Mary’s Cypriot Orange Semolina Cake Recipe

Mary’s aunt in Cyprus shared this recipe with her many years ago. Finding herself with more time at home, due to safe social spacing, Mary has been working through her recipe books bringing to life some of these buried treasures!

All photographs supplied by @candlesbynikoletta

Click here for “how to” on Instagram highlights.

Mary's Cypriot Orange Semolina Cake Recipe

A deliciously moist orange and semolina cake that can be enjoyed with or without syrup

Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Keyword greek desserts, orange semolina cake, semolina, semolina cake


For the syrup

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups water

For the cake

  • 2 whole oranges
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (use a little for greasing your baking pan)
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups fine semolina
  • 1 cup natural almonds, finely chopped
  • 3 tsp baking powder


Preparing the syrup

  1. Combine the sugar and water in a pot and bring them to a boil

  2. Reduce to a simmer for 7minutes

  3. Take the syrup off the heat and allow it to cool completely

Preparing the orange semolina cake

  1. Wash 2 oranges and boil them whole until they feel soft when poked with a fork

  2. Take the oranges and cut them into chunks. Remove any pips. Put the orange chunks into a blender and blend them until smooth

  3. In a bowl mix the oil and sugar

  4. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating each one before adding the next

  5. Add the semolina, almonds and baking powder and mix well

  6. Add the blended oranges to the bowl and mix well once more

  7. Pour into a greased round cake tin (20cm diameter)

  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes at 180°C fan-forced, or until skewer comes out clean

  9. Allow the cake to rest in the cake pan for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a cake platter

  10. Poke the top of the cake with a skewer, to create about 30 deep holes, so when the syrup is poured over the cake it is absorbed

  11. Pour cool syrup slowly over the hot cake and allow the syrup to sink in. Some will drip down the sides and be absorbed from the bottom too. You can judge how much of the syrup is needed (I only had a small amount of syrup left over)

  12. Scatter a little orange zest on top of the cake too

Serving the orange semolina cake

  1. Allow cake to cool before serving!

    Kali Orexi!

    ** Recipe video coming soon - see instagram highlights for how to video snippets **

Key Points

  • I use extra virgin olive oil for this cake when I make it and it is wonderful
  • I also make it without the syrup, and it serves so well!
  • It is important to use thin-skinned Navel oranges for this cake as they naturally  have less bitter pith in their skin

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