Waitrose and Partners
Fennel & orange cake

Fennel & orange cake

Fennel is surprisingly delicious paired with citrus in cakes, and creates a result very similar to the perennially popular carrot cake.

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  • Serves12
  • CourseCake
  • Prepare30 mins
  • Cook1 hr 30 mins
  • Total time2 hrs

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  • 350g fennel, coarsely grated
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 250g spelt four
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 200ml rapeseed oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 60g mixed peel
  • 75g walnuts, roughly chopped, plus extra, fnely chopped, to decorate
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 3 small oranges (scrubbed), zest and 2 tbsp juice
  • 340g soft cheese
  • 175g icing sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin. Put the fennel into the bowl of a freestanding mixer (or in a bowl to use with electric beaters). Add the caster sugar, flour, baking powder, oil, eggs, mixed peel, walnuts, ginger and 1/3 of the fennel seeds and orange zest. Beat together on a low speed until combined, then mix on a medium speed for a further 2 minutes. Pour the batter into the tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes-1 hour 30 minutes, loosely covering with foil if browning too fast, until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  2. Once cool, use a serrated knife to halve the cake horizontally. To make the icing, whisk together the soft cheese, icing sugar, orange juice and the remaining orange zest and fennel seeds in a freestanding mixer (or in a bowl with electric beaters) until smooth (about 1 minute). Sandwich the two halves together with 1/2 the icing, then top with the remaining icing and decorate with the finely chopped walnuts.

Cook’s tip

Use essential plain flour (or whatever plain flour you have in your cupboard) instead of spelt flour. You can also swap the walnuts for any nuts you have to hand.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,379kJ/ 569kcals



Saturated Fat












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