Tea Seed Oil semolina cake

By Angélique Nicole (@alchemistangelique)
FEBRUARY 10, 2022

This recipe creates a perfect harmony of sweet citrus and vanilla flavors. The semolina creates a crunchy layer on the outside, while maintaining moisture on the inside.

Feel free to use either an 8-9in round/ springform pan or 8 individual tins/ramekins. (For my dinner, I chose individual tins.)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 - 50 minutes
Total Time: 60 - 70 minutes
Serving Size: 8


1¼ cups + 2 tbspYóu Yóu Tea Seed oil; plus more for pan
1 cup + 2 tbspSugar
1/2 cup
Raw sugar
2 cupsSemolina flour
1/2 cup
Fine-grind cornmeal or almond flour 
2 tspBaking powder
1/2 tspBaking soda
1/2 tspKosher salt
A pinchOf cinnamon, ground cloves, cardamom
3 tbspAmaretto, Grand Marnier, sweet vermouth, or other liqueur (I used rum infused with foraged Ginkgo Biloba leaves) 
1 tbspLemon zest
2 tbspOrange zest
1 tbspLime zest
3 tbspFresh lemon juice
2 tspVanilla extract
3Large eggs


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • If you are using a single pan, evenly coat the inside of your pan with Tea Seed oil using your fingers. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper and smooth to eliminate air bubbles; then coat parchment with more oil. Pour the raw sugar into the pan and spin to coat the whole pan in an even layer; then make sure to tap out the excess. 

    If you are using individual tins, simply coat each one with oil and dust with the sugar. Using parchment is up to your discretion. You could cut small rounds, or simply coat the tins with sugar, which helps keep it from sticking.
  • Whisk semolina flour, fine cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to combine and eliminate any lumps. Stir together liqueur, lemon juice, and vanilla in a small bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat eggs, lemon, orange, and lime zest, and 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar in a large bowl until mixture reaches ribbon consistency, about 5 minutes.
  • With the mixer still on high speed, gradually stream in 1¼ cups oil and beat until incorporated and the mixture is even thicker. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with liqueur mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Fold the batter several times with a large rubber spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth top, and sprinkle with more sugar.
  • Place the cake in the oven, with a pan of water underneath, especially if using tins. 
  • Immediately reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until the top is golden brown, the center is firm to the touch, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean; it should take 40 – 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
  • Poke holes all over the top of the cake with a toothpick or skewer and drizzle with remaining 2 tbsp Tea Seed oil; let it absorb. Run a thin knife around the edges of the cake and remove the ring from the pan. Slide the cake onto the rack and let cool completely. For the best flavor and texture, wrap the cake in plastic and let sit at room temperature at least a day before serving.