Orange, Cardamom and Almond Cake


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Secret of Spice: Recipes and ideas to help you live longer, look younger and feel your very best

The Secret of Spice

By Tonia Buxton

Published 2019

  • About

When I bake this cake, the kitchen fills with the warming smell of cardamom. I serve it on its own or with Greek yogurt that I have mixed with icing sugar and rosewater to make it even more aromatic.


  • zest and juice of 2 large oranges
  • 250 g dried pitted dates, chopped
  • 200 g butter, softened
  • 150 g light muscovado sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 250 g spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • seeds from 10 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 50 g pistachio nuts, bashed
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 small orange, finely sliced, to decorate
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 140°C/275°F/Gas Mark 1. Line the base of a 21cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking paper.

Set aside 2 tbsp of the orange juice and a little of the zest, then place the rest in a small saucepan with the dates and heat for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Using an electric whisk, beat the butter and light muscovado sugar together in a bowl for 3 minutes until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding 1 tbsp of the flour to stop it from curdling. Fold in the remaining flour, the baking powder, cardamom seeds, ground almonds, pistachios and a pinch of salt.

Stir in the cooled dates and juice mixture, then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Level the surface and decoratively lay the orange slices on the surface of the cake mixture. Bake for 1 hour 50 minutes-2 hours or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cover with foil if the top of the cake is browning too much during cooking. Allow to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack.

When the cake has cooled completely, mix the reserved orange juice and zest and the icing sugar together to make an icing. Drizzle over the cake and serve.