Moroccan Meskouta Orange Cake

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Moroccan Orange Cake. Photo © Christine Benlafquih
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
245 Calories
12g Fat
32g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 245
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 69mg 23%
Sodium 404mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 3g
Calcium 118mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are several types of meskouta, homemade Moroccan cake, including yogurt and citrus varieties. This traditional Moroccan orange cake recipe is quick and easy to make from scratch and so moist that it is rarely served with frosting. It takes just minutes to get into the oven and will keep fresh for several days—in the unlikely event it lasts that long.

This dessert provides an easy sweet treat at the end of a traditional and flavorful Moroccan meal. For other variations on meskouta, try a traditional yogurt or lemon Morrocan cake

The recipe works equally well with either a tube or loaf pan, however, a round tube pan can look more formal and festive for a celebration. For an even more formal presentation, feel free to sprinkle confectioners' sugar on top for a festive touch. Serve the orange cake for tea time, breakfast, Ramadan ftour (evening meal following the Ramadan fast) or snack time.

One very large orange (or two medium oranges) should yield the half cup of orange juice used in the recipe. Be sure to zest the oranges prior to juicing them, it will be much easier. For best results, wash the orange first and use a citrus grater, or Microplane, for the finest zest. A fine cheese grater is a good substitute for a citrus grater. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup/120 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Zest of 1 or 2 oranges
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups/300 g sugar
  • 1/2 cup/120 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 cups/250 g flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Grease and lightly flour a tube pan or loaf pan.

  3. Zest the oranges and then juice them. 

  4. In a large bowl using an electric mixer or by hand, beat together the eggs and sugar until thick. Gradually beat in the oil.

  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and then add it to the eggs-sugar mixture.

  6. Add the orange juice and beat until smooth. Mix in the zest and vanilla until they are thoroughly incorporated.

  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan of choice and bake for about 40 minutes or until the cake tests done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry (it's fine if a few crumbs cling to it).

  8. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan for 7 to 10 minutes. Turn it out of the pan onto a rack to finish cooling completely.

  9. Serve cooled cake dusted with confectioners' sugar if desired.

Traditional Morrocan Cooking

Measuring cups are not the norm in Morocco, so just for fun, the traditional measures used in Morocco when making meskouta are listed. You might want to follow that method if you are baking with kids as they might enjoy the less formal means of measuring ingredients. Note that Moroccan tea glasses usually hold 6 to 8 ounces of liquid. 

Traditional Moroccan Measures

This is what the ingredient list for this recipe would look like using Moroccan measurements.

  • 1 tea glass of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Zest of 1 or 2 oranges
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 level soup bowl of sugar
  • 1 tea glass of vegetable oil
  • 1 heaping soup bowl of flour
  • 2 sachets of baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar

Using the traditional Moroccan measures, continue with the recipe directions.