Orange carrot and olive oil cake

Many of you will know that I have a problem: I can’t stop buying Jewish themed cookery books. I have soooo many. I know that many of the recipes are more or less repeated but I just love them. I love reading the stories behind the recipes. I love the fact that I don’t have to dodge foods or food combinations I can’t eat. I don’t always expect them to wow me, because they invariably comfort me and mostly that is enough. But when one does truly inspire it is such a delight, and one such book is ‘Warm Bagels and  Apple Strudel‘ by Ruth Joseph and Simon Round. It has so many recipes in it that I actually want to make, which are unique (such as Sephardi hot spiced fish) and every recipe I have tried so far has turned out really well.

But my favourite recipe has got to be for this orange, carrot and olive oil cake. I have made it at least 5 times already. It is so moist (so much so that I have tinkered with the original recipe as I found it too moist) and fragrant, whilst managing to be light and (somewhat) healthy. The original recipe includes a recipe for glaze, which I don’t think is necessary so I have omitted it, and I have tinkered with the quantities of some ingredients slightly. I normally don’t top the cake at all, but for the end of Yom Kippur fast meal I wanted to ‘decorate’ the cake a little, hence the chocolate (which incidentally was a good combination, so you could easily make a chocolate glaze for this cake).

This cake is a perfect accompaniment to the types of food  I like to cook best, with Sephardi/Middle Eastern flavours. It’s always nice to find a cake which is naturally pareve and the best part? It just doesn’t dry out: it stays fresh for days, if you manage to keep it around for that long!

Orange carrot and olive oil cake


  • 160g plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 7 heaped tablespoons ground nuts (I used almonds)
  • 2 eggs
  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • 180ml light olive oil
  • 180ml orange juice
  • zest of 1 1/2 oranges
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 300g carrots, peeled and finely grated


  1. preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a deep cake tin, 23 cms in diameter
  2. mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground nuts and salt in a large mixing bowl
  3. beat the eggs with the sugar in a separate bowl using a handheld mixer
  4. make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the olive oil, orange juice, orange zest, lemon juice and vanilla
  5. add the egg and sugar mixture and quickly mix to a smooth batter
  6. finally, fold in the grated carrots
  7. spoon into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean
  8. let the cake cool in the tin for about 20 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

orange cake

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