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Plated slice of Orange and Almond Cake, with a dollop of creme fraiche.

Orange and Almond Cake

A recipe found by Rachel Roddy of rachel eats, from Claudia Roden's "Book of Middle Eastern Food." Per Roddy, who found information regarding the history of oranges in Jane Grigson's "Fruit book", oranges were brought from China through India to Persia before they were brought to Europe by Arab traders at the end of the Roman empire, along with spices, silk and sugar.
Course Dessert
Cuisine "....this cake has Sephardic Jewish origins, as it was one of the dishes brought to the middle east by the Spanish Jews who fled the inquisition in the 14th and 15th century.", Per Rachel Roddy of rachel eats
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 16 thin slices or 8 large slices
Author From Claudia Roden's Book of Middle Eastern Food


  • 1 large orange weighing approximately 350 g or 2 smaller ones
  • 6 free range eggs
  • 250 g ground almonds I used almond meal
  • 250 g granulated sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of baking powder
  • butter and flour for the baking pan


  1. Wash the orange and put it in a pan, cover with cold water, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for an hour and a half, or until it is extremely soft when pricked with a fork. Remove the orange from the pan, let it cool, then cut it open and remove any pips. Turn the orange into a pulp by pressing it through a sieve, moulin, or by using a blender. (I used my Cuisinart - Roddy noted that she used her immersion blender).
  2. Prepare a cake tin - ideally with a loose base - by rubbing it with butter and then dusting it with flour.
  3. Set the oven to 190 degree / 370 F.
  4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the pulped orange, beat again, then add the ground almonds or almond meal, sugar and baking powder and beat again until you have a thick, even batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for between 40 to 60 minutes. Have a look at the cake after 40 minutes. It should be golden and set firm. Test it with a toothpick or spaghetti strand, which should come out almost clean (almost, as this is a moist cake), as opposed to very sticky. If the cake does need another 10 minutes, drape some tin foil over to prevent it from getting too brown.
  6. Let it cook in the tin before turning it onto a plate.