Flourless Hazelnut and Orange Syrup Cake with Orange Syllabub

, from Issue #45. July, 2016
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Flourless Hazelnut and Orange Syrup Cake with Orange Syllabub

Claudia Rodin’s boiled orange cake recipe is famous around the world. I like to use a combination of hazelnuts and almonds with a dash of cardamom. Topped with glazed oranges in syrup and served with a bowl of orange syllabub, this turns an already fabulous cake into a stunning dessert.

Serves: 8–10


2 large oranges, washed
6 eggs
125 grams ground almonds 
125 grams hazelnuts, roasted, skins rubbed off, and finely ground
1 teaspoon baking powder
250 grams caster sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To serve
Glazed Oranges
Orange Syllabub (recipes below)
blue borage or other edible flowers to garnish

Glazed Oranges
1½ cups caster sugar
1½ cups water
3 oranges, two thinly sliced and the zest only from the third orange

Orange Syllabub
finely grated zest 1 orange
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sweet dessert wine
2 tablespoons caster sugar
300 ml cream


Grease a 24 cm cake tin and line the base with baking paper.  

Preheat the oven to 160˚C.

Put the whole oranges in a medium sized saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 1¼ hours, turning the oranges occasionally.

Remove from the water and cut into quarters. Cool and remove any pips.

Place the oranges in a food processor with all the remaining ingredients and blend well to make a thick batter.

Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 1¼ –1½ hours, covering the top loosely with a piece of foil if browning too fast. The cake should be firm to the touch and pulling away from the sides of the tin. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Cool completely in the tin before turning out. The well-covered undecorated cake will keep in the fridge for 4–5 days.

Decorate the cake with the glazed oranges and rind and serve the syrup separately along with the orange syllabub.  

Cook’s tip: Cooking time for the oranges seems to vary between 1–2 hours depending on their variety. I used New Zealand navel oranges and they had a shorter cooking time to become incredibly soft and were just starting to split. 

Glazed Oranges

Put the sugar and water in a medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Add the orange slices and the zest and simmer gently for 25 minutes or until the pith and rind on the oranges is translucent. Turn the orange slices occasionally and shake the saucepan so the syrup is evenly covering the oranges. Cool then transfer to a sealed container. The oranges will keep in their syrup for several weeks in the fridge. 

Orange Syllabub

Combine all the ingredients, except the cream, in a bowl, cover and leave for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Add the cream and whisk until soft peaks form.