A Cake To Take Visiting – Orange, Almond and Raisin Cake

9 Apr

Wrapped Up and Ready to Travel!

Customs vary immensely the world over, but some are the same regardless of where you are. When visiting friends for a meal, a little gift is customary. If it´s home made, so much the better, especially if it´s edible.

My mum passed a recipe on to me when I was last in London. She thought it would appeal because the finished cake is not too sweet (she knows I don´t have a hugely sweet tooth), uses oil instead of butter (so much easier here where butter is rarely used) and contains ingredients which are local to Andalucía – oranges, almonds and raisins. Perfect, all I needed was a chance to make it.

Easter weekend was a mix of quiet and hectic for us. Saturday found us heading across the “frontier” from Málaga province to Granada, to a remote area to join some friends in their Cortijo for lunch and a walk.  More of the walk another day as I got rather carried away taking photos.

The cake was made the night before and was a huge hit. It´s very moist and is a cross between a cake and a dessert and would also be perfect served with whipped cream, crème fraîche or ice cream.


  • 150g raisins soaked in 50ml of amaretto (warm the amaretto and leave the raisins in soak for at least an hour) If you don´t want to use alchohol, a delicate tea would also be perfect for soaking.
  • 2 oranges (as bitter as you can find)
  • 4 eggs
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 150g ground almonds (I left mine quite coarse, it´s up to you how fine you grind them, this cake the cake a nutty texture and a rougher look on the top)
  • 150g self raising flour (or plain flour with 2 tsp baking powder)
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 2 tsp icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4 and line a 24cm springform tin.

Place the whole oranges in a saucepan of water and ensure they are covered. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes or until tender. Blitz 1½ oranges until finely chopped, reserve.  Squeeze the juice from the remaining half orange then set the juice aside.

Whisk the eggs until light and fluffy then whisk in the sugar.  Fold in the almonds and olive oil then sieve in the flour then fold in.  Gently stir in the pulped oranges and half the raisins and pour the mixture into the tin, spooning the remaining raisins over the top of the cake.

Bake for about 60 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven but keep in the tin. Place the juice of half the orange and the icing sugar in a pan and dissolve the sugar.  Pierce the cake all over with a skewer and pour the orange syrup over.  Leave in the tin to cool then remove and enjoy.

PS. I think this would also be great made with polenta!


84 Responses to “A Cake To Take Visiting – Orange, Almond and Raisin Cake”

  1. Piglet in Portugal April 9, 2012 at 18:31 #

    oooh I like the look of this! I’ve started my dairy free regime again and using Olive oil is perfect. Any luck with the cups measurements 😉

    • Chica Andaluza April 9, 2012 at 20:14 #

      This would be perfect for dairy free. Glad you reminded me about the cup measurements. So, I have them in my hand and they are 1 cup – 235ml 2 thirds of a cup – 150ml Half a cup – 120ml Quarter Cup – 60ml 1 Tablespoon – 15ml 1 Teaspoon – 5ml Half a teaspoon – 2.5ml Quarter teaspoon – 1.25ml

      Hope this helps! You might also want to check out Mandy´s brilliant post on conversions


  2. Mad Dog April 9, 2012 at 18:35 #

    That’s a beautiful looking cake – I bet it tastes just as good too 😉

    • Chica Andaluza April 9, 2012 at 20:53 #

      It was really lovely (she says modestly) but as I´m not really a cake person, it´s high praise for a recipe!

  3. chaiselongue1 April 9, 2012 at 18:36 #

    It looks delicious and with those ingredients it must be! I prefer making cakes with olive oil now and hardly every use butter. Much healthier and better flavour. I’m looking forward to seeing your walk pictures too!

    • Chica Andaluza April 9, 2012 at 20:54 #

      Yes, I´ve converted too. There are a few things I still use butter for (shortbread for example) but I have kind of got over my cravings for it! Photos of the walk to follow soon…

  4. chefconnie April 9, 2012 at 18:54 #

    This is a custom that I love to follow. Not many people do now a days. I always bring a treat or some canned food.

    • Chica Andaluza April 9, 2012 at 20:56 #

      I think it´s a lovely custom and we all get to try each other´s creations too!

  5. Caroline April 9, 2012 at 19:58 #

    Love that this recipe calls for oil instead of butter. I’ll have to try that sometime. Such a unique cake, it sounds delicious!

