Middle Eastern Orange Almond cardamom Cake

My friend, Jena, made this cake for me out of her super sweet Genius Recipes Cookbook. We were fascinated by the process of boiling oranges for 2 hours- then using ENTIRE oranges in the recipe!  Extremely moist and puddinglike, this cake consists of the pulp of two oranges, ground almonds, sugar and eggs – and no flour. Baked in a hot oven, it will be done in just about an hour or so, longer if the orange pulp is extremely wet. This recipe is adapted from Middle Eastern cookbook author, Claudia Roden, who says, "These cakes, which are half pudding and half cakes, can never fail. If they are undercooked they make a fine dessert with cream. They are too moist to ever be over cooked or to dry up!"  It goes beautifully with coffee or tea and blueberries or peaches, and is the perfect thing to carry along on a picnic. 


  • 2 large oranges
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (1/2 lb) ground almonds
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1/2 lb) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • butter or oil, for the pan
  • flour or more ground almonds, for the pan


  • Large pot for boiling oranges
  • food processor or blender
  • cake pan
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • mixing bowl and spatula
  • knife and cutting board for cutting seeds out of oranges


  1. Wash the oranges and boil them, unpeeled, covered in water for 2 hours. Let cool, cut them open and take out the seeds. Puree the oranges in a food processor or blender.
  2. Preheat oven to 400.
  3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into a buttered and floured cake tin, with a removable base if possible. Sprinkle the cardamom evenly on top of the batter. 
  4. Bake for one hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Opening the oven door to check on the cake will have no harmful effect. Let cool in the tin before turning out.


Harley J and Grandpa Enjoying some cake this morning!