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Hi there,

It’s been an absolute age since I last featured a cake on the blog and I was planning to have this recipe up much sooner, but I wasn’t completely happy with my first attempt. And although there were still some issues with my second attempt I figured even though I’m planning to make this cake a third time to try an iron out the problems I’m not going to wait around any longer! dsc_0343



c2_dsc_0422The very fact that I’m planning to make this three times in as many weeks goes to show how much I like the flavours in this cake. I’ve never used semolina before and while I don’t enjoy the grainy/grittiness of polenta cakes I’m happy to report that the texture is completely different in this bake. I also like the fact that there is no flour in this recipe, instead the base is made up from ground almonds and semolina.dsc_0424


In terms of texture I’d say this was a slightly dense cake, but I’m not sure if this is how it should be, which is why I want to make it again. The recipe makes no allowance for fan ovens so the first time I made this cake I followed the timings and temperature to the letter, but it was slightly burnt on the top of the cake. For my second attempt I reduced the timings from 180°C to 170°C, but it didn’t bake through so I had to cook it longer than the required 35 minutes which seemed to result in a denser cake. dsc_0428


I don’t think this will ever be one of those light and airy fluffy cakes, but it’s still a great cake and a really good alternative to the usual lemon drizzle and Victoria sponge. I especially like the tangy cream cheese frosting that goes with this cake as it complements the flavours and textures, and in my opinion makes it more moist. c2_dsc_0425

dsc_0348I love the flavour of orange so I tweaked the frosting slightly by adding some marmalade, orange zest and orange juice to intensify the flavour. In addition to tweaking the orange flavours I was all set to turn this cake into a lime, almond and semolina cake, but as you can only get fresh lime juice I didn’t know if the flavour would be too sharp so that idea has been shelved until I can get this recipe right.




  • 150g semolina
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 200g soft butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 50ml orange juice
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 2 medium eggs
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3tbsp marmalade

Cream cheese frosting

  • 175g cream cheese
  • 25g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g icing sugar


  1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm springform cake tin with butter and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Combine the semolina, ground almonds and baking powder in a bowl, mix and set aside.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the marmalade, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Add the semolina and almond mixture, along with the orange zest, and fold in gently. Add the orange juice to give a soft dropping consistency.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and gently smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until the cake is golden brown. Leave in the tin to cool for five minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together. Sift in the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Use a palette knife to spread the frosting on the cake. Chill before serving to allow the frosting to set.

Suz x