    • Chica Andaluza April 9, 2012 at 21:00 #

      Bet yours would be a stunner! It really was moist and sticky and gorgeous!

  6. ceciliag April 9, 2012 at 20:45 #

    I am having a real THING about orange in baking at the mo, and oranges and then adding raisins soaked in alcohol .. ell it just makes this a great cake to try! I love making things you have to start the night before.. i call it love food!! c

    • Chica Andaluza April 9, 2012 at 21:01 #

      Oranges and raisins (and of course alcohol) are made for each other. And Love Food..I think that´s great, does that include the chick peas I just put in to soak?!

  7. ChgoJohn April 9, 2012 at 23:14 #

    That cake sounds and looks great, Tanya. Thoughtful of your Mum to pass along a recipe seemingly tailor-made for your locale. That syrup probably makes all the difference in the world, eh? Not having baked with polenta, would you use it in place of the flour or use a combination of the two?

    • Chica Andaluza April 10, 2012 at 13:55 #

      My clever old mum! The polenta could be used instead of the flour or the almonds but my inclination would be to add together the weights of the flour and almonds, then divide into three and do a third each of flour, almonds and polenta otherwise it could be quite heavy. Will have a little experiment as I have already had a request from Big Man to make this again SOON!

  8. dotdos April 10, 2012 at 00:50 #

    Tiene una pinta realmente fantástica!

  9. DianeT April 10, 2012 at 01:16 #

    A perfect cake recipe. I don’t bake any where near the amount I used to when I had kids to feed. So now my ideal is something that is quick and simple.
    Orange and raisin – yum. Any way I could fit some chocolate in there?

    • Chica Andaluza April 10, 2012 at 14:33 #

      Ooh – I think a few choc chips would feel quite at home in this cake! I too don´t bake cakes that often – when there are two of you at home you either end up scoffing the lot yourselves (bad) or giving it to neighbours!

  10. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide April 10, 2012 at 01:39 #

    Quit trying to make me a raisin convert by soaking those buggers in alcohol. I’m onto you lady!

    • Chica Andaluza April 10, 2012 at 14:33 #

      Sorry Greg. I did think of putting okra in instead, but not sure that would work so well 😉

  11. Christina April 10, 2012 at 03:46 #

    You had me at amaretto soaked raisins! Delicious! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza April 10, 2012 at 14:34 #

      Yes, it was a good start to the recipe! Think it would make nice little mini cakes or squares too 🙂

  12. Garden Correspondent April 10, 2012 at 07:27 #

    I bet you’ll be invited back in a jiffy after that cake! My mother used to make a similar cake when I was little but back then I turned my nose up at it- not sweet enough. Now I think it’s time to give it another try! (plus the amaretto soaked raisins pretty much brought me to my knees)

    • Chica Andaluza April 10, 2012 at 14:35 #

      I do hope so! Actually, thinking about it my mum made a similar cake too (without the raisins and booze) and it seemed dull to me back then (no butter icing involved)…how our tastes change!

  13. delicio8 April 10, 2012 at 07:52 #

    Any recipe that uses oranges is great for me! I love the syrup you pour over at the end, I bet it makes the cake. I agree with the idea of polenta with this, it just sounds like it would go well.

    • Chica Andaluza April 10, 2012 at 14:36 #

      The syrup was great – it made it extra moist and sticky! I am now feeling inspired to try it with the polenta…will have to have a little play with the recipe.

  14. Florence April 10, 2012 at 09:45 #

    Hi T, The cakes looks delicious. A cake baked in a spanish oven!! 🙂 Impressive.
    Regards Florence x

    • Chica Andaluza April 10, 2012 at 14:37 #

      Yes, you know the trials and tribulations of baking with a gas bombona! Luckily it was a new one, so fairly reliable and I also now have an oven thermometer which has made life easier.

  15. Tandy April 10, 2012 at 12:00 #

    and I think I will try it with cranberries instead of raisins 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza April 10, 2012 at 14:38 #

      Ooh yes, now that would be good! Or dried apricots…now you´ve got me thinking 🙂

  16. thecompletecookbook April 10, 2012 at 12:13 #

    I have put the kettle on!
    🙂 Mandy

  17. gardenfreshtomatoes April 10, 2012 at 13:31 #

    Ok, question: Are we blitzing the oranges skin and all? This sounds SO moist and delicious, I really need to try it!

