RECIPE: Orange, almond & blueberry cake

I’d originally planned to make this cake for Mother’s Day but after Mum, announced she’d given up sugar  for lent (she’s a bit mental) I had to postpone it to Easter.

I found the recipe in Fabulous magazine, but instantly substituted the raisins listed for blueberries and doubled the quantity. It’s not that I’ve got anything against raisins, I just liked the idea of blueberries better. I also doubled the amount of amaretto and glaze as well.

Despite the name of this blog, I’m not what you would call a natural baker.  I find it incredibly stressful, there are too many potential downfalls: Is it cooked in the middle? Will it rise? Will it stick to the tin? Have I greased the tin too much? Have I forgotten to add a vital ingredient? etc etc.  I only ever used to bake at my Mum’s, in part because she has a Kenwood stand mixer but mainly because I would have someone else to blame if it all went wrong.  It did cross my mind to pitch up at hers with the ingredients and insist she supervise me, but seeing as it was a belated Mother’s day gift and seeing as she bought me a KitchenAid for my (30th, sob) Birthday I thought it might be a little bit of a piss take.

It all turned out brilliantly in the end anyway,  with one of Mum’s friends describing it as “one of the nicest things she’d ever eaten”. I’m still basking in the glow of that little compliment now.


1 punnet of blueberries

100ml Amaretto

4 oranges

4 eggs

180g caster sugar

150g ground almonds

50ml of olive oil

150g plain flour

2tsp baking powder´╗┐

6 tbsp icing sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 180/350/gas mark 4.

  • Tip the blueberries and amaretto into a small pan and place on a low heat.  Bring to a simmer then remove from the heat and leave to stand for at least an hour, longer if you have it. I left mine overnight and they were infused and syrupy but still held their shape.


  • Put the whole oranges in a pan of water bring to the boil and then simmer.  The recipe said for 15 mins, but I disagree I think I simmered them for nearly an hour, basically until they were soft to the touch, and then leave them to cool.

  • Blend the oranges until they’re a pulp (like below)  You can use a standard blender* or a hand blender, whatever you’ve got really.  

*I used to have an amazing blender which I stored at a “friend’s” house while I was between places and she never gave it back.  If you’re reading this Natalie Wileman, GIVE ME MY BLENDER BACK IT COST SEVENTY QUID.

  • In a bowl/KitchenAid/food processor/whatever you’ve got whisk the eggs until light and fluffy, then whisk in the sugar.

  • Stir in the almonds, blitzed orange and olive oil.

  • Sieve in the flour and baking powder and fold into the mixture.

  • Stir in 3/4 of the amaretto blueberries then pour the mixture into a lightly greased 24″ cake tin.

  • Scatter the remaining blueberries over the top, then bake in the oven for 50-60 mins until thoroughly cooked and golden on top. (Mine may have been a bit on the darker side of golden but as previously stated, I have a morbid fear of under-cooking cakes.  It was still delicious though)

  • Squeeze the juice from the remaining two oranges into a small pan. Add the icing sugar and stir over a low heat until dissolved. (This was double what the recipe specified but I like a lot of glaze)

  • Using a skewer pierce the cake in several places then pour over the orange glaze and leave to cool.


1 Comment

  1. April 17, 2012 / 4:58 pm

    I love making cakes too (well eating them) but have all the same stressful feelings about whether there gonna cook properly too.

    This looks very delish, you might have to give MT the recipe for me!

    Sarah x

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