Honey, almond and orange cake

For the last few days in Spain, I have been looking for a cake recipe that combined honey and  oranges – maybe with almonds, or even olive oil too. Imperfect, tangy, moreish oranges are literally dripping off the trees around our finca and I’ve been dying to use them in a dish. I also bought some local honey from Casa Museo de la Miel de Malaga in Colmenar, which is just incredible, a fragrant and intense nectar that I wanted to make the most of. Almonds are a typical Andalucian ingredient, although surprisingly it’s a mission to get your mitts on them, and they SO do not come ground, so it’s out with the pestle and mortar if you happen to be making this from Spain as I am! Doing it this way, you won’t get them perfectly ground, but then a few nuggets of almonds in the mix turned out really good actually.

I searched online and asked on Twitter if anyone could suggest a recipe – but nothing was calling out to me. Then yesterday Belleau Kitchen posted a blog with a link to, yep, you guessed it, Honey, almond and orange cake! Yay! It was fate. Meant to be. Serendipitous. Written in the stars. It was blinking lovely too! I even, unbelievably, managed to source some baking powder at the local tiny shop, after a few days’ fruitless searching previously with a cake baking session in mind.

My only amendments to the original recipe were that I doubled the amount of orange zest and, as he suggested, added an extra egg – oh I also didn’t put flaked almonds on top – I’d already ground a load of almonds up, I wasn’t about to start shaving another load into slivers too! I don’t think it suffered for it though. Here is the recipe that I did:

Serves: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

115g butter
80g sugar
80g honey, the best you can get your hands on
grated zest of 2 oranges
3 eggs
165g plain flour
60g ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
75 ml milk


For the syrup:

2 tablespoons honey
Juice of 1 orange – only use fresh, it wouldn’t be the same with processed juice

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 160C. Grease and line a 20 – 25cm diameter cake tin (the recipe calls for 20 cm but I managed perfectly well with a wider tin of about 24 cm). 
  2. Beat your sugar, butter (I softened mine in the microwave a little first), orange zest and honey in a bowl. Go for it with your wooden spoon for 5 or 10 minutes until it gets a bit fluffier and lighter. 
  3. Then in a separate bowl mix your flour, bicarbonate, baking powder, cinnamon and ground almonds together. 
  4. Now, break an egg into your liquid mixture and beat, then add a little of the flour mix – repeat this three times until your eggs are all in. Gradually stir your milk in and add the rest of your flour mix. 
  5. Give the batter a thorough final seeing to with your spoon, and then pour it into your greased and lined cake tin. Cook for 30 – 40 minutes, keeping a close eye on activity. I covered with foil after 15 minutes as mine started to darken a little too much on top. 
  6. When your cake is done, take it out and let it cool so you can handle it easily, before taking it out of the tin and placing it gently onto a plate. Prick all over, about 20 times with a fork or skewer.
  7. For your syrup, on the hob or microwave, gently warm through the honey and orange juice. When your syrup is ready and the cake is still warm, spoon it evenly all over. Allow the cake to chill in the fridge. It benefits from a little Greek yoghurt (cream would be too rich) and even a little of the same honey drizzled on top to serve. Fabulous – and thanks so much to Belleau Kitchen!
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9 Comments

  1. May 7, 2012 / 7:42 pm

    Nice work. Yours looks wonderful and I know how wonderful it tastes. I'm off to Mallorca on Saturday so I may have to hunt some honey down there too! Lovely cake. Thanks for the mention xx

  2. May 7, 2012 / 8:53 pm

    ooh it looks just like the one Dom made! I love how it looks sticky on the top like the gooeyness you get on a good gingerbread.

  3. May 9, 2012 / 7:25 pm

    tasty, easy to make and great anytime!

  4. May 9, 2012 / 7:26 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. May 10, 2012 / 12:45 pm

    Have a great time in Mallorca. I've been a couple of times, to Deia and also Fornalutx, both stunning, would love to go again. X

  6. May 10, 2012 / 12:46 pm

    Hi Janice – yes it was sticky on top, and in a good way too! It was really nice the next day actually after being in the fridge so it could solidify a bit. Let me know if you make it too! X

  7. May 10, 2012 / 12:46 pm

    Most definitely easy to make – and also very very tasty! X

  8. May 11, 2012 / 8:39 am

    The cake sounds delicious – love the thought of oranges dripping of the trees and fragrant local honey. I am so impressed with you grinding the almonds by hand, but I can imagine it created an interesting texture – smooth is not always the best.

    Love your blog title by the way.

  9. May 11, 2012 / 12:49 pm

    Thanks! Grinding almonds sounds harder than it is, they fly everywhere to start with but then they behave as you start to show them who's boss!!

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