Moroccan Orange & Cardamom Cake

This vibrant and aromatic cake combines whole oranges with cardamom and almond meal (for moisture). It freezes well and is suited to carving into a shape. The recipe makes 2 x 6″ square cakes (which I doubled and put together to make a 12″ Scrabble Board Cake).

The recipe is adapted from Sicilian Whole Orange Cake

One of the many colourful and aromatic spice shops visited during a holiday to Morocco.


420g sugar

200g butter, softened

5 eggs

120g almond meal

340g plain flour

4 tsp baking powder

185g plain yoghurt

2 oranges, washed

2.5 tsp ground cardamom seeds


Method: Grease and line baking tins, preheat oven to 180°C / gas mark 4.

Place cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and split the pods to release the seeds, remove the husks and grind the seeds. Sift ground cardamom into a bowl along with flour, baking powder and almond meal, stir with a whisk to incorporate and set aside. In another bowl (large), cream butter with sugar until pale and fluffy, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a food processor or blender, blitz the whole oranges with the yoghurt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture, followed by the yoghurt and orange, fold gently until just incorporated. Separate into two 6” square tins and bake for 45-50 minutes, until they are golden brown and a skewer inserted come out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for ~20 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Tips & Tricks: 

This cake could be baked in round tins (2 x 7″) or one large tin (8″-9″square or 9″-10″ round). If making one large cake, increase the bake time.

If your butter / sugar mixture starts to split as you are adding the eggs, add a tablespoon of the of the mixed dry ingredients.

Don’t over mix once the flour has been added as this will release the gluten in the flour causing the cake to be chewy.

You can make a glaze / drizzle for extra flavour and moisture. I made one from the juice of 1 orange, 100g sugar and 1 tsp orange blossom water. In a saucepan over a low heat, bring the juice and sugar to the boil, simmer until the sugar has dissolved and add the orange blossom water. Remove from the heat. The drizzle should be generously painted onto the top of the cake once it is removed from the tin, and while it is still warm.