Tag Archives: cake

Orange Almond Cake with Sesame Honey Layers

Orange Almond Cake with Sesame Honey Layers


One of the things I appreciate most in England is a national understanding that cake is for constant consumption, best enjoyed with tea. A surprise? Brits do not in fact sip their tea out of tiny little flowered teacups. They drink it out of mugs like the rest of the world.

Here’s my ideal cake. It’s light, fruity, and made mainly with almond flour (milled almonds) so that you can let go of calorie counting, close your eyes, and count the flavors: almonds, tahini, oranges, sesame seeds, coconut, vanilla, oh my!


2 c. almond flour (milled almonds)

1 cup organic flour

¾ c. fresh squeezed orange juice

½ tahini (unhulled sesame seed tahini preferred, it will have a darker color and undergoes less processing)

¼ c. virgin coconut oil (substitution for other oils is fine, but try coconut oil in your cakes once and you’ll be using it for all time. Just make sure you get the cold-pressed/virgin variety)

½ c. coconut palm sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. baking

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. salt


Mix dry ingredients together (almond flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda). Then add eggs, tahini, orange juice, orange peel, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Set aside batter and begin…

Candied Almonds and Sesame Seeds


1 ½ c. flaked almonds

1 c. sesame seeds (note, I used black sesame seeds for the amazing color. It locks like volcanic rock)

¼ c. virgin coconut oil

1 ½ tablespoons honey

pinch of salt, a few drops of vanilla extract

Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes (don’t let it burn, keep stirring)Image

Pour layer of nuts and seeds into a greased baking pan, then add a layer of cake batter, then another layer of candied nuts and seeds, then final layer of batter.Image

Place in over and bake at 175 degrees Celsius, or about 350 Fahrenheit, for between 25- 30 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with the Orange Honey Sauce

Orange Honey Sauce


½ c. orange juice

2 tablespoon honey

1 tsp virgin coconut oil

Cook on medium for about 7 minutes, goal is to see liquid orange and honey mixture begin to thicken, honey crystallize, and consistency become thicker. Notice that the smell will change from heavily orange to a honey candy smell


Winter Days in Oxfordshire


“Meanwhile,’ said Mr. Tumnus, ‘it is winter in Narnia, and has been for ever so long, and we shall both catch cold if we stand here talking in the snow. Daughter of Eve from the far land of Spare Oom where eternal summer reigns around the bright city of War Drobe, how would it be if you came and had tea with me?” – C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe

The snowing started last Wednesday and has not stopped.  When I wake up, all the roofs across from me are powdered like the gingerbread houses I made as a kid (cough, cough… still build every Christmas). On Friday, classes were canceled because of the weather, so I curled up with a book and watched the window for hours. It is days like these that must have inspired C.S. Lewis to write the Chronicles of Narnia. He was a student and then a teacher at Oxford once. Pulling my drapes open in the mornings, I feel like I’m stepping through the wardrobe in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and distancing myself from my old American world. Unfortunately fauns that look like James McAvoy have not appeared yet.

On winter days in old English college towns, the only thing there really is to do is drink tea and talk with friends. It sounds idyllic enough, but I thought to myself Sunday, “This experience would be improved by cake.”

I’ve noticed this is a common theme to my life.

So out into the snow I went, cheerfully blowing at snowflakes and thinking how lucky I was to be traipsing around in Oxford.  Then my heel hit ice and I slid, oh so gracefully, into a lump of American on the ground. Phone went off to the right, purse to the left, and dignity nowhere to be seen. My mistake was trying to walk. Clearly I should have rented some ice skates and glided off to the grocery store.

Flour, sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, oranges, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sesame seeds, coconut oil, tahini, almond flakes… two hours later there is a beautiful Turkish Orange Blossom cake… fours hours later there is no cake.

Today, having learned how little time cakes last with college students, I went out for my afternoon tea and cake instead. Now, when your friend asks, “Where do you want to go for afternoon tea?” the only answer is The Rose, known for its scones, clotted cream, and tiny tables. Except at The Rose, we are surprised to discover that all the tables are filled with Americans. And that our waitress is from Oklahoma.

But this is okay, because it is funny to find out how many of the ‘traditions’ are actually tourist traditions. Little by little, I hope I brush ‘the tourist feeling’ from my shoulders and begin to fit in… a little?  My voice always gives me away, and somehow I don’t think anyone would appreciate me faking a British accent.

always, sincerely, truly