Dubrovnik area is famous for its bitter oranges. Bitter orange has played an important role in the cuisine of the town. People have planted this fruit for ages in their garden in front of mansions and houses as a decoration, and the fruit and leaves have been used in cooking, as spice and for medicinal purposes ever since. Bitter orange was a staple on local markets, where it appeared as early as the 12th century. Every weekend roast was followed by an orange and tea made from its leaves. Some of the well-known Dubrovnik dishes made with this lovely fruit are orange marmalade, orange cake, orange liqueur, orange juice, candied orange peel (arancini). As the famous folk saying goes, “Orange juice is gold in the morning, silver in the noon, bronze in the evening.” Orange blossoms were traditionally worn on special occasions, such as engagement parties and weddings. Gifting oranges was the ultimate sign of love and respect. 

Cakes in Dubrovnik are often made using this fruit and almonds. This one is a slightly more modern version of the traditional recipe. It is moist and delicious and very easy to prepare. You can use regular sweeter oranges as well. 

cake dubrovnik dessert go dubrovnik orange (1)


For the cake: 

  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 375 g dark chocolate
  • 175 g sugar
  • 35 g all-purpose flour
  • 120 g ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ tsp orange zest

For candied orange slices: 

  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 cup (225 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (235 ml) water

Steps :

Preheat the oven to 170 C (338 F).

Line a 24 or 26 cm diameter springform pan with parchment paper. Whisk whole eggs with sugar. Melt butter with chocolate over low heat and add to the egg mixture. Add orange juice and zest- Sift flour with ground almonds and add to the mixture. Combine.

Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan. Bake for 40 minutes. The cake should still be slightly moist in the middle. Let cool completely. Dust it with the cocoa powder and decorate with candied orange slices.

For the candied orange slices, you should combine water and sugar in a skillet and bring it to a boil. Add the orange slices and cook over moderate heat, turning them occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a thin syrup and the orange slices are translucent, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until the syrup is thick and the slices are tender but still intact, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer the orange slices to a rack to cool.