    • Chica Andaluza April 10, 2012 at 13:52 #

      Yes, maybe I need to go back and make that clearer! Sorry 😦 It really was so good (and easy)…

  18. hotlyspiced April 10, 2012 at 14:17 #

    What a great cake! I make an orange and almond cake but it doesn’t have raisins. But I think the next time I make it I will add raisins. They will be a great addition I am sure xx

    • Chica Andaluza April 10, 2012 at 14:39 #

      I think there are some raisin lovers and some raisin haters out there 😉 I think you know which camp I fall into!

  19. Food,Photography & France April 10, 2012 at 15:17 #

    Love the Amaretto hit, but bitter oranges are hard to find here. Oddly enough, when they do arrive it seems to be earlier in the year.

    • Chica Andaluza April 10, 2012 at 15:33 #

      Here too – usually February, but we were given some which I think were inadvertently bitter…I think the owner of the tree had hoped they would be good for juicing, but they were great for this cake! Even sweet ones will have a sour taste as when you blitz them it´s with the pith too.

  20. zestybeandog April 10, 2012 at 15:43 #

    Looks so good, what a tasty treat!

  21. foodblogandthedog April 10, 2012 at 15:51 #

    Wow that looks so moist! I love the addition of raisins too, something a bit different especially soaked in Amaretto, this has all my favourire flavours, I’m going to have to try it. Do you think it would work with just ground almonds and no flour?

    • Chica Andaluza April 10, 2012 at 16:12 #

      I think it would work – maybe a little baking powder to lighten it up? Let me know if you do try it this way, would be good to know!

  22. The Spain Scoop - Regina April 10, 2012 at 16:05 #

    This looks really easy to make. What if your partner hates raisins?

    • Chica Andaluza April 10, 2012 at 16:14 #

      Aha- lots of choices. Eat it all yourself with the raisins Leave them out entirely (it would still taste amazing) Substitute – someone has already suggested cranberries and I thought maybe dried apricots, another person wanted chocolate!

  23. bitsandbreadcrumbs April 10, 2012 at 17:30 #

    What a fantastic sounding cake, and for sure soaking the raisins in amaretto would convert even the hardest core raisin hater! I love the idea of the polenta and the texture it would impart. Not so sweet desserts are truly my weakness since my palette is inclined more towards savory, and this seems perfectly balanced and a real winner, Tanya!

    • Chica Andaluza April 10, 2012 at 18:42 #

      I don´t seem to have converted Greg…yet! Like you, I am not a fan of overly sweet desserts but something like this with a nice strong coffee hits the right notes! Thanks for your lovely words 🙂

  24. Karen April 10, 2012 at 22:07 #

    Moist and sticky, oranges, raisins, almonds and amaretto. Your description of this cake sounds fantastic. I love a simple cake like that.

    • Chica Andaluza April 11, 2012 at 08:31 #

      Thanks Karen, I´m so pleased people have been as enthusiastic about it as I was!

  25. PendleStitches April 10, 2012 at 22:24 #

    Oh my! And perfect for my friend who needs to cut back on dairy. And for me, who just loves cake! 😉

    • Chica Andaluza April 11, 2012 at 08:32 #

      Yay – and then you could sit down together with a big pot of coffee and put the world to rights!

      • PendleStitches April 11, 2012 at 13:46 #

        Indeed! Perfect!

  26. Just A Smidgen April 11, 2012 at 05:53 #

    So… if I invite you over.. you will bring me one of these? You’re invited!! Ooops.. ok, maybe you could just mail one to me:) (begging, begging)! I love this kind of cake!! xo Smidge

    • Chica Andaluza April 11, 2012 at 08:31 #

      I definitely think it would have to be hand delivered 😉

  27. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise April 11, 2012 at 06:47 #

    I keep seeing cakes with olive oil and I always tell myself I must make one. I think this is the one! I love the idea of pureed oranges and almonds and I can only imagine how good this tastes

    • Chica Andaluza April 11, 2012 at 08:32 #

      It would certainly be made of ingredients that are typical of many of your dishes, so I think you would enjoy it Sawsan!

  28. rsmacaalay April 11, 2012 at 08:38 #

    That cake looks so moist!

  29. Jane's sew & tell April 11, 2012 at 09:04 #

    That sounds lovely!

