Mini Semolina, Coconut, and Marmalade Cakes + Jerusalem Book Review

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How cute are these teeny little loaf pans? We found 'em on eBay and are thinking we're just going to make all of our cakes miniature now. They're basically a single serving size for us. That's totally fine ... right? Right. Shop all available bakeware on eBay here!

Hi! It's technically October but outside it still feels like that magic blend of swamp + gutter so we're staying in and baking to fool ourselves. Oh, New Orleans, sometimes you make it hard but we still love you.

One of my favorite parts of fall (besides watching pumpkin spice latte lovers and haters wage legitimately frightening war against each other in coffee shop lines around the country) is literally just the excuse to consume some of my favorite foods in whatever quantity I please: tubers, pie, squash, pound cake, brown sugar things, maple things, chai things, sangria, etc.

Cover me in all of the seasonal foods, call me basic, and let me experience joy - k?

Fall is also my preferred time to dive into new cookbooks. By "dive in" I mean flip through them skimming the photos until something makes me go "OoooOh Oohh" and then I stop making that noise and check out the recipe. We recently got a whole bunch of Middle Eastern cookbooks because ... well, you'll see. Promise. That wasn't meant to sound creepy. 

We'd sent out our supersonic culinary book echo location (a.k.a. posted to Facebook) asking for recommendations for good Middle Eastern cookbooks and one of the books recommended by a LOT of trusted food people was Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. We're apparently very late to the game.

Besides being drop dead gorgeous, Jerusalem has recipes both historic and modern from the area of the world known as Jerusalem. We're talking a handful of hummus recipes, tons of vegetables that get roasted and stuffed with all the deliciously succulent but bright flavors of the region, many meaty things like slow-cooked veal and kofta and saffron chicken, a whole section on regional soups, salads, and desserts such as these here semolina cakes. It's really a beautiful book that contains lessons in both food and history of the area. 

Given that my fall baking tingles have started but fall spice doesn't reallllly feel appropriate, these little semolina and coconut (and marmalade!) cakes seemed like a great way to go. We decided to brighten them up a bit with a raspberry glaze because it sounded freaking good but also because we're participating in eBay's #fillyourcartwithcolor campaign and to celebrate our love of color we were going to either cover these cakes in pink glaze or ourselves. We made a good decision. 

Check out the recipe below and if you're looking for cute (and often at a bargain) bakeware like these mini loaf pans, don't forget to hop over to eBay and peruse their selection of over 1.1 billion items.

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Semolina, Coconut and Orange Marmalade Cakes with a Raspberry Glaze

-original recipe from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi-

makes 2 1-lb cakes or 4 mini cakes


  • 3/4 cup sunflower oul
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade without peel or with fine-cut peel
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds (I used almond butter and just mixed it in with the wet ingredients which is a slight variation from the recipe)
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 3/4 cup shredded dried coconut
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp semolina
  • 2 tsp baking powder

soaking syrup

  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water

raspberry glaze

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the oil, orange juice, marmalade, eggs, almond butter, and orange zest until the marmalade has dissolved. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients. Mix until well combined, and you're looking for it to be a pretty runny batter (see photo below).

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Grease and line two 1-lb loaf pans or four mini loaf pans with parchment paper and divide the batter evenly between them. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes for mini loaf pans or 45 to 60 minutes for larger pans. A skewer should come out clean and the tops should just begin to turn golden brown.

Once the cakes are nearly done, add the syrup ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat. As soon as the cakes come out of the oven, brush them with the syrup using a pastry brush. Repeat this step until you've used all of the syrup. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool.

While the cakes cool, add the raspberries and sugar to a saucepan and cook on low until the raspberries lose their form and you've got a liquid mixture - about 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and strain out any solid, leaving you with juice a bit of raspberry syrup. Combine 1/3 cup of the syrup and the powdered sugar in a mixing bowl, adding more powdered sugar if you desire a thicker consistency.

Once the cakes are cool, spoon or drizzle the raspberry glaze over the cakes. These will stay good for about 5 days in an airtight container.

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Semolina Cakes with Raspberry Glaze