, How to Video, Step by step

Moroccan orange cake

A delicious, light, and zesty cake that's easy to bake and perfect for an afternoon treat.

Mark Stower, Director of Food and Service

Preparation Time: 15 mins

Cooking Time: 30 mins

Serves: 4


  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 170°C or gas mark 3.

  • Step 2

    Beat together the eggs, orange zest and sugar in a large bowl until thickened.

  • Step 3

    Add the olive oil and the fresh orange juice and mix well.

  • Step 4

    Mix together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and add it to the egg and sugar mixture. Add the chocolate and mix well until smooth and fully incorporated.

  • Step 5

    Lightly grease and flour the inside of 4 x 10cm cake tins. Pour the cake mixture into individual cake tins and bake for approx. 30 minutes.

  • Step 6

    Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the tins.

  • Step 7

    In a bowl, add the icing sugar and zest of 1 orange.

  • Step 8

    Add the juice from ½ an orange and mix well.

  • Step 9

    Using a teaspoon, evenly drizzle the icing over each cake.

  • Step 10

    Decorate with rose petals and serve.


This lovely light cake uses three ingredients traditionally grown in Morocco – oranges, olive oil and the spice saffron.

Oranges have been grown in Morocco since Roman occupation when the Berber people purchased the fruit from the Romans and planted citrus groves around Volubilis – a Romano-Berber city in the fertile north of the country. Since then, citrus cultivation has been an important aspect of agriculture in Morocco. The country is now the fourth largest exporter of citrus fruits in the world.

Morocco is also one of the biggest exporters of olives and olive oil. Again, olives have been cultivated there since ancient times but for much longer than oranges, with evidence that olive growing pre-dates the Roman occupation and that of the Phoenicians before them.

Saffron – referred to as ‘red gold’ in ancient times because it was so valuable – has also been cultivated in Morocco for over 2000 years. The saffron threads are the dried stigmas of the Crocus sativus flower. It is still the most expensive spice as its production is so labour intensive – about 6,000 flowers and 12 hours harvesting make only 30g of saffron!

Olive oil is one of the best oils to use in cooking. It’s really versatile, good for frying and for dressings and, as in this recipe, making a great and arguably healthier alternative to butter in cakes because it is rich in beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids.

Although oranges and olive oil are both healthy ingredients, the oranges in this delicious treat don’t count towards your 5 A Day. Normally one orange or a 150ml glass of orange juice would count as one portion.