Wednesday, 5 December 2012

claudia roden's middle eastern orange and almond cake


This is one of my favourite cakes - so fresh, moist and with a huge hit of orange citrus flavour.  It is a recipe from the brilliant cookery writer Claudia Roden- one of my food heroes.  This recipe was first published in A Book of Middle Eastern Food in 1968.  I have only altered the recipe here slightly by swapping 1 of the oranges in the original recipe for 4 clementines (just because that's what I had in the house). 

I urge you to try this recipe and buy the book - you won't regret it.  You will learn a lot about the cultural influences on food and how recipes change and evolve over time and place.

I have made this "half pudding, half cake" as Ms Roden puts it numerous times and it never fails.  Delicious!  I hope you love it as much as I do. 

2 large oranges (I used 1 orange and 4 clementines)
6 eggs
8oz ground almonds
8 oz sugar
1 tsp baking powder

  • preheat the oven to 200C and grease and line a cake tin - I used a 9 inch diameter tin. 
  • wash the oranges/clementines well then place in a pan with a little water and boil for about 2 hours - until the fruit is soft. 

  • let the oranges cool, cut them open and remove the pips and then blend or pass through a sieve if you don't have a blender. 

  • in a separate large bowl beat the eggs for a minute or two then add all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly

  • pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes.  A skewer will come out clean when it is done.  This is a very moist cake but if it is too wet after the time leave it in for a few minutes longer.  The surface should be set and slightly 'springy' to the touch. 

  • leave to cool in the tin before turning out and cutting into slices.  

  • good with a strong black coffee in the middle of the day as or as an after dinner dessert served with thick yogurt, cream or ice cream. 


  1. do you blend to oranges with the skins? looks lovely

    1. You do yes - nice bitter orange taste - lovely and so easy too.