Batia Slater's orange and almond cake recipe from Jewish Food Safari is consistently taking out gold, as our most popular cake recipe of all time - and for good reason. It's SO EASY and it tastes so good. Google seems to really like it as well with over 105 million mentions.
A classic Passover dessert that draws on the Sephardic traditions of the Mediterranean, Morocco and the Middle East, this cake calls on whole oranges to be boiled for two hours and then puréed skin, pips and all. Not only is this cake incredibly soft and moist, but it also happens to be gluten and dairy-free with minimal fuss. Eggs, a little sugar and baking powder bind it all and then it is poured into a baking paper-lined or tahini or oil greased baking tin.
Apart from the cake's minimal intervention and fuss-free mindset, you can really play with the citrus, sugar and nut flour components and yield the same reward. We promise!
If you've got mandarins, blood oranges or tangelos on standby they can also be boiled in a similar fashion here. Also, hazelnut and cashew nut meals work really well or perhaps a combination of the two. If you do run with plain flour you can substitute it 1:1, I recommend slightly less to retain its moist and spongey texture.
Don't be afraid to add sugar as the oranges can create a slightly bitter after taste but caster, soft brown and coconut sugars are great options and you can also add vanilla extract, a little marsala or limoncello for flavour.
Leave it plain, or you can top it with flaked almonds or coconut chips, or a little caster or granulated sugar before popping it into the oven for a toasted layer of crunch. Once cooled, dust it with icing sugar, finish with oven-dried citrus slices, or sugar syrup (1 cup sugar, ½ cup water, 1 tbsp orange juice or orange blossom water). Or if you need to keep things simple in your life right now, serve it hot or cool and slice it every time that kettle goes on.
Hands up who wants cake?
In a small-medium saucepan, bring two oranges to boil and cook for two hours. Strain and allow to cool before blitzing in a food processor or blender to create a puree. This step can be done ahead of time and you can always store it in an airtight container and in the fridge for a few days before baking this cake.
Preheat your oven to 160°C and grease or line a 23-cm baking tin.
Beat 6 eggs with 1 cup of caster sugar until combined, light and fluffy. Stir in orange puree, 2¼ cups of almond meal and 1 tsp of baking powder until combined. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 60-75 minutes, or until the top is golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Check it at 60 minutes and if it's golden and spongy it's ready to come out and if it needs a little longer in the middle, cover it with foil and stick it back in for 5 minutes or so.
Orange you glad we've got a cake to lean on?
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