Moroccan Meskouta Orange Cake

Moroccan Meskouta Orange Cake

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
346 Calories
11g Fat
58g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 346
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 276mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 58g 21%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 37g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 72mg 362%
Calcium 149mg 11%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 283mg 6%
*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 Moroccan 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 teatime, breakfast, Ramadan Iftar (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. 


  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar

  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) vegetable oil

  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) orange juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 to 2 oranges, zested

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Moroccan Meskouta Orange Cake ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Greased and floured tube pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Beat together the eggs and sugar in a large bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and then add it to the egg-sugar mixture.

    Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Batter in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. 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).

    Cake in a tube pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. 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.

    Cake on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Moroccan Meskouta Orange Cake

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Traditional Moroccan Cooking and Measures

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. 

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.

How to Store and Freeze

  • If there are any leftovers of this delicious cake, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, or put in an airtight container, where it will stay fresh for a few days at room temperature, or you can place it in the fridge.
  • It can also be frozen for up to two months.