top of page

Olive Oil Semolina Cake with Blood Orange Syrup

To celebrate citrus season here in Israel, Ben Gingi and I created a beautiful, easygoing loaf-cake recipe you’ll make again and again. Sumac makes it extra special, and olive makes it dairy-free. The interior is impossibly moist, and thanks to the semolina the exterior has the most alluring crunch. The hot-pink blood orange syrup we drizzled on top adds another layer of zing. Enjoy!


For the Cake:

1 cup olive oil

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Zest and juice of 2 large oranges

1 1/2 cups (195g) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups semolina

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon ground sumac

For the Syrup:

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup blood (or regular) orange juice

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted pistachios, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Generously  grease a standard loaf pan with oil. (If you like, line the bottom with parchment paper for easy cake extraction). In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until light and frothy. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil, then whisk in vanilla, sugar, salt and zest.

Mix in the flour, orange juice, semolina, baking powder and sumac until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is golden and hard to the touch, 45 minutes. Let cool. 

Make the orange syrup:

While the cake is baking, combine the sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to low and simmer until thickened, 5 minutes; cool.

Let the baked cake cool for 10 minutes; loosen the edges with a knife and remove to a wire rack. Use chopsticks to poke holes in the cake, drizzle some of the syrup over the cake, and garnish with pistachios. 

bottom of page