a Middle Eastern classic that uses whole boiled oranges.  Oranges and almonds are right in season, and I liked the idea of using whole oranges, because most of the “bioflavanoids” that make citrus fruit so healthy are in the pulp, not the juice. But the original version is marmalade-y bitter in a way that adults find gorgeous but kids find a bit too strong.

So there are two versions:  one that makes a great adult lunch box treat, or, with a dollop of cream, a sensational dinner party desert.  The other one that satisfies the Muesli Bar Challenge rules:  healthy, ethical, based on in-season ingredients, fast and easy to make, and rated by school age reviewers as preferable to the overpackaged junk food marketed as suitable for school lunches.

The Recipe


  • 1 cup of orange juice and pulp (or substitute mandarin juice and pulp)

For the adult, marmalade-y version, boil one large or two small oranges in a pot of water for an hour.  Roughly chop, remove the seeds, and use  a good stick blender or food processor to blend the whole orange, skin and all, to give 1 cup of orange pulp.

For the sweeter kids’ version, juice 2 or 3 oranges, remove the seeds, but add the pulp to the juice to give 1 cup of orange pulp.

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 good desertspoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder

Using a good stick blender or food processor, blend all this list together with the orange pulp till it is smooth and creamy.

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • ¾ cup wholemeal plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Fold this list in.

Grease and line a shallow, square or rectangular cake pan with greaseproof paper.

  • flaked almonds

Sprinkle all over the bottom of the pan, and spoon the cake mix in on top.

Bake in a moderate oven  till the cake springs back and a skewer comes out clean.  It takes about 30 minutes in a rectangular pan, a bit longer if there is more “middle” – that is, if your pan is square or deep.

The Syrup

  • half a cup of orange juice
  • 2 good desertspoons of raw sugar

Simmer for a few minutes until it goes  syrupy. While the cake is still warm, turn it out of the tin and strip off the greaseproof paper.  With the flaked almond side on top,  poke holes all over it with a skewer.  Pour the warm syrup over the warm cake and allow to soak in.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Joe Landers May 25, 2010, 7:02 am

    If I had to compare the two versions, I would have to say I liked the moistness and stickiness of the adult version more, and the marmalade taste. Almond and orange is a wonderful combination.

  • Oak Landers May 25, 2010, 7:12 am

    i liked the orange filling and the slived almond on the bottom i think it would not have been good with out them.

  • Sue Landers May 25, 2010, 7:24 am

    I do love a dense cake! Consistency was great, nice and moist. Great tangy flavour too.

  • Dana @ MFCK May 26, 2010, 12:33 am

    Hi there-

    I found your site through a comment you had left on Rhonda’s blog about simple living. This cake looks absolutely delicious! Your blog also looks great, I’m excited to have found it and will continue coming back.

    I’m also working on a blog that might be of interest to you… it’s called Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen (www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com). It focuses on simple living- home cooking and organic gardening.

    Check it out and join her FB fan page as well (link on the left side of the blog). There are a lot of simple living women there engaged in great conversation.

    Hope to see you around the site soon!
    – Dana

  • ned May 26, 2010, 6:23 pm

    yummy beyond belief… record-breaking taste

  • Casey Lewis May 28, 2010, 6:39 pm

    Do you think I could move back in? I could re-enroll in school, get an education and make something of myself.

    I want a lunchbox savory challenge. You’ve spoilt me growing up, now I need more variety in take-to-work lunches, inspire me mother. It’s your own fault, shouldn’t have fed me such good food as a kid and I would be fine with hamburger or pizza, you really only have yourself to blame. I need stuff thats microwave or sandwich press re-heatable and ultra quick, or eatable while driving lights and sirens.

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