Sephardic Recipes With A Modern Twist

Sephardic Spice Girls

Orange Semolina Cake

Orange Semolina Cake

Orange Semolina Cake

1 cup fine semolina flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
½ cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 sticks softened butter or vegan butter
1 ¼ cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature

For the syrup
3/4 cup orange juice
Zest of 2 oranges, finely grated
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange blossom water

For decoration
1 cup Greek yogurt or coconut milk yogurt
(non-dairy option)
¼ cup sugar
Candied oranges or toasted pistachios

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Line the bottom of an 8 inch springform pan with parchment paper, then grease the sides with oil spray.
  • In a medium bowl, place the semolina, flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.
  • In a small bowl, combine the orange juice and vanilla, then set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until very creamy and pale white.
  • On the low setting, add half the flour and half the orange juice, mix until just combined.
  • Add the remaining flour and orange juice. Do not over beat.
  • Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.
  • Place on a cooling rack.
  • Prepare the syrup by combining the orange juice, orange zest, sugar and orange blossom water in a small sauce pan.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir well, then lower heat and simmer until the syrup begins to thicken.
  • Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool.
  • Once the cake has cooled, poke holes in the top of the cake with a toothpick.
  • Pour syrup over the cake.
    Wrap cake tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Just before serving, beat the yogurt with the sugar and pour over the cake.
  • Decorate with pistachios, or fresh candied orange slices.

Candied orange slices
2 oranges, washed and dried
1/4 cup sugar
Fresh rosemary, optional

  • Slice oranges into thin rounds and remove any pits.
  • Place in a pan with ¼ cup of sugar and rosemary.
  • Simmer until sugar becomes syrupy and orange slices have released their juice.
  • Set aside to cool.

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