Fennel-spiced semolina cake with yogurt

Fennel’s aromatic spice is paired with orange and lemon peel in this easy-to-prepare cake that’s perfect for tea-time

Prep 0 h : 15 m
Cook 0 h : 35 m


  • 220g softened butter

    200g caster sugar

    Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange

    4 eggs

    2 tsp baking powder

    200g fine semolina

    150g almond meal

    100g finely chopped roasted almonds, plus extra to serve

    125ml (½ cup) buttermilk

    3 tsp roasted fennel seeds, ground

    Finely grated orange rind, to serve

    Sweetened yogurt

    300g thick natural yogurt

    100g pure icing sugar, sifted

    Lemon syrup

    3 pieces of lemon rind, removed with a peeler

    80g caster sugar


  • For sweetened yogurt, place yoghurt in a muslin-lined sieve over a bowl and refrigerate overnight to drain.

    Discard liquid.

    Combine with sugar until smooth and refrigerate until needed.

    Preheat oven to 170°C.

    Butter a 22cm cake tin and line with baking paper.

    Beat butter, sugar and citrus rinds in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (8-10 minutes).

    Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add baking powder, semolina, almond meal, almonds, citrus juice, buttermilk, fennel seed and a pinch of salt and mix to just combine.

    Spoon into tin and bake until cake is golden and a skewer inserted withdraws clean (35 minutes).

    For lemon syrup, combine ingredients with 80ml water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.

    Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

    Pierce cake all over with a skewer, then drizzle with syrup and set aside to cool (1-2 hours).

    Scatter cake with extra nuts and orange rind and serve with sweet yogurt.