Orange & Olive Oil Syrup Cake with Cardamom


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes:

    1 x 22 cm


Appears in

Easy Vegan

Easy Vegan

By Sue Quinn

Published 2015

  • About

Fragrant, dense and doused in syrup, this is wonderful either warm or cold. If you don’t want to add the orange slices on top, feel free to omit that step.

PREPARATION: 15 minutes
COOKING: 50 minutes, plus 1 hour for simmering the orange slices


  • 100 ml ( fl oz) mild olive oil, plus extra for oiling
  • 3 oranges
  • 425 g (15 oz) caster (superfine) sugar, plus 3 tablespoons extra for the syrup
  • about 100 ml ( fl oz) non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 20 cardamom pods
  • 225 g (8 oz/ cups) self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt


Heat the oven to 170°C (325°F/Gas 3). Lightly oil a 22 cm ( inch) loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base with baking paper.

Finely slice 1 orange, skin on. Put 200 g (7 oz) of the sugar in a pan, add 200 ml (7 fl oz) water and stir to dissolve. Add the orange slices and simmer gently for about 1 hour, or until the skins are translucent. Remove from the syrup with a slotted spoon and arrange neatly in the base of the prepared tin.

Meanwhile, peel and chop 1 of the oranges and blitz the flesh to a pulp in a blender. Pour into a measuring jug, add all of the oil and enough of the milk to make 300 ml (10½ fl oz) of liquid. Add the vanilla.

Crush the cardamom pods in a mortar or bash with a rolling pin. Remove the seeds and crush to a powder. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, remaining sugar and half the ground cardamom. Finely grate the zest of the remaining orange and add to the bowl, reserving the rest of the orange to juice later. Add the oil mixture and stir. Pour the batter over the orange slices in the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

While the cake is cooking, squeeze the reserved orange, pour the juice into a pan and add the 3 tablespoons sugar, 100 ml ( fl oz) water and the remaining ground cardamom. Simmer until reduced to a syrup.

When the cake is cooked, poke deep holes in the top with a chopstick. Pour over the syrup, getting as much into the holes as possible. Spoon any syrup that pools around the edges back over the cake. Let the cake stand for 5 minutes before inverting onto a plate. Remove from the tin and carefully peel off the paper to reveal the lovely orange slices. Enjoy warm or cold.