Orange and Almond Cake with Maple Syrup

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This is similar to Claudia Roden’s much-copied and much revered Orange and Almond Cake.  A whole orange is used to give flavour and moisture to the cake but you don’t have to boil the fruit for 2 hours as you do in the original recipe once you have a food processor – the orange is blitzed quickly as part of the batter-making process.


1 whole orange, quartered and pips removed
225g butter at room temperature
3 eggs
200g sugar
300g plain flour sieved with 1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or use vanilla or orange extract but one 1 teaspoon instead)
4 tablespoons maple syrup (or use golden syrup or warm honey instead)


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin.

2.  Put the orange quarters in a food processor and pulse 3 or 4 times. Add the butter and blitz until you have a smooth mixture.

3.  Add the eggs and pulse twice.

4. Add the sugar and pulse twice.

5. Add the flour, salt and almond extract. Pulse until you have a smooth batter, stopping the machine to scrape down the side of the bowl and to scrape up the mixture at the bottom. Don’t over mix: it’s better to remove the blade and to stir it with a spatula instead or you will toughen the cake.

6. Pour the mixture into the cake tin, level it with a spoon and tap the tin twice on the kitchen counter to remove air bubbles. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to sit in the tin for ten minutes on a baking rack, then run a knife around the edge of the tin. Leave to cool for 30 minutes and remove from the tin.

7. Use a skewer to make holes in the cake and spoon over the maple syrup (or golden syrup or warm honey). The cake tastes even better on day 2 and the cake lasts for 4-5 five days in an airtight tin.

Recipe Notes and Variations

– If you use a smaller or different-sized or shaped cake tin you will have to keep an eye on the cake and adjust the timings – in a smaller deeper tin for example the cake can take up to an hour and 15 minutes to cook.

– Use a skewer or a stick of raw spaghetti or linguine to check whether the cake is done. If it emerges from the middle of the cake with wet batter it needs to cook for longer. If there is no sticky batter on the skewer, the cake is cooked through.

– Never open the oven until the cake is halfway through baking or it will fall flat.

This recipe has been triple-tested in the gréatfood test kitchen.

Photograph copyright



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