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Blood Orange Syrup Cake

Recipe | October 19, 2020

Photo by Erik Williamson

Chef notes

This cake isn’t just sweet, it’s spiced too, and the natural acidity of blood orange goes really well with the other flavours. There’s a delicious crunchiness to the crust, then adding the sweet and sour syrup flavoured with cardamom gives it a really interesting character. It’s a showstopper.

Time: 20 minutes, plus 2 hours 15 minutes cake resting, cooking and cooling.
Serves 10.


For the cake
125g (1 stick) butter, diced
175g (1 cup) brown sugar
1 egg
125g (½ cup) milk
45g (4 tbsp) desiccated coconut
150g (1 cup) plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black cardamom powder

For the blood orange syrup
15 black cardamom pods
150g (¾ cup) brown sugar
2 blood oranges, zest only *
350ml (1½ cups) blood orange juice *

To serve
Fresh cream



1. Using the beating attachment on a stand mixer, mix butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
2. Add egg and beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Slowly add milk, coconut, flour, bicarb, baking powder and fold through the mix. Dust in the salt and cardamom powder. Set aside on kitchen bench for 1 hour to rest.

Blood orange syrup

3. Toast cardamom pods for 1-2 minutes then place in a pot with the brown sugar, blood orange zest and blood orange juice. Bring to a boil and reduce by one third so you are left with approximately ¾ cup liquid. Set aside.

Cake cooking

4. Preheat oven to 180C (360F). Grease a rectangle brioche pan 30cm (12 in) approx. in length. Line with baking paper. Add the cake mix. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 160C (320F) and cook for a further 25 minutes, or until a skewer poked into centre of cake comes out clean. Take cake out of oven and pour syrup over it while it is still warm. Let it cool down in the cake tin for 20-30 minutes.
5. Carefully tip out of the cake tin and serve on a plate with some fresh Maleny cream.


  • If you can’t get blood oranges, you can substitute the blood orange zest for regular oranges, and substitute juice for 1 cup regular orange juice and ½ cup lemon juice.

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