Moroccan Orange Cake

Saturday 15 June 2019

I am willing to guarantee that you are going to fall abso-flippingly in love with this simple cake I am sharing here with you today.  GUARANTEE!  

Not only is it a very simple cake to make, but it has to be one of the moistest, most flavourful cakes you could ever want to eat. 


I have adapted the recipe from one I found in the book Clodagh's Kitchen Diaries by Clodagh McKenna.  

I was able to purchase a copy of this second hand the other week and the day it arrived I immediately bookmarked this recipe and set out the very next day to bake it.  I kid you not.

In her description of the recipe she says: "This, I guarantee, will be one of your favourite recipes in this book. Light, moist and so zingy, it will keep for up to a week in an airtight container."

I would agree with everything she said but am doubtful about the last  . . .  not that it won't keep in a container for up to a week, but that you will even have any left to store for a week!  Seriously!

Yes, it is THAT good!

This is the moistest, most flavourful cake I have ever made.  

No flour in it  . . . but you can't consider it gluten free because you do need a slice of white bread made into bread crumbs . . .  and the gluten would be in that . . .

I used a slice of day old ordinary sandwich bread, about 1/2 inch in thickness. I did not cut off the crusts.  I blitzed it into coarse bread crumbs in my food processor. 

Once again I used Dorie Greenspan's trick of rubbing citrus zest into sugar to release the flavours and aromas.  This cake uses the zest of one large orange and one lemon. 

 Use unwaxed if you can get them, otherwise scrub them well in soapy water and then dry with a soft cloth prior to zesting.

The citrus sugar gets mixed with the bread crumbs and a quantity of ground almonds . . .  I think in North America you might call this almond meal or almond flour. 

You will also need a teaspoon of baking powder.  Mix that all together well then you simply stir in some vegetable oil that you have beaten together with some eggs.

She didn't specify the size of the eggs that I could find. I used large and they worked out beautifully.

That's it  . . .  just pour it into the prepared pan and bake  . . .  it smells really good while it is baking.  Like a citrus grove  . . .

After baking you make a spicy citrus syrup using the juice of an orange and a lemon, some sugar, a cinnamon stick and a couple of cloves.  

This gets soaked into the still warm cake, while its still warm . . .  this is the secret to it's moist texture and amazing flavour!

Moroccan Orange Cake

Yield: 8
Author: Marie Rayner
Light, moist and filled with lovely zingy orange flavours.  This is destined to become highly placed in your  arsenal of favourite cake recipes! If you can't get unwaxed fruit, simply wash the fruit you have in soapy warm water, scrubbing it gently with a brush.  Dry well before using.


  • 50g slightly stale white breadcrumbs (1 slice)
  • 200g caster sugar (1 cup minus 1 tsp.)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g ground almonds (1 cup plus 3 TBS)
  • 200ml sunflower oil (7 fluid ounces)
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • the finely grated zest of 1 large unwaxed orange
  • the finely grated zest of one unwaxed lemon
  • Whipped cream or Greek Yogurt to serve
For the citrus syrup:
  • the juice of 1 large orange
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 75g caster sugar (1/3 cup, slightly heaped)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves


How to cook Moroccan Orange Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter and flour an 8 inch round cake tin. Line the bottom with baking paper.  (I used a spring form pan.)
  2. Rub the fruit zests into the sugar with your fingertips until quite fragrant. Stir together with the bread crumbs,  ground almonds and sifted baking powder.  Whisk the oil together with the eggs. Add all at once to the dry mixture, mixing well together.  Pour into the prepared pan. 
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
  4. While the cake is baking make the citrus syrup. Put  all of the ingredients into a small saucepan. Bring gently to the boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 3 minutes at which time the sugar should be completely dissolved and a thickish syrup formed.  Discard the cinnamon stick and the whole cloves.
  5. Poke holes all over the surface of the cake with a toothpick or skewer.  Spoon the hot syrup over the cake allowing it to soak in.  Spoon any excess syrup back over the cake every now and then until it is all soaked in.
  6. Cut into wedges to serve along with some whipped cream or Greek yogurt.
Created using The Recipes Generator

She suggest serving it with either whipped cream or thick Greek yogurt.  

We had it with yogurt.  I had intention only of having one small taste but before I knew it  . . . 

This is what was staring me in the face.  The devil made me do it!  OH MY GOODNESS!  


  1. Replies
    1. Its a fabulous cake Monique! We really loved it! xoxo

  2. I made this cake yesterday, it was absolutely delicious. We couldn't believe how tasty it was for so little effort. I have had this book for years but forgotten how good it is - thanks for the reminder!

    1. Isn't it wonderful Jane! We love it! You're welcome! xoxo

  3. Absolutely delicious. If I make the the day before, suggestions on reheating? Also should I pour the syrup on just before serving or the day before? Thank you

    1. You could reheat in a very low oven until it is warmed through. If you aren’t planning on serving it until the day after you bake it, I would reheat and pour the syrup on then. Hope this helps! Xo

  4. Super delicious!! Thankyou for a simple but stunning cake😊👌

    1. So pleased it was enjoyed. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your feedback! xo

  5. Could you replace the bread crumbs with something else to make this gluten free. Maybe cornmeal?

    1. I am not sure, possibly gluten free panko crumbs? I have never done this, so I really cannot answer with any certainty. Sorry about that! Let us know how you get on! xo

  6. can oil be substituted with olive oil? thank you!

    1. I think you could get away with a light olive oil because the flavor is not so pronounced, but I wouldn’t use an extra virgin because the flavour is so strong that it might mess with or overpower the other flavours in the cake.
      -Marie, The English Kitchen

  7. I have been trying to replicate a cake that I’d had in Ireland. This was it! I am SO PLEASED with the way this turned out! The recipe is definitely a keeper. The only thing I changed was that I omitted the cinnamon and cloves in the sauce. You will not regret making this cake!

    1. I am so pleased that this is the cake you remember! Cladagh is Irish so it makes sense that this is probably the cake you were missing! xo


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy!

Did you make the recipe as directed? Recipe results are not guaranteed when changes have been made.

Is this comment helpful to other readers? Rude or hateful comments will not be approved. Remember that this website is run by a real person.

Are you here to complain about ads? Please keep in mind that I develop these recipes and provide them to you for free. Advertising helps to defray my cost of doing so, and allows me to continue to post regular fresh content.

Thanks so much for your understanding! I appreciate you!