Spelt Semolina, coconut + marmalade cake – Ottolenghi recipe

Spelt Semolina, coconut + marmalade cake – Ottolenghi recipe

Moist Spelt flour semolina, coconut and marmalade cake is from Ottolenghi's Jerusalem cookbook. I have wanted to bake this for a long time but have struggled to buy orange blossom water, however, I decided to adapt and bake this without. I have substituted for extra fresh orange juice and included my favourite Spelt flour. This cake is amazing. Simple to make and worthy of trying it. These cakes improve with time if wrapped well and will keep moist for at least a week. Wrap with foil or parchment paper. Makes 2 x 500g loaf cakes or 1 larger loaf cake.


  • Sunflower or Vegie Oil – 180ml
  • Orange juice – 240ml
  • Fine Cut Orange Marmalade – 160g
  • Medium Eggs – 4
  • Grated zest of  orange – 1
  • Caster Sugar – 70g
  • Desiccated Coconut – 70g
  • Spelt or plain flour – 90g
  • Semolina – 180g
  • Ground Almonds – 2 tbsp
  • Baking powder – 2 tsp

Soaking Syrup

  • Caster Sugar – 200g
  • Water – 140ml
  • Orange blossom water* or orange juice – 1 tbsp

*I found it difficult to buy orange blossom water in the UK during 2020 so I swapped out for more orange juice and it was still delicious.


  1. PREHEAT oven 180˚C/ 160˚C Fan.
  2. GREASE and line two 500g loaf tins with greaseproof paper or 1 kg loaf tin.
  3. WHISK together oil, orange juice, eggs, marmalade and orange zest until the marmalade is dissolved.
  4. MIX in a separate large bowl all the dry ingredients.
  5. ADD dry ingredients into the wet, mix until well combined – the mix will be runny.
  6. POUR mix into 1 or 2 pans.
  7. BAKE for 45–60mins. My large 1 kg cake cooked a little too well at 45mins, so I will check at 40 mins with a skewer to be sure.
  8. AFTER 30 mins start preparing the syrup. Melt sugar into water and add the juice or blossom water into a small saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer until all the sugar has dissolved.
  9. BRUSH the syrup on the cake once removed from the oven (still in the pan) allow for the syrup to seep into the cake between brushing. Poke some holes into the top with a skewer  to help this absorb. I rushed and pour it on, but it eventually seeped in, I waited then kept brushing until there was no visible syrup.
  10. COOL for 20-30 minutes then remove the cake from the tin.
  11. SERVE with ice cream or yoghurt once completely cooled. I prefer a slice plain with coffee or a cuppa.