This cake is for those people who aren’t a fan of classic fruit cakes. Jo says, “[It] can be served warm as a dessert but as it’s based on an oil and almond batter, it will stay moist for a few days and is equally as rewarding with a cup of tea in the afternoon.”
For the cake
|½ cup||caster sugar|
|½ cup||olive oil, plus extra for greasing|
|1||orange, finely grated zest, plus extra zest to decorate|
|4 Tbsp||orange juice|
|1 tsp||baking powder (gluten-free)|
|½ tsp||ground cinnamon|
|½ tsp ground ginger||ground ginger|
|½ tsp||grated nutmeg|
|25g||flaked almonds, toasted|
For the syrup
|90ml cup||orange juice|
- Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan. Brush a 22cm loose-bottomed or springform cake tin with oil and line the base with baking parchment.
- To make the cake, put the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and whisk for around 5 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Add the olive oil, orange zest and juice and briefly mix in before adding the ground almonds, baking powder and ground spices. Stir to combine and transfer to the prepared cake tin. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until risen, golden and just firm to touch.
- While the cake is cooking, make the syrup. Put the honey, orange juice, cinnamon stick and cloves in a small saucepan and place over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and cook for about 5 minutes or until it is thickened, reduced by half and syrupy.
- Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and placing on a serving plate. Remove the whole spices from the syrup if preferred, and pour over the warm cake. Finish by scattering over the flaked almonds, grate over some orange zest and serve warm.
– Nut-free: You can swap the ground almonds for desiccated coconut, although it’s best to blitz the coconut briefly in a food processor first to give it a finer consistency. Finish the cake with toasted coconut flakes on top.
– Flavour swap: To make this into a lemon and rosemary cake, swap the orange juice and zest in the cake for lemon zest and juice. Omit the dried spices. For the syrup, use 100ml lemon juice with 100g honey, and swap the cinnamon and cloves for 2 stalks of rosemary that have been bashed with a rolling pin to extract flavour.