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Hazelnut and blood orange syrup cake

Posted on Aug 9, 2012 by in Recipes, Sweet | 7 comments

Hazelnut and blood orange syrup cake

It feels a bit weird when I have an idea in mind but can’t find a recipe for it. One hand I am excited a the prospect of doing something new; on the other I am nervous about having to create my own recipe from scratch.

I have been wanting to make some sort of hazelnut and orange cake for some time now. I thought blood oranges would make a nice syrup due to their lovely colouring, so I settled on a syrup cake.

Actually getting some sort of recipe for guidance was a bit of a pain though. There are plenty of recipes for almond-based cakes, could I substitute all the almonds for hazelnuts? And what about the syrup? Blood oranges are smaller than oranges, so how many do I need? How much orange flavour needs to go in the actual cake? How much sugar does the cake need if it’s going to be soaked with more sugar? Aah!

Eventually I managed to botch together some rough quantities using about 50 million other recipes as a guide.

For the cake:

  • 200g hazelnuts (or substitute bought hazelnut meal)
  • 40g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 blood orange
  • 3 eggs

Dry roast the hazelnuts for 20 minutes at 180 until they are golden brown. Rub hazelnuts in a clean tea towel to remove the skins. Grind into a meal.

Zest and juice the orange. Add to the eggs and sugar and beat until creamy. Fold in the hazelnut meal, flour and baking powder until just combined.

Bake for 20 minutes at 180.

Stand in tin for 5 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on a rack.

For the syrup:

  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 3 blood oranges
  • 1 lime

Combine the juices of the oranges and lime with the sugar in a small saucepan. Boil until sugar is dissolved and syrup has thickened slightly.

When I made this I was kind of guessing the quantities and I used about 2/3 cup of sugar which was waaaaay too sweet. I ended up  chucking in a lime in to balance it out a bit. The lime added a lovely twist to it though so I would definitely use it again, even with less sugar in the syrup.

Poke holes all over the cake with a skewer and spoon over the syrup.

The flavour of the cake was good but the hazelnuts were a bit mealy. Next time I would probably go half and half with almonds. You may also notice that in the below picture there are candied strips of zest on top of the cake for decoration. These were a bit bitter for my liking so next time I might do without. It’s definitely a recipe that needs work, but it wasn’t bad for a first shot! (Also I think I need to get a smaller cake tin. Nearly every cake I make out turns out really wide and thin and kind of sad looking). In short, get ready for hazelnut and orange cake v 2.0 :)


  1. Love blood orange! Oh and if you like to bake in smaller quantities like I do, you could get a mini loaf pan so your cakes won’t be so thin. 😀

  2. Oh that sounds delicious. If you do try it with the modifications I might just have to give it a go :)

  3. That looks really good. You are right, it stumps me when I have to substitute items and I’m not sure what to do. So looking forward to one day attempting your 2.0 :)

    • Thanks. I love how blood oranges have that interesting aroma: at first they taste like oranges, but then they have that extra dimension of flavour!


  1. Hazelnut and blood orange syrup cake v2.0 - [...] months ago I attempted to make a hazelnut and blood orange syrup cake and as I was unable to find…

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