Barley & Almond Cake

Barley & Almond Cake

by Jenni Muir

This wonderful recipe combines barley flour with ground almonds to produce a nutty and moist cake, flavoured with orange and cinnamon and topped with an orange cream cheese frosting.

We mill Naked Barley grain to produce nutritious, versatile and tasty Naked Barley Flour, with a delicate sweet and malty flavour.

This recipe was created by Jenni Muir, author of A Cook’s Guide to Grains, and is featured in Christine McFadden’s Flour: A Comprehensive Guide.

Flour is an indispensable guide to a wide range of flours, from familiar wheat and cereal flours to less well-know barley, pea, quinoa, and fava bean flour. Christine explores how flour has long been a staple part of our diet and offers a comprehensive look at the alternatives to traditional wheat flour.

Christine's blog is full of fascinating food-related musings – from seasonal food and food producers to cooking tools, food markets, and gastro-travel. You'll also find some must-try recipes and invaluable tips and techniques.

Serves 8 to 10


  • 125g Unsalted Butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 125g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs, yolks and white separated
  • 150g Naked Barley Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 125g Ground Almonds
  • 1 tsp finely grated Orange Peel or Tangerine Peel
  • 1⁄8 tsp Ground Cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 Orange, thin strips of zest to decorate
For the cream cheese and orange frosting
  • 60g Cream Cheese
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ Orange, strained juice
  • 200g Icing Sugar, sifted


  1. Grease a 22–23cm (8½–9in) springform cake tin with butter. Line the base and sides of the tin with baking parchment, then grease the paper too. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Measure out the sugar and set aside 5 tablespoons to use in the meringue. Tip the rest into a large mixing bowl with the butter. Beat for a few minutes until the mixture is pale and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, then stir in the barley flour, baking powder, ground almonds, grated zest and cinnamon until well combined – the mixture will be quite stiff.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted from the foam. Gradually whisk in the reserved 5 tablespoons of sugar to give a stiff meringue. Using a large metal spoon, fold in about one-third of the meringue to slacken the dough, then gradually fold in the rest. Tip into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.
  4. Bake for 30–40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and orange juice until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sifted icing sugar until the frosting is well combined, creamy and light. Using a palette knife, spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with the strips of orange zest and a dusting of cinnamon powder.

Jenni Muir
Jenni Muir


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