Orange blossom, almond and semolina cake

Up until very lately we hadn’t been much interested in baking in our household, as we don’t have that great a sweet tooth. But recently, we’ve been doing more and more weekend bakes and are increasingly enjoying it.

I particularly love cakes with unusual or Middle Eastern inspired ingredients and fancied trying something different from your traditional flour cake.

Polenta or semolina cakes can be dry sometimes but this has a beautiful orange syrup running through which keeps it delicious. And if you’re worried it’s not too sweet just gorgeous, fruity and floral.

Here’s my tweaked recipe.

Ingredients: (serves 8)

225g butter

225g caster sugar

3 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp orange blossom water

200g ground almonds

2 oranges (zest and juice)

140g semolina

1 tsp baking powder

To finish:

Handful pomegranate

Small handful toasted pistachios

For the syrup:

1.5 oranges (juice of)

2 tbsp caster sugar


1. Grease 20cm spring form tin.

2. Preheat oven to 140 degrees.

3. Melt the butter then in a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together.

4. Slowly beat in the eggs, vanilla and almonds. Then fold in the semolina, baking powder, orange blossom water, zest and juice of the oranges.

5. Pour mixture into tin and bake for around an hour until golden brown.

6. Juice the 2 additional oranges and mix in the sugar to make the syrup, mix in one more tbsp of orange blossom water.

7. Once the cake is cooked, prick with a skewer and pour over the syrup.

8. Once dry and cooled, finish with some fresh pomegranate and some crushed toasted pistachio.

And there you have a vibrant, beautiful cake full of fruity and floral flavour.

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