Citrus Semolina Cake

We are once again preparing to leave for Umbria where we stay six months each year. In the weeks before our departure, I am busy trying to plan meals around what is in our freezer and pantry. I had a bag of cranberries in the freezer leftover from Thanksgiving that I decided to use in this rustic cake.

In this recipe, semolina flour and ground almonds are combined giving the cake a really nice texture, and the citrus combined with the cranberries give the cake a nice slightly tart flavor. Once the cake has baked, a warm syrup is brushed over the cake adding additional flavor as well as keeping the cake nice and moist.

This cake will keep well wrapped in the refrigerator for up to five days and a small slice was lovely enjoyed with my morning cappuccino. In place of the cranberries, you could also use raspberries or blueberries.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Citrus Semolina Cake

Citrus Semolina Cake

Yield: Serves 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 2 Oranges
  • 3 Lemons
  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter At Room Temperature
  • 2 1/4 Cups Sugar, Divided
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 5 Large Eggs At Room Temperature
  • 2 Cups Semolina Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Ground Almonds
  • 1/4 Cup Orange Liqueur
  • 1 1/2 Cups Fresh Cranberries (Or Other Berries - See Notes Above)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 2 liter Bundt pan with baking spray.
  3. Finely zest 1 of the oranges and 2 of the lemons.
  4. In one bowl, using an electric hand mixer at medium speed, beat together the butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar, the zest, and vanilla until well blended.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.
  6. Add the semolina, baking powder, and almonds, and mix gently to combine.
  7. Stir in the cranberries.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, and bake for about 1 hour or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. While the cake is baking, zest the remaining orange and lemon.
  10. Squeeze the juice from the fruit, and place the zest, juice, remaining sugar, and orange liqueur in a small pot.
  11. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  12. Continue to cook over medium low heat until reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.
  13. When the cake has finished baking, take a thin bamboo skewer and poke holes the top and sides of the cake.
  14. Spoon the warm sauce over the cake.
  15. Cool to room temperature, slice and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

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    1. In general, it doesn’t work to substitute one cup of oil for one cup of butter. Usually the substitution is usually closer to 3/4 cup of oil for one cup of butter. Having never tried it in this recipe, I cannot say if it will work or not.

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