Riesling syrup cake
8th June 2010

Riesling syrup cake

By Lauren Photography by Adam

We tasted many wines on our team trip into Central Otago.  While the region is best known for its (delicious) pinot noirs, we tasted a couple of delightfully syrupy, aromatic rieslings along the way as well.  They proved the perfect inspiration (along with the stunning scenery) for this syrup-drenched cake. Sticky, citrusy and moist, this cake is best served warm with a big dollop of thick Greek yoghurt.


  • Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Riesling
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
  • Cake
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 cup oil – any lightly flavoured oil is fine, I have used both rice bran and canola oils with success.
  • 1/2 cup riesling
  • 3/4 cup ground cornmeal flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1, 1/2 cups ground almonds


  • Syrup
  • Put all ingredients into a small saucepan and gradually bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Sieve into a jug and set aside to cool.
  • Cake
  • 1. Preheat oven to 160°C on Bake and grease a 23cm spring-form tin.
  • 2. In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar together until thick.
  • 3. Add lemon zest, orange zest and ground cardamom. Mix until combined.
  • 4. Gradually whisk in oil and wine.
  • 5. Add flour, baking powder and ground almonds. Mix until combined.
  • 6. Pour into tin and bake for 50 minutes.
  • 7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before removing to a serving plate.
  • 8. Pour cold syrup over hot cake*. Serve warm or at room temperature topped with fresh strawberries and Greek yoghurt.
  • *The trick to a successful syrup-drenched cake is to always pour cold syrup on a hot cake, or hot syrup on a cold cake, but never hot on hot (or cold on cold). This way, the cake can soak up the syrup without becoming soggy.


  1. With olive oil and that amount of ground almonds in the batter that must be such a moist cake! It looks beautiful decorated with the strawberries.

  2. Dannielle

    I’d love to make this but my main taste-tester has a nut allergy. Any way to substitute out the almonds?

  3. this looks delicious!

  4. Lauren

    Hi Dannielle,
    I have also made this cake using fine ground polenta in place of almonds and it is still very good – not quite as moist as with the ground almonds, so maybe increase the oil and wine measures by a tablespoon each. Hope this helps – let me know how you get on! – Lauren.

  5. nicola

    This looks great!
    Does anyone know ifits okay to substitute the ground cornmeal flour for plain flour?

  6. Lauren

    Hi Nicola,
    Yes, absolutely you can substitute the ground cornmeal flour for plain flour if you don’t require that the cake be gluten free.
    Happy baking!

  7. Evie

    I said I would make it Lauren / Suzy and last wkend I did. This cake was a decadent party in my mouth. The most fragrant experience even in the mixing. My foodie extended family loved it. Now they’re on high alert for the carob truffles. But I’m taking my time…so liberating to have so many tasty treats I can eat without having to worry about what’s in them! YUM-O ladies – you rock

  8. Lauren

    I’m so glad it went down a treat Evie! Thank you so much for your kind words – definately try the carob truffles, they are also super delicious :) – Lauren.

  9. this looks delicious!Happy baking


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