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Sicilian Orange Honey Cake

Sicilian Orange Honey Cake

Sicilian Orange Honey Cake

The traditional, and ever-delicious orange cake from Sicily is sweetened with honey to create a rustic and fragrant dessert.

Steeped in the rich culinary tradition of the sun-kissed Mediterranean island of Sicily, the Sicilian Orange Cake is an exemplar of simplicity meeting deliciousness. This delightful confectionery’s history is as tangy as the regional citrus fruit it relies on. While exact dates of origin remain elusive, the Sicilian predilection for citrus, which was introduced around 800 AD by Arab invaders, lends credence to the cake’s historical roots.

Sicilian Orange Cake is not about ostentation but rather, it is a paean to the fruit’s natural tang and sweetness. Made with a base of local oranges, butter, sugar, and flour, it’s the fresh-squeezed juice and zest that infuse the cake with its characteristic flavor and moist texture. Traditional Sicilian bakers often accentuate the orange essence further with a drizzling of orange syrup post-baking, imbuing each slice with an amplified citrusy zing.

In Sicily, this dessert isn’t confined to a specific time of the day or event. It’s an ever-present offering, enjoyed with an espresso at breakfast, a sweet afternoon pick-me-up, or as a dessert following a hearty meal. The Sicilian Orange Cake – a heartwarming testament to the island’s citrus heritage, its love for uncomplicated elegance, and the beauty of simplicity in food.

See Also

In this cake, we’re using honey to make the traditional recipe even more luscious, while at the same time offering a more healthy sweetening.


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Sicilian Orange Honey Cake

Sicilian Orange Honey Cake

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Honest Cooking
  • Total Time: 50 minutes


The traditional, and ever-present orange cake from Sicily is sweetened with honey to create a rustic and fragrant dessert.


Units Scale
  • 3 large organic eggs
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons honey orange (or lemon honey or acacia honey)
  • zest and juice of an untreated orange (about 5 tbsp)
  • 75 ml – 3 fl oz mild extra virgin olive oil
  • 300 g11 oz brown rice flour (or Kamut flour or other unrefined flours)
  • 15 g – 1/2oz organic baking powder
  • A dusting of powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas 4).
  2. Whip whole eggs with a pinch of salt. Add honey, oil, zest and orange juice.
  3. Add flour and baking powder, stirring just enough to blend the ingredients.
  4. Pour the dough into a greased and floured cake pan (or replaced with baking paper).
  5. Bake for about 35 minutes or until done.
  6. Let cool, and dust with powdered sugar.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Baking, Dessert, Dolci
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Sicilian
View Comments (9)
  • Made this delicious Sicilian Orange Cake – lovely texture – the whole family enjoyed it on this summers day!
    Thank you.

  • I want to make sure I’m understanding the measurements — is it 2 cups flour and 1 T baking powder? (I wasn’t sure if it was 2 cups, 11 ounces flour…? And 1/4 cup of baking powder seemed like a lot!) Thank you! I look forward to trying this recipe!

  • Hi! I assume the Eggs should be at Room Temperature, but can you confirm? Also Should the Eggs be whipped just until combined ?

  • Hello Kalle — can you please be more specific in the amount of orange juice that goes into the cake? You say one orange, but dependent on the size of the fruit, this could mean a few tablespoons of juice or as much as 2/3 cup. Also, what size cake pan do you recommend … I am guessing 8-inch? This looks like a great gluten-free cake — thanks so much!

  • I’ve bee making this cake in an IKEA 365+ glass container for years since I first stumbled across this recipe in 2020 as a grad student holed abroad during lockdown & it has been amazing every time.
    I have always used packaged orange juice, other fruit juice or ripe strawberries instead of the untreated orange, baking soda instead of baking powder & plain flour. I’ve even added dark chocolate chunks sometimes when I was bored. Amazing dense & filling healthy cake.

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