Julia Turshen’s Afternoon Cake [96]

Julia Turshen's Afternoon Cake

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Almond Orange Cake

Adapted from “Small Victories” by Julia Turshen, pg229 “Afternoon Cake” (Book Review here)

As suggested in the spin-off, I replace vanilla extract with almond extract since I am using ground almonds. I have halved the recipe, so I use a 6-inch cake tin and the cake takes 25 minutes to bake.

Verdict: This simple, rich with ground almond, fragrant with orange cake is light and moist, suitable for a light afternoon tea break. I find the sweetness just right, so I did not dust it with powdered sugar.


  • 1 cup (120g) plain flour
  • 1/2 cup (50g) ground nuts (I used almonds)
  • 1+1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla/almond extract
  • zest of 1 orange/lemon
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) orange/lemon juice
  • powdered sugar for dusting (I omitted)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C, since my oven is with force-fan mode, I normally reduce the heat by 20C.
  2. Butter the side and bottom of a 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with baking paper. This will help your baked cake fall easily out of the pan, especially so for dense, fudge-like cakes.
  3. Whisk flour, ground nuts, baking powder and salt together in a mixing bowl.
  4. In another mixing bowl, add whisked eggs, olive oil and sugar. Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add in the extract, orange juice and zest, mix well.
  5. Whisk in the flour mixture. Do not overmix as too much air mixed into a batter can result in a fallen cake.
  6. Fill the cake pan, lightly tap the cake pan on the counter before placing them into the oven. Tapping the pan will remove any errant air bubbles that may have gotten trapped in the batter, especially important with thick batters. Getting out the air bubbles now ensures your cake will not fall later.
  7. Bake until the cake is golden brown, about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Let the cake cool completely in the pan. This allows the cake to finish baking from within and acclimate itself to room temperature. Then turn it out onto a plate and peel off the baking paper. Invert the cake onto a serving plate.  You can dust the cake with powdered sugar before serving.

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