Tunisian Almond and Orange Cake

Tunisian almond & orange cake  with thanks to Carrie Langford  

(Comments in brackets are my adaptations to the original recipe)

45g slightly stale breadcrumbs (I used granary bread made into crumbs) (To make this cake gluten free, as I did for a very good friend, I have used Rice Crumbs or Gluten free bread)
200g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
1 1/2 tsp baking powder (Gluten free if you like)
200ml sunflower or vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
finely grated zest 1/2 lemon (I used a whole lemon)

The ingredients

Juice of 1 orange
juice of 1/2 lemon (I used the whole lemon)
85g sugar
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
(Recently I have added two Star Anise to the syrup and that makes it even more delicious!))

How to do it

  • Mix breadcrumbs with sugar, almonds & baking powder.

Breadcrumbs, sugar, ground almonds and baking powder ready for mixing

  • Add oil & eggs & beat well.

Oil added

Beaten eggs added

  • Stir in zest.

All mixed with zests ready to be beaten in

  • Pour into 8″ greased tin. (I don’t have an 8″ tin in my enormous collection of tins! Here I’m trying a new product from Lakeland, parchment lined foil, which I am told you just mould and it will keep its shape and the cake will not stick!)

The mixture in the moulded parchment lined foil

  • Put into a cold oven & set heat to 190C, middle shelf. (Lower the heat to 180C if a fan oven.)
  • Bake for 40 – 50 mins until cake is richly golden inserted skewer comes out clean. (Actually I find about 30-40 mins is enough.)

Baked until golden brown but, as you can see, the new product didn’t work quite as planned!

  • Cool for 5 mins in tin then turn out.  (I left the cake in the tin this time and added the juice here)
  • While cake bakes make syrup. Bring all ingredients gently to boil in pan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 3 mins. (Don’t be tempted to simmer for longer as it goes all gloopy and so doesn’t soak properly into the cake.)

Juices, sugar, cinnamon stick and 2 cloves for the syrup

  • Pierce holes in cake while still warm, & pour sieved syrup over, until all used up.  (Now that I have made this a few times, I no longer bother sieving the syrup. We like the little juice sacs.)

Sieving the syrup

Beautiful syrup in Kath’s jug

  • If in a hurry, you can leave out syrup but it won’t be as gooey. (Basically, do make this the day before and don’t be in a hurry! It needs the syrup to be the best it can be!
  • Syrup soaked cake tastes best a day after it is made & will keep in fridge for 3 – 4 days.
I can’t imagine this cake lasting 3-4 days! It goes very quickly in our house!
It is delicious served warm with Cornish ice cream or cold with Cornish Cream. Caramelised orange slices are lovely with it too which is how Carrie served it.

Tunisian Almond and Orange Cake served with Caramelised Orange and Cornish Cream

  • To caramelise the oranges, peel and slice them.

Orange peeled with a sharp knife

  • Make the caramel by heating sugar in a hot pan until it turns dark Take care, it can catch very quickly.

Caster sugar in a heavy pan, just starting to brown

Caramel almost done

  • When done, add the orange slices and leave to cool, turning once.  (They will spit. Again, take care.)

Caramelised orange slices

Gluten free Tunisian orange and almond cake

Gluten free Tunisian orange and almond cake, as made for our World Food Night

Do let me know how it works for you if you try it! 🙂


24 responses to “Tunisian Almond and Orange Cake

  1. Anja

    December 15, 2015 at 8:36 am

    It’s now the 4th time I’m baking this amazing cake and my family and friends can’t get enough! Nice Christmas gift as well 🙂
    Thank you for that, it is a winner!

    • mybeautfulthings

      December 15, 2015 at 9:22 am

      I love that you love this cake! At this time of year, decorating it with slices of Kumquat that you have steeped in a sugar syrup makes it even more beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to tell me this – greatly appreciated! 🙂

  2. myammynew

    November 25, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Love your photos and recipe! Looks divine! Three cheers…or a trio of cheers!
    Page Larkin

    • mybeautfulthings

      November 25, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      Thank you! Do try it, it’s delicious! 🙂

  3. SammiLoobas

    September 1, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Just finished baking this, can not wait to try it!

    • mybeautfulthings

      September 1, 2015 at 11:27 am

      Very pleased to hear this. Let me know what you think 🙂

  4. dunelight

    September 1, 2015 at 4:22 am’s late at night and I’m looking at food photos. They look tasty indeed. I’m going to see what’s in the fridge.

    • mybeautfulthings

      September 1, 2015 at 7:10 am

      Tasty looking food = hungry tum! I know that feeling! Hope you found something to tickle your taste buds. 🙂

  5. Kim

    August 23, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Similar to a cake I make with polenta which is fantastic

  6. Dux

    May 25, 2015 at 9:08 am

    I have been on the lookout for such a cake. I like your presentation! Have you tried to do small cakes as in muffin size ie one portion size? If so how many would this recipe make and what changes in oven and time. I will do this recipe.

    • mybeautfulthings

      May 25, 2015 at 11:03 am

      That’s an interesting idea but I haven’t tried it – yet! If I do, I will post the ideas here. Please let me know if you try individual portions. Thank you for calling in and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate that. 🙂

  7. babyjill7...Marilyn Griffin

    September 16, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    my mouth is watering for a piece…

  8. beesandbrownbears

    June 28, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    My favourite dessert, and your recipe is delicious!

  9. psychologistmimi

    April 11, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    that sounds really good and your pics make it tempting!

  10. semi demi quavers

    March 29, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    I think your variation is way too sweet for our palate. I would cut down sugar to less than 100g and oil (I use extra virgin olive oil) to 100ml. Add a pinch of saffron too – make it extra special, luxurious and almost true to the 16th century. It works well without sodium bicarbonate or other raising agent provided you bake the cake immediately in a hot oven. I use Remoska from Lakeland with a deep tin. I make my syrup with oranges, lemons, limes and satsumas, adding cardamom, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, star anise.

    • mybeautfulthings

      March 29, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Thank you for your lengthy and helpful comments – much appreciated. I shall try all your suggestions! Since I posted the recipe I have tried the cake with all the above juices and added star anise. I love cardamon and will definitely play with the different flavours.
      Thank you again. I really do appreciate your contribution. 🙂

  11. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    November 3, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Oh Sally, delicious galore. You’ve actually hit on one of my favourite cakes – almond & orange. Mmmmmmm, yes. I also love Black Forest cake.

  12. Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain's Wife

    November 2, 2013 at 2:19 am

    Just lovely, can almost smell the orange aroma. I’ll try it!

  13. Androgoth

    June 21, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    This one looks delicious and very nicely presented too 🙂
    I hope you will be adding lots more desserts to this category 🙂

    Androgoth Xx


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