Marmalade Coconut Semolina Cake

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Deliciously moist Marmalade Coconut Semolina Cake.

This marmalade coconut semolina cake is one of the reasons Yotam Ottolenghi and I are best friends.

Ok, he does not know that we are best friends. But I know that if he knows that I know that we are best friends, we would be best friends. For now though, his cooks books and I are tight.

Marmalade coconut adn semolina cake @ Recipes From A Pantry

There are two parts to making this popular Middle Eastern cake. The cake itself and the soaking syrup. Feel free to make it exactly as it appears in Jerusalem. However I absolutely love it without adding the syrup. That way I get to eat this as a breakfast bread, or with soups, yoghurt or even salads. And simply as a cake with some tea. See what combination works for you (that’s the fun part).

If you want more semolina recipes then why not try this Semolina Cake.

OH and the kiddoes have promised (with just a teeny weeny bit of hinting from me) to make me this cake for my next quarter birthday, half birthday and main birthday. Lucky, lucky me.


Don't forget to tag #recipesfromapantry on Instagram or Twitter if you try Marmalade Coconut Semolina Cake! It is really, really awesome for me when you make one of my recipes and I'd love to see it. You can also share it on my Facebook page. Please pin this recipe to Pinterest too! Thank you for reading Recipes from a Pantry.

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5 from 4 votes

Marmalade Coconut Semolina Cake

A flavourful marmalade, coconut and semolina cake.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 474kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy


For the cake:

  • 160 ml (2/3 cup) sunflower oil
  • 250 ml (1 cup) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 160 g (6oz) orange marmalade
  • 4 eggs
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 70 g (2.5oz) caster sugar
  • 70 g (2.5oz) desiccated coconut
  • 90 g (3.2oz) all purpose flour
  • 180 g (6.4oz) semolina (fine or coarse, up to you)
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Soaking syrup:

  • 200 g (7oz) sugar
  • 140 ml (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) water
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water

To serve:

  • Yoghurt


  • Preheat oven to fan 160 C / 180 C / 350 F / gas 4.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, orange juice, marmalade, eggs and orange zest until the marmalade dissolves.
  • In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients and add them to the wet. Combine everything together into a runny batter.
  • Grease 2 loaf tins and line them with greaseproof baking paper. Split the batter evenly between the tins and bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • This is where I stop as the cake is perfect for me but I will continue with the recipe from Jerusalem.
  • Near the end of baking time, bring the syrup ingredients to boil in a small saucepan and set aside.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven start brushing the syrup them with the syrup until as much syrup as you want has been absorbed.
  • Let the cakes cool and remove them from the tins and serve with some Greek yoghurt.
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Slightly adapted from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. This was baked in UK measurements and converted to USA measurements.


Calories: 474kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 262mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Vitamin C: 13.4mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1.9mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. Your semolina cake looks delicious Bintu. Light and airy with just the right amount of sweetness.

  2. A glass of milk is calling my name for this cake. I would probably end up eating this late at night, for sure…

  3. Oh I so have to start having quarter and half birthdays! This cake looks great, I’m so looking forward to seeing Ottolenghi at the weekend. GG

  4. You can’t possibly be best friends with Ottolenghi, Bintu, because I am (he doesn’t know that either, though). This cake sounds just incredible with all that lovely orange flavour in (and the almond meal). With the syrup it reminds me of a very popular cake in Greece, but I think I agree with you; I would try it without the syrup first!

  5. Wow this cake looks delightful and a huge step up from Basbousa which is the semolina cake I used to eat in Egypt – although I was very fond of it. Love the addition of marmalade and you ARE going to be meeting the great writer himself very soon. Enjoy.