Moroccan Orange and Almond Cake

I have a new food’s someone we haven’t seen on our tv screens before here in Oz until now with his show Simple Cooking and  I think he’s wonderful..I’ve fallen for his house, his veggie patch which he picks ingredients from regularly and his homely comforting cooking in a big way.  Can you guess who it is?  His name is Nigel Slater.  I had to dig further to find out more about Nigel so went to the library and borrowed all of his books that weren’t already on loan, amongst them was his novel Toast.
I’ve enjoyed Toast so much, some parts of it remind me of my family when we were young.  I haven’t finished it yet but so far it has taken me from laughing out loud reading it in the car with a torch when I took my daughter to her evening piano lesson to reading it in bed until late at night with a “no laughing out loud” tongue in cheek warning from my husband.
We have lots of fruit trees in our backyard, apple, peach, orange & lemon.  The lemon and orange tree are in full bloom at the moment so encouraged by Nigel I picked a couple of oranges to make this moist orange cake.
The cake is a popular one by food author Claudia Roden who is best know for her middle eastern cookbooks.  It’s an unusual recipe as you boil two whole oranges in a pot for two hours and then whizz them up whole (skin and all) in the food processor with the other ingredients.  There is no flour just the whole oranges, eggs, almond meal, sugar and baking powder.  Don’t do what I did though..after I put the cake in the oven I had a horror moment when I realised I’d only used one of the oranges in the recipe instead of two.  The cake still had a moist orange flavour that would be more intense if both oranges were used!
Here’s a very quick video (a minute and a half) on how to make the cake from Food Safari where I got the recipe.


2 oranges
6 eggs
250g caster sugar
250g almond meal
1tsp baking powder
Extra caster sugar for dusting before baking
Icing sugar for dusting after baking
Margarine or oil spray (for greasing the pan)


Wash oranges and place unpeeled, in a pot of boiling water for 2 hours. Drain the water and allow the oranges to cool. This can be done ahead of time.
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Break 6 eggs into a mixing bowl or blender. Add caster sugar and beat or blend together.
Place the two oranges into the egg mix. Break up the oranges and then blend together to a smooth consistency. Add the almond meal and baking powder and blend.
Grease a 20 cm spring form baking pan with margarine (or vegetable oil spray) and dust with caster sugar.
Pour batter into the pan and sprinkle caster sugar on top and bake for 1 hour to an hour and a half or until the top is golden brown.
Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Here’s a link to a recipe from the New York Times for my American readers.
Catherine x


  1. tina

    I love Nigel Slater. I actually shop at the same place he does on a Saturday morning and we often have a little chat. He's very shy.

    His programs are full of passion and simplicity, just like the man himself. Toast is great but also try and get Tender 1&2 you won't be sorry.

    Great photography and great video clip. xx

  2. Anastasia

    i like Nigel Slater too, i remember him doing some shows with Nigella Lawson years ago, I didnt know he had a new book out though.
    Your photos are gorgeous Catherine! Id love a slice of that cake!
    My family is from Cyprus and we make many fragrant sweet treats using almond meal, rose water and oranges…dense cakes! delicious! I should share a traditional Cypriot cake on my blog

  3. leah of sang the bird

    catherine, your photos are always exquisite. and the food you prepare is divine. this cake looks amazing! i love orange cake. i have a 'go-to' cake that i bake for almost every birthday…. it's an orange butter cake (a whole 250g of butter in one cake), and boy it is delicious!

  4. Pingback: Our Orange Tree | Farmhouse Home

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