Recipe: Orange Syrup Cake with Olive Oil & Apricots

If you crave a little summer sunshine on a chilly day, this sticky golden dessert positively radiates sunny warmth and as it fits nicely into the moderately guilt-free comfort-food category, it’s perfect year-round.

This luscious cake is dairy-free as light olive oil replaces the ubiquitous butter (you’ll never know the difference) and because it contains very little flour, use a gluten or wheat-free alternative if you prefer.

Ground almonds add extra moisture and the semolina gives it a lovely grainy texture.   The recipe calls for rather a lot of fresh orange juice so buy a large bag of fruit. You could use purchased pure OJ for the syrup but please note that the cake itself requires OJ that you’ve squeezed yourself, along with orange zest.


(Serves 10)


For the syrup –

8 oz (250g) of fine white sugar

5.5 fl oz (150ml) of water

10.5 fl oz (30ml) of freshly squeezed orange juice

For the cake –

4 eggs

8 oz (250g) of fine white sugar

8.75 fl oz (250ml) of light olive oil, such as Filippo Berio

3.5 oz (100g) of all purpose white flour or gluten free alternative

2 x 5ml teaspoons of baking powder

10.5 oz (300g) of semolina

7 oz (200g) of ground almonds

5 oz (150g) of ready-to-eat dried apricots, finely chopped

The finely shredded zest of one large orange

8.75oz (250ml) of freshly squeezed orange juice


Line and oil a 9 inch (22cm) loose-based cake pan

Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C)

Make the syrup; put the sugar, orange juice and water in a small saucepan and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Cool.

For the cake; whisk the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.

Sieve (or whisk) the flour and baking powder together and fold into the creamed mixture, followed by all the remaining ingredients.

Pour everything into the prepared pan and bake for between 1 hr 15 minutes – 1 hr 30 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick or skewer into the center of the cake – if it comes out clean, the cake is ready.

Transfer the cake in its pan to a cooling rack and pierce the cake all over with a skewer to make small holes. Pour the syrup over the cake a little at a time, allowing it to soak in. Do this until you’ve used all the syrup.

Allow the cake to cool completely and serve on its own, with your favorite fruit or perhaps a dollop of crème fraîche if you need need a dairy fix.

About edibletcetera

I'm passionate about food; I cook, photograph, eat...then writes about it in that order. I'm also an occasional restaurant critic and caterer; a former newspaper columnist; author; social media/marketing communications; world traveler; dog lover; skier...and wit, (according to those who know me).
This entry was posted in Desserts, Gluten Free Desserts, Vegan. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Recipe: Orange Syrup Cake with Olive Oil & Apricots

  1. Sue Ellen says:

    Jackie, you are such a good cook. Think you should have your own cooking show on the Food Network!

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