Mandarin syrup cake

This is an incredibly clever syrup cake — it’s gluten free, dairy free and has no added fat (no oil or butter), yet is as moist and delicious as cakes get.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Mandarin Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 10
Calories 234 kcal
Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly



  • 330-370 g mandarins 3-6 whole mandarins, depending on size
  • 200 g ground almonds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 mandarin juice
  • 1 lime juice

To serve

  • natural unsweetened greek yoghurt or crème fraîche optional


  • Place whole mandarins in a large saucepan and cover with plenty of cold water. Cover with a lid and boil gently for about 1 hour (this softens the fruit and also gets rid of some of the bitter taste from the skins). Drain and allow mandarins to cool slightly.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C/355 Fahrenheit. Grease and line a 21cm round springform cake tin with baking paper.
  • Remove the stem of the mandarins, then cut in half and remove any pips. Place fruit (skin, pith, flesh and all) in a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. Add all other cake ingredients and blitz until well combined.
  • Pour into prepared cake tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cover cake with tinfoil halfway through cooking time to avoid the top browning too much.
  • Remove cake from oven and leave in the tin while you make the syrup.
  • Mix sugar, mandarin and lime juice together and pour over cake while warm. Allow cake to cool slightly before removing from tin.

Serve warm or cold with greek yoghurt or crème fraîche.


    I love this syrup cake! It uses whole fruit boiled until soft and then you blitz it up (skin, pith and all), which gives the cake an amazingly intense mandarin flavour and beautifully moist texture. This cake is perfect for an afternoon treat, birthday cake and is even loved by kids. It keeps well for up to a week in the fridge, can be frozen, and is nice eaten warm or cold. Serve with some unsweetened yoghurt or creme fraiche for extra deliciousness. This recipe is from my second book, Good Food Cook Book which you can purchase here on my site under ‘buy cookbooks’.