Riesling syrup cake

Photographer: 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.


1/2 cup Riesling
Juice of 2 oranges
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds

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


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.

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.