This Moroccan Orange cake recipe is easy and quick. Soft, moist and full of orangey sweetness it is a perfect tea-time cake. And what I loved most was the beautiful aroma in the home as the cake was baking!
My fondest memory of our Morocco trip is the food. Moroccan food is made to be relished with all the five senses. On our first night there, even before we reached the Jemâa el-Fna square, the wind brought with it the fragrance of fresh oranges and then slowly as we turned the corner the eyes feasted on stands loaded with oranges. Soon we made our way towards them to quench our taste buds!
Did you know, Oranges are the largest citrus fruit crop in the world? The first Orange trees were grown in China (which many Moroccans refused to accept and insisted, they are the first!). I can’t claim any guarantees on that fact but I would say, Moroccans definitely have the best oranges I’ve had yet.
We stayed with a very lovely family in a small town called Imlil. Lahcen’s (our host) mother and grandmother lovingly welcomed me to their kitchen, shared recipes of their everyday tagines and desserts — the most popular being the orange cake. I ate so much orange cake during our 4 days there that as we were leaving, he actually gifted us some cake for our way back and his mom’s recipe. I found a similar recipe here as well by Bonnie G. She also mentions traditional Moroccan measures for all the ingredients, for example, one soup bowl of sugar and one tea glass of fresh orange juice!
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Moroccan Orange Cake
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 3 big fresh oranges
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup castor sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 180ºC. Grease and dust an 8” cake pan.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together eggs and sugar until well combined. Slowly mix in the oil.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the eggs and sugar mixture little by little. Add a third of the mixture, beat together until combined then add another third and so on.
- Zest the oranges directly on the cake mixture and then juice them. I just squeeze them really well with my hand. It makes for some of the pulp also to get into the cake batter which tastes great. Add vanilla extract and beat again on medium-high until the batter is smooth.
- Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for about an hour, until a toothpick (or cake tester) comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let the cake cool for about 15 mins.
- For a little spicy kick, add cinnamon powder to the batter. It will further enhance the sweetness of the oranges.
I love baking at home and initially, it was quite a daunting task as baking is not something I have grown up within my Indian home. We didn’t even have an oven at home. But now I really enjoy baking. Though I still do very simple cakes. Here are some of my all-time favourite basic cake recipes.
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