This recipe for the traditional Moroccan cake comes to us from talented pastry chef Abby Dahan, Founder and Chef of The Bake School in Philadelphia, PA. According to Chef Abby, “I fondly recall my mom making this orange Meskouta cake for special Shabbat dinners and Jewish holidays when I was younger, though she always used the measurement “verre a yaourt” (yogurt cup) and not a scale! I would impatiently wait to eat the cake after a beautiful meal with a warm and sweet cup of mint green tea. This cake is lightly sweetened, but it doesn’t require much aside from a light dusting of powdered sugar. The sweetness of the mint tea complements the orange notes in the cake so beautifully. It’s a wonderful, light ending to any meal.” We couldn’t agree more.
Makes 1 large cake, serving 12, and 6 cups tea
- 4 large (228 grams) eggs
- 2/3 cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup (150 grams) vegetable oil
- Finely grated zest and juice from 1 large orange
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (75 grams) water
- 3 ½ cups (420 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting cake
- 6 cups (1416 grams) water, divided
- 1 tablespoon Chinese gunpowder tea leaves
- 1 large handful of fresh mint leaves, washed
- 3-4 tablespoons (37-50 grams) granulated sugar
Make the Meskouta Cake:
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan well and dust it with flour.
- Whisk the eggs, sugar, oil, orange juice and zest, vanilla extract, and water together.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and whisk gently to combine.
- Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to avoid lumps. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan, set on a wire rack, for 5-7 minutes before unmolding. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with hot mint tea (recipe below).
Make the Moroccan Tea:
- Boil the water. Use a little water to rinse out your tea pot (berrad).
- Add the tea leaves and 1 cup of water and let the tea leaves soak for 1 minute. Drain out the water. Add the mint leaves, sugar, and the remainder of the boiling water.
- Mix the tea 4-5 times by pouring the tea into a glass, then dumping it back into the pot. Pour the tea from higher up to achieve the desired foamy top.
Photos by Mike Prince