Orange & saffron syrup cake

Orange & saffron syrup cake

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(3 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 30 mins - 40 mins

More effort

Cuts into 8 slices

The citrus syrup makes for a wonderfully moist cake - great for afternoon tea or a dinner-party dessert

Nutrition and extra info

  • sponge only


  • kcal455
  • fat30g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs43g
  • sugars33g
  • fibre2g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.4g
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  • 100g skinned hazelnuts, ground



    Grown in Europe and the US, hazelnuts are encased in a smooth, hard brown shell but are most…

  • 50g semolina or polenta



    Semolina flour is pale-yellow in colour, high in gluten and used for traditionally made pasta,…

  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 2 large oranges



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 4 medium eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 200ml light olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • generous pinch saffron threads



    The stigma of a type of crocus, saffron threads have a pungent and distinctive aroma and flavour…

  • 85g icing sugar
  • Greek yogurt or crème fraîche and orange segments to serve, optional


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Oil the base of a 23cm ring tin (or oil and line the base of a 20cm round or 18cm square cake tin). Put the ground hazelnuts in a frying pan and toast over a medium heat, stirring frequently until evenly browned. Leave to cool, then mix with the semolina, caster sugar and baking powder.

  2. Finely grate the zest from one orange and combine with the eggs and oil. Beat well with a wooden spoon, then fold into the dry ingredients. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30-40 mins, until risen and firm to the touch.

  3. While the cake is baking, pare the zest from the other orange and cut into very thin shreds. Put in a saucepan with the juice from both oranges, the saffron and icing sugar. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 5 mins.

  4. When the cake is done, leave it to cool in the tin slightly, then turn out onto a plate. Peel off the lining paper. While the cake is still warm, skewer it well and spoon the syrup over. Serve as it is, or with yogurt or crème fraîche and orange segments. The cake will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Amy Palmer's picture
Amy Palmer
5th May, 2019
Replaced the polenta with plain flour, only had 60g hazelnuts so added extra 30g flour- turned out beautifully! Such a delicious cake, we had ours warm with ice cream and it was the perfect end to a Sunday dinner.
Munkey's Mom
14th Oct, 2014
Totally did not work for me:-(
22nd Jun, 2014
I am amazed that this cake has not received more hits! It is the simplest recipe, needs minimal effort ( I pretty much just chuck all the ingredients together) and it never seems to goes wrong! It is so moist that it is difficult to turn it out so I tend to use ceramic pie dishes. I have also tried a lemon and cardamom version / rhubarb or cherries in the bottom etc etc - if you like almonds and you like sweet sticky puddings like baklawa then this is well worth trying
15th Apr, 2012
delicious recipe and so simple to make! A great hit with all the family and I think this would be good for a dinner party too. I used ground almonds instead of hazelnuts and I used sunflower oil instead of oilve oil - it came out perfectly.
4th Feb, 2011
Easy recipe, delicious cake. I made it in a round tin instead of a ring tin and turned out great.
9th Dec, 2008
really delicious cake..nice and moist..definitely will try again..
9th Dec, 2008
really delicious cake..nice and moist..definitely will try again..
26th Apr, 2019
Do you need course or fine semolina?
goodfoodteam's picture
30th Apr, 2019
Thanks for your question. This recipe uses fine semolina or polenta which gives a subtle but not overly gritty texture.
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