Whole orange semolina cake with rosemary syrup

Fragrant and delicious.

  • 5 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 40 mins cooking
  • Serves 12
  • Print
The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it is incredibly moist. It also looks stunning and is a real treat for dessert or even a decadent afternoon tea.
Looking for more citrus desserts?


Whole orange semolina cake with rosemary syrup
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • 1 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Rosemary syrup
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 125 millilitre water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon orange-flavoured liqueur
  • 2 (x 8cm) sprigs fresh rosemary


Whole orange semolina cake with rosemary syrup
  • 1
    Place unpeeled oranges in a medium saucepan over high heat, cover with cold water; bring to the boil. Boil covered, 1 ½ hours or until oranges are tender; drain. Cool.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a deep 22cm (9-inch) round cake pan; line base and side with baking paper.
  • 3
    Trim and discard ends from oranges. Halve oranges; discard seeds. Process orange, including rind, with baking powder until mixture is pulpy. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • 4
    Process eggs and sugar for 5 minutes or until thick and creamy. Stir egg mixture into orange mixture. Fold in semolina, ground almonds and rosemary. Spread mixture into pan.
  • 5
    Bake cake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand cake in pan for 45 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto a cake plate.
Rosemary syrup
  • 6
    Remove rind from one orange with a zester, into thin strips. Using a vegetable peeler, peel a long continuous strip of rind from remaining orange.
  • 7
    Place sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan over low heat; stir, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Add long strip of rind, bring to the boil; boil for 5 minutes or until syrup thickens.
  • 8
    Remove from heat; stir in liqueur, rosemary and thin strips of rind.
  • 9
    Spoon hot syrup over warm cake. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.


If you don't have a zester, simply peel the rind into wide strips with a vegetable peeler, then cut them into thin strips. You could vary the flavourings in the syrup by adding either a cinnamon stick or a split vanilla bean instead of rosemary.

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