Semolina Lemon Cake with Blood Orange Compote

This semolina cake is one of the simplest and best I have ever made. It literally is just done by mixing everything together and putting it into the oven. Thanks to the almonds and the semolina, and yes, of course a not so little amount of butter, this cake is extra moist and mellow. As it was done so quickly, I felt the need to add a little extra twist by adding the lemon icing and the blood orange compote.

 Lately I have been having these really strong cravings for blood oranges and as they are in season right now I bought a whole basketful. I learned, they contain anthocyanins, which not only gives the oranges their beautiful vibrant colour, but also happens to be an antioxidant, so Yay! Just the right thing on a frosty winter day such as this.

If you are in a hurry you can easily skip the compote and just do the cake with the lemon icing. It'll already be enough to convince you to make this recipe more often, I am sure. But it does give the cake and extra kick. ;-)


Semolina Cake

  • 225g soft butter
  • 120g muscovado sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 230g white spelt flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g semolina
  • 150ml milk
  • juice of 4 lemons and 1tsp lemon zest

Lemon Icing

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 200g icing sugar

Blood Orange Compote

  • 4-5 blood oranges
  • 4tbsp sugar
  • 1tbsp water
  • 1tbsp maple syrup
  • 1-2tbsp Cointreau, or any other liquor of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


Semolina Cake

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C top/bottom heat. Mix together the flour, baking powder, vanilla, almonds and semolina. 

2. Mix the butter with the sugar using an electric whisk until creamy and fluffy. 

3. Add one egg at a time, continue to whisk. 

4. Now alternately add the flour-mix and the milk until all is fully incorporated and there are no lumps. 

5. Zest one lemon, then juice the lemons. Add the lemon zest and juice to the batter. 

6. Butter a bread or cake tin and sprinkle on some semolina or flour. Pour in the batter. Bake for 55-60min. until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Lemon Icing

1. In the meantime sieve the icing sugar and mix with half the juice of 1 lemon. If too thick add a little more lemon juice or water. 

Blood Orange Compote

1. Juice 1 blood orange. Peel and cut the remaining oranges into filets. You can do this by cutting the peel off with a sharp knife. Then, holding the orange over a bowl to collect the juice, cut out the individual filets between the segments. 

2. Put the sugar, water and maple syrup into small saucepan and place on medium heat. Do not stir, just wait for the sugar to dissolve and caramelise. This will take about 3min. 

3. When the caramel has a golden brown colour take off the heat. Add the Cointreau, orange juice, vanilla and cinnamon. 

4. Bring to a boil on medium heat until the caramel reaches the desired consistency, a little pasty and not too fluid. Then add the orange filets and let sit for a couple of minutes to cool down.