Semolina, coconut and marmalade cakes

 Semolina, coconut and marmalade mini cakes.

I could not resist this recipe when I came across it – the title alone has me dreaming of soft cake drenched in sticky citrus deliciousness. It is adapted from a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi from their book Jerusalem. I also happen to have an excess of marmalade in my fridge and adore anything with coconut in it so this one had my name written all over it!

Loaf of marmalade cake.
Semolina, coconut and marmalade cakes dusted with icing sugar.
I decided to play around and split the mixture to make some mini cakes as well as a small loaf cake. Both versions worked out well. These marmalade cakes look very simple and unassuming but have a gorgeous citrus flavour and a lovely stickiness thanks to the soaking syrup. The semolina adds a little something to the texture which you should be prepared for, but overall I loved this recipe and would make it again.
 Icing snow storm over cakes.
Loaf of marmalade cake with soaking syrup.
Cook’s notes – I used 60ml silicone moulds to bake the mini cakes. If you do not have these simply bake the batter in two small loaf tins or one large one. Bake the small loaves for 45-55 minutes and the large loaf tin for a bit longer.
Tower of mini marmalade cakes.



  • Servings: Makes 20 mini cakes OR 1 large loaf/2 small loaves
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For the cakes:

  • 180ml sunflower oil
  • 240ml fresh orange juice
  • 160g smooth / fine cut orange marmalade
  • 4 large eggs
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 70g castor sugar
  • 70g desiccated coconut
  • 90g flour
  • 180g semolina
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder

For the soaking syrup:

  • 200g castor sugar
  • 70ml water
  • 70ml fresh orange juice
  • Greek yoghurt to serve (optional)

1.) Preheat your oven to 180°C. If using loaf tins, grease these and line them with baking paper.

2.) Place the sunflower oil, orange juice, marmalade, eggs and orange zest in a bowl. Whisk until combined. Mix the castor sugar, coconut, flour, semolina, almonds and baking powder in a separate bowl. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix to combine. The batter will be runny.

3.) Pour the cake mixture into the silicone moulds. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

4.) Prepare the soaking syrup during the last few minutes of baking time. Combine the castor sugar, water and orange juice in a small saucepan. Stir over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar. Bring the syrup to the boil then remove from the heat.

5.) As soon as the cakes come out of the oven use a pastry brush to brush them with the hot soaking syrup. Continue to brush them until all of the syrup has been used. Allow the cakes to cool slightly before removing from the moulds.

Serving suggestion – serve the cakes as is, or with a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt.

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