Spicy Orange Cake Infused With Honey & Gin Syrup

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Christmas is just around the corner. Here is a recipe for Spicy Orange Cake Infused with Honey & Gin Syrup. This cake has everything you need this festive season – warm aroma of fresh oranges and ginger, a touch of cardamom spice, all soaked in luscious syrup with honey and gin. The dream!

Oh… and it is gluten free!


100g Polenta

220g Ground Almonds

1 tsp baking powder

3 medium eggs

140g Cane Sugar (or fine brown sugar)

120g Butter (I used salted)

50g Olive oil

2 Large Oranges (zest and juice) – I used Emperor Oranges.

5-10 cardamom pods (depending how strong you want your cardamom aroma and taste to come though)

1 ½ teaspoon ginger powder

2tbsp honey

5tbsp of Gin (I use Bombay Sapphire)


1. Preheat oven until 180C
2. Prepare your spring form tin: line bottom of spring form tin with parchment paper and then secure top. Grease the tin with oil. Sprinkle polenta, move the tin around for polenta to adhere to the greased surface and create a very thin layer.
3. Prepare cardamom & ginger spiced sugar: Smash cardamom pods with pestle to extract the seeds. Remove green shells, add ginger and 1tbsp of sugar. Grind mixture in a mortar with a pestle until fine powder. Don’t worry if you have bigger pieces of cardamom seeds left (separate those though sifter – important).
4. Mix together polenta, ground almonds, baking powder and spiced sugar in the bowl.
5. In a separate bowl cream butter, olive oil and sugar with a mixer; then add eggs (1 at a time) until mixture becomes silky and creamy. Mix in zest from 1 orange.
6. Using spatula or wooden spoon mix dry and wet ingredients until just combined. Don’t over mix!
7. Place mixture in the spring tin, spread to make an even layer.
8. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden and skewer comes out clean.
9. While cake is in the oven, prepare the syrup: add juice of 2 oranges, zest from 1 orange, honey and simmer in the sauce pan until reduced slightly. You can add a small piece of fresh ginger to infuse this further (optional).  Turn the heat off and add the Gin.
10. Remove the cake out of the oven and pierce holes with a wooden skewer throughout the surface.
11. Pour syrup slowly all over, letting the cake absorb it.

Decorate with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs. Maybe a touch of golden dust just because it’s such a magical time of the year 🙂


Jelena Iljuhhina, @TheFoodDNA

Jelena Iljuhhina

Jelena Iljuhhina is a pharmacist and nutritionist with a genuine passion for food and cooking. Her approach to nutrition focuses on finding the perfect balance – combining healthy habits with all the joys and colours of our lives. “Eat better, not less. Indulge in what you love, just do it the right way”

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