Roasted hazelnut and orange blossom cake

I think we’ve spent enough time making up for the sins of the summer holidays. Can we all agree that’s it time, once again, to enjoy sweet treats with our cup of tea? It’s become cold all of a sudden and the trees are turning and I think we can officially say goodbye to summer. But I’m not sad, it’s been a long, hot summer and I’m ready for a change. Despite the fact that this cake was supposed to be a National Trust spring time celebration of the new rose garden at Cliveden, it’s a robust recipe that can be varied to your whim to carry you through the long, dark winter. I personally don’t like rose as a flavour in baking, so I replaced the rose water of the original recipe with orange blossom water.

This cake is light, moist and textured with the crunch of the roasted hazelnut pieces. It does use a lot of butter and eggs, and so while it is rich calorically speaking, it is not too rich to enjoy in large quantities  – which is rather unfortunate really. I have made this cake many times successfully, it’s not a temperamental recipe and you can count on it for visitors and bake sales. Remember to mix the nuts in with the dry ingredients so that the pieces don’t all sink to the bottom.


Hazelnut and Orange blossom Cake Recipe


150g hazelnuts
225g butter (softened)
225g caster sugar
3 large eggs
Juice of 1 lemon
4 tsp orange blossom water
1 tsp baking powder
125g self-rising flour

Oven 150C


Lightly toast the hazelnuts in the oven until golden brown. Allow them to cool before finely chopping/putting them in a food processor. Leave some bigger pieces.
Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl before adding the eggs one at a time.
Add the lemon juice and rose water to the mixture and combine.
In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder, flour, chopped hazelnuts and a pinch of salt. (Keep 2 tsp of chopped hazelnuts a side for decoration later on)
Blend all the ingredients together.
Transfer the mixture to a prepared tin and level the top.
Bake at 150C for about 40-50 minutes.
Once cool, decorate with a dusting of icing sugar and the reserved hazelnuts.