Orange, fennel and pine nut cake with orange sinrose mary syrup

The combination of sweet orange cake and fragrant fennel works perfectly together to create a flavour-packed dessert, perfect for people who don't have a massive sweet-tooth.

  • 35 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 10 mins cooking
  • Serves 20
  • Print


Orange, fennel and pine nut cake
  • 1 cup (160g) pine nuts
  • 500 gram butter, softened
  • 2 cup (440g) caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoon finely grated orange rind
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 3 cup (480g) fine semolina
  • 2 cup (240g) ground almonds
  • 1 cup (200g) plain flour
  • 4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup (375g) greek-style yoghurt, plus extra, to serve
  • 6 oranges (1.4kg), peeled, sliced crossways
Rosemary syrup
  • 2 cup (440g) caster sugar
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 1 cup (250ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 orange (240g), rind removed, cut into long thin strips
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs


Orange, fennel and pine nut cake with oranges in rosemary syrup
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease two 22cm springform pans. Line base and sides with three layers of baking paper.
  • 2
    Place half the pine nuts in a small frying pan, stir continuously over medium heat, for 2 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan, cool slightly; pulse in a food processor until finely chopped.
  • 3
    Beat butter, sugar and rind in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add rosemary, fennel seeds and chopped pine nuts.
  • 4
    Fold in combined sifted semolina, ground almonds, flour and baking powder alternately with juice and yoghurt. Divide mixture evenly between pans, smooth the surface. Scatter remaining pine nuts over mixture; press lightly into batter.
  • 5
    Bake cakes 1 hour, swapping pans after 40 minutes, or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • 6
    Meanwhile, make rosemary syrup: Stir sugar, the water, juice, rind and rosemary in a medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly.
  • 7
    Pour cup (160ml) rosemary syrup over orange slices in a medium bowl. Cover; refrigerate until required. Pour remaining hot syrup over hot cakes. Cool cakes in pan.
  • 8
    Serve cakes with oranges in rosemary syrup and extra yoghurt.


The cake can be made up to 2 days ahead and will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days. You will need about 8 oranges for this recipe.

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