k  Sticky orange & almond cake  k

k  With figs and pistachios  k

This cake literally bursts with the delectable flavours of the Mediterranean:  oranges, almonds and scrumptious figs.

Gloriously citrus, dense and squidgy this cake is actually ridiculously easy to make,  there’s no creaming, no folding or whisking – just mix together the dry and wet ingredients and pour into a loaf tin and pop into the oven. Incidentally it happens to be gluten free as I’ve used ground almond and polenta in the place of flour. It is also dairy free as it contains olive oil and not butter.

Photo by Shirlie Kemp

The beauty of this cake IS its beauty…cascading with squidgy perfectly ripe figs, green flecks of pistachios and a drizzle of orangey goo.

Perfection on a plate.

Photo by Shirlie Kemp



Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed orange

100g raw cane sugar (or soft light brown sugar)

100ml honey (if possible raw set honey)

4 free range eggs

150g ground almonds

150g fine polenta

200ml light mild olive oil (extra virgin can be a bit overpowering)

Glaze & decoration

6 figs

Handful shelled pistachios

2 tablespoons honey

Juice & zest 1 orange


  1. Line the base of a loaf tin with baking parchment and grease its sides lightly with olive oil. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/ 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl combine the polenta with the ground almonds and orange zest
  3. Whisk together the eggs, honey, olive oil and the orange juice in another bowl.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until thoroughly combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased and lined tin and cook in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, until it looks golden
  6. While the cake is baking mix the orange juice from the second orange with the honey. When the cake comes out of the oven, leave it in the tin and poke a few holes in the top with a skewer. Pour over the ¾ of the syrup and allow to sink in. Leave to completely cool
  7. Now for the fun part, remove from the tin and transfer to a plate then scatter with the pistachios and the figs and the remaining honey drizzle (if you have any edible flowers to scatter over it will look extra delightful) and pour over the hot cake whilst still in the tin – leave for at least 10 minutes before removing the cake.
  8. Place the cake on a plate or a stand and decorate with remaining pistachios and orange zest.

Photo by Shirlie Kemp