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Mandarin and ginger syrup cake

It's the whole boiled mandarins that make this a go-to cake for the winter season.

By Emma Knowles
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 50 mins cooking plus cooling
  • Serves 6 - 8
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Manadrain and ginger syrup cake
This riff on Claudia Roden's Middle Eastern orange cake gets its gorgeous moist texture from boiled and puréed mandarins folded into the ginger-scented batter. It's beautiful served warm from the oven, but equally enjoyable for a couple of days.


  • 3 mandarins (about 95gm each), washed, unpeeled
  • 4 eggs
  • 270 gm caster sugar (1¼ cups)
  • 90 gm melted butter
  • 400 gm hazelnut meal
  • 75 gm plain flour (½ cup)
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • ⅓ tsp baking powder
Mandarin and ginger syrup
  • 220 gm caster sugar (1 cup)
  • 125 ml mandarin juice (½ cup)
  • 1 tbsp julienne ginger
  • 4 mandarins, peeled and thickly sliced crossways
  • Juice of ½ lemon


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 160C and butter and flour a 12cm x 20cm loaf tin (we used a fluted loaf tin). Place mandarins in a saucepan, cover with plenty of water, bring to the boil and cook until soft (20-25 minutes). Drain, cool and chop (discard seeds), then purée in a blender or food processor.
  • 2
    Whisk eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (3-4 minutes). Fold in mandarin purée and butter, then fold in hazelnut meal, flour, ginger, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Spoon into prepared tin, smooth top and bake until golden brown and a skewer inserted withdraws clean (1-1¼ hours). Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  • 3
    For mandarin and ginger syrup, combine sugar, mandarin juice and 125ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar, then add the ginger and simmer until translucent and a light syrup forms (6-8 minutes). Stir in mandarin slices and lemon juice, remove from heat and leave to cool.
  • 4
    Serve cake with mandarin and ginger syrup spooned on top. Cake will keep stored in an airtight container for 3 days.
  • undefined: Emma Knowles