Almond, Semolina and Blood Orange Syrup Cakes

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This sweetness in this simple cake can be controlled through the syrup which is poured on top

I had some delicious blood oranges left over from this Vanilla Yoghurt Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Jelly, and came across this recipe for almond, semolina and blood orange syrup cakes by Donna Hay. I bought her book, Modern Cooking a while ago but have not had many opportunities to bake from it.

When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it! It is really simple to put together and looks super pretty thanks to the blood orange slice on the top. The blood orange syrup and dusting of icing sugar also enhances the look of this otherwise, ordinary cake.

In fact, these cakes remind me a bit of my blood orange and almond tea cakes, but are less fussy as the slices go on top of the cake and the risk of them sticking to the tin is minimal. This cake however, has semolina included in them, which add a different texture to the cake. The olive oil also amplifies the fruitiness of the citrus and the syrup added after baking allows you to control the level of sweetness of the cake.

This recipe has been adapted from Modern Baking by Donna Hay.


How do I grease my muffin tins? In general, if you are not lining a tin, it is useful to make a cake release of equal parts butter, oil and flour. Mix these together and lightly brush the inside of the muffin tin. Do not brush it thickly as the residue will stick to the cooked cake.

What happens if I cannot find blood oranges? If you cannot find blood oranges, navel or cara cara oranges work just as well.

If you make this recipe, please share it with me by tagging me on Instagram @adventureswithsugar or on Facebook at Adventures with Sugar. Please also leave a comment below to let me know how you got on with the recipe.


  • 3 large eggs
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 250g greek yogurt
  • 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange rind
  • 160g fine semolina
  • 40g cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 2 blood oranges, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Make a cake release with 60g each of butter, oil and flour and brush the inside of 12 jumbo muffin tins.
  2. Place the eggs and caster sugar in the bowl of a mixer and whisk on high speed for about 5 minutes until doubled in volume and thick. Add the olive oil, yoghurt, vanilla, orange rind, semolina, flour, baking powder and almond meal and fold to combine.
  3. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins. Top with a blood orange slice and sprinkle with a bit of caster sugar.
  4. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  5. Allow the cakes to cool slightly in the tins for 10 minutes, before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.


  • 125ml blood orange juice
  • 25ml water
  • 200g caster sugar
  • icing sugar, for dusting


  1. Place the sugar, water and blood orange juice in a pot over high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until reduced and syrupy.
  2. Spoon the blood orange syrup over the cakes and dust with icing sugar to serve.

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