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So, you need a great cake and it needs to be dessert as well?

Do you find that a bit of a challenge?

Let me present this Orange Syrup cake with Mascarpone cream. This cake ticks all the boxes. It’s luscious without being overly rich. It’s a celebration cake without being overly complicated. And it’s got to be good for you, right? I mean, look at all that fruit!

Slice of Orange Syrup cake topped with orange segments, strawberries, figs and pistachios

Let’s celebrate with cake

Birthday cakes have always been important in my family and I have always loved making them. In my cookbook cupboard (or cupboards!) I have lots of birthday cake books. When my children were small they would flip through the birthday cake books choosing for their next birthday. And no sooner had that birthday had come and gone, they would be looking for the next birthday. Without a doubt, this would be the scenario in many homes. Cake is a celebration and for every celebration there should be cake.

Top of Orange Syrup cake topped with orange segments, strawberries, figs and pistachios

Syrup cakes

As soon as you soak a cake in syrup you know it’s going to be moist. That’s what is so wonderful about syrup cakes and this Orange Syrup cake is no different. Since I made my first syrup cake many years ago I have been hooked. It was an Australian Women’s Weekly recipe for a Lemon Loaf cake which I made many times. Most syrup cakes use a flavoured sugar syrup but the honey in this recipe adds an extra element of deliciousness.

Top of Orange Syrup cake topped with orange segments, strawberries, figs and pistachios

About this Orange Syrup cake recipe

This Orange Syrup cake is so simple. The original recipe is in this lovely cookbook by Donal  Skehan, Home Cooked which uses cardamom and rosewater. My version is a little different especially with the topping of Mascarpone cream and beautiful fruit.

There is not a lot that can go wrong. Firstly, be sure to use super fresh oranges since oranges are the major player here in this recipe. As with most cakes, have all ingredients at room temperature. And although the mixture may look as though it has curdled when you add the eggs, don’t worry, all will be well. Be a little careful when you add the dry ingredients only mixing until just combined. I like to use a mixer but you can add the dry ingredients and combine by hand.  As a bonus, this Orange Syrup cake is by nature gluten free if you use gluten free baking powder.


Slice of Orange Syrup cake topped with orange segments, strawberries, figs and pistachios

 Making it beautful

Once the cake has soaked in some syrup and is cool, generously top with mascarpone cream and colourful, seasonal fruit and begin the celebrations. This Orange Syrup cake with Mascarpone cream is bound to bring you accolades. Take a photo of your Orange Syrup cake with Mascarpone cream and tag #marcellinaincucina on Istagram.

Marcellina xx

Orange Syrup Cake

A moist syrup cake fragrant with orange and almond. The mascarpone cream topping is luscious and turns a simple cake into a celebration. 

Course: Dessert
Author: Adapted from Orange Polenta cake by Donal Skehan
  • 225 g (8oz) almond meal
  • 100 g (3 1/2 oz) polenta
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder gluten free, if you need it to be
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 225 g (8oz) caster sugar
  • 225 g (8oz) unsalted butter softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • finely grated zest of 3 large oranges
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice of 2 large oranges
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp orangeflower water
To decorate
  • Mascarpone Cream from Pumpkin Scones recipe
  • Fruit as desired I used orange segments, strawberries and figs
  • Pistachio nuts to sprinkle
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease a 20cm/8in springform pan and line the base with non stick baking paper.
  2. In a bowl mix together almond meal, polenta, baking powder and cinnamon making sure the almond meal is not clumped
  3. Using an electric mixer beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
  4. Beat in the orange zest and vanilla .
  5. On low speed add the almond meal mixture and mix until just combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.
  8. Prepare the syrup by placing all the ingredients in a small saucepan over a medium heat and bringing to a steady simmer.
  9. Prick the cake all over with a skewer while it is cooling and pour over half the syrup, a little at a time, until the cake has soaked it up.
  10. Once cooled remove cake from pan and onto a serving plate.
  11. Top generously with Mascarpone cream and decorate with fruit and chopped pistachios.
  12. Serve each slice with a drizzle of remaining syrup.
Recipe Notes
  • use any seasonal fruit to decorate try pomegranate arils, ruby red, poached quinces or even an assortment of citrus
  • Mascarpone recipe link here

Orange Syrup Cake with Mascarpone cream

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