Orange Cake, Ancona Style (torta Di Arance All'anconetana)

“Evelyn and I are among those who have experienced the dangers of consuming ouzo straight. This cake, from the venerable Marcella Hazan, is a way to have your ouzo and still maintain your dignity. It is not a particularly sweet cake, but very flavorful--ideal for brunch or afternoon tea.”
1hr 5mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 cups flour, plus
  • 2 tablespoons flour, plus
  • flour, for dusting the pan
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 oranges, the grated peel (no pith!)
  • 4 tablespoons soft sweet butter, plus
  • butter, for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup sugar, plus
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ouzo
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 2 14 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice, mixed with
  • 3 tablespoons sugar


  1. Note: If you are in southern Europe and have access to Italian or Spanish blood oranges, use those; If not, California blood oranges are not a good substitute; You will have to forgo the color for the flavor of a tangelo or temple orange.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Thickly butter a tube pan and dust with flour.
  4. Note: You can also use a bundt pan, but make sure it is a heavy one--as heavy as your tube pan.
  5. Put flour, eggs, grated ornage peel, 4 tablespoons softened butter, sugar and ouzo in a food processor and process until all ingredients are incorporated.
  6. Add milk and baking powder and process again to incorporate.
  7. Pour mixture into prepared pan and place in upper level of pre-heated oven.
  8. Bake for at least 45 minutes, until top of cake becomes colored a rich gold.
  9. Place pan over a wine bottle or other receptacle to cool slightly.
  10. Loosen the edges of the cake with a sharp knife.
  11. Invert onto a plate.
  12. While cake is still warm, poke many holes into it, using a chopstick or similar implement.
  13. Pour the sweetened orange juice into the holes, filling them to the brim.
  14. Within an hour, the cake will have absorbed the juice.
  15. Serve at room temperature.
  16. Note: The cake will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator, fully covered by plastic wrap.

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