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

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 thoughts on “A Cake To Take Visiting – Orange, Almond and Raisin Cake

    1. 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


  1. 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!

    1. 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…

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

  3. 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

    1. 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?!

  4. 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?

    1. 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!

  5. 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?

    1. 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!

  6. 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)

    1. 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!

  7. 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.

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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.

  9. 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

    1. 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.

  10. 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?

    1. 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!

  11. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

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

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

    1. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

    1. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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! 😉

      1. 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 😉

      2. 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 🙂

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