  30. sportsglutton April 11, 2012 at 18:27 #

    Raisins soaked in amaretto…you can’t go wrong with that. Sounds delish!

  31. Charles April 12, 2012 at 00:47 #

    LOVE the colour in this cake – how awesome is that? It reminds me a lot of a Swedish cake made with rice and saffron actually, with the raisins peeking out of the top it has a similar look and colour to it.

    • Chica Andaluza April 12, 2012 at 10:12 #

      It is a wonderful colour – a combination of the very yellow yolks from our own eggs and the orange pulp and skin from our neighbour´s oranges! That Swedish cake sounds very good too – I love that we have such diverse dishes in different countries but with a common theme running through.

  32. Michi April 12, 2012 at 12:49 #

    Qué rico! I can’t wait to be able to bake again. Lease is almost up! Definitely keeping my eyes open for places with ovens – I really want to give that awesome rainbow birthday cake of yours a try!

    • Chica Andaluza April 12, 2012 at 15:10 #

      Hope you do find somewhere lovely and with a perfect oven for all that baking you are planning 🙂

  33. andmorefood April 12, 2012 at 23:46 #

    I have to study for exams now and I’d really rather be baking – this looks so good!

    • Chica Andaluza April 13, 2012 at 08:33 #

      Ooh, that´s a tough call. Study or bake?! But I am sure the studying will pay off!

  34. spree April 16, 2012 at 17:55 #

    Ahhh there’s the awaited olive oil cake with raisins you told me about! looks fabulous!! i love the idea of adding polenta as well, and the amaretto oh my. your mum’s passed down a winner! beautiful!

    • Chica Andaluza April 16, 2012 at 18:35 #

      Thanks Spree. It was a big hit, and even me (not a huge cake eater) loved it and Big Man has asked that I make it again soon! Hope all is going well with you and your lovely family!

  35. katyarich April 17, 2012 at 18:02 #

    UHMMMM… yummy, yummy!

    • Chica Andaluza April 17, 2012 at 18:49 #

      Thanks Katya – it one I´ll cetainly be making again!

      • katyarich April 18, 2012 at 16:09 #

        I’ll probably try to make your recipe also !

  36. The Seas Of Mintaka August 29, 2012 at 17:01 #

    This is such a great idea, I am going to use this the next time someone invites me. It is so easy to make, since it doesn’t require exotic ingredients that are difficult to find here.

    • Chica Andaluza August 30, 2012 at 11:04 #

      This is definitely a cake using local Andalucian ingredients and was fabulous tasting!

  37. narf77 December 5, 2014 at 19:33 #

    Ok so how did I miss THIS baby?! Could it be…could it possibly be…that there was a time when I didn’t know you Ms Chica? Sort of a BC for narfs?! Cheers for this gorgeous simple recipe, full of fruit and promise. I needs me a nutty sweet chunk of gorgeousness soon as I am, like Mr F Mercury once sang “going slightly mad”! 😉

    Sorry about the Mercedes Benz ad prior to the main event…Get the Big Man to buy you one and you can go slightly mad AND slightly fast at the same time! 😉

    • Chica Andaluza December 7, 2014 at 19:18 #

      Ha ha – I think this was a while ago when I was doing battle with my gas oven in Spain. It was a truly good cake and I love this song J

      • narf77 December 7, 2014 at 19:52 #

        I just finished my most challenging Christmas gift project for Madeline my eldest daughter last night at 11pm. I swore I wasn’t going to be till I finished it and I did! I slept the sleep of the just 😉

      • Chica Andaluza December 7, 2014 at 19:53 #

        Am looking forward as much as Madeline, I think, to seeing it!

      • narf77 December 7, 2014 at 20:01 #

        So far I have managed to avoid her ferreting. Hopefully she has NO idea of what she is about to receive and even more hopefully, she likes it 🙂

      • Chica Andaluza December 7, 2014 at 21:55 #

        I am sooo sure she’ll love it J


  1. A Walk on the Wild Side « Chica Andaluza - April 11, 2012

    […] finally a walk back to the Cortijo for coffee and cake.  Sometimes the simple things in life are just what you […]

  2. Cranberry, Orange and Raisin Cake | Chica Andaluza - December 5, 2014

    […] For another olive oil cake recipe, take a look at my orange and raisin cake. […]

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