Meskouta cake, a.k.a Maskouta, is a moist butter and dairy-free Moroccan traditional cake; that is usually enjoyed during a special occasion or as brunch. The classic treat boasts of its rich, fruity flavor that satiates your taste buds.
Unlike most baked treats that use butter and dairy, this orange cake doesn’t, making it a perfect fit for lactose-intolerant people. And today, I will unveil the secret to a mouthwatering Meskouta cake. But before we delve right into our recipe, let’s have a look at its history.
History of Meskouta Cake
Meskouta cake was introduced to Moroccan by French and Spain colonizers in the 20th century. During that time, butter was hard to come by. And locals had to opt for vegetable oil, olive oil, or argan oil.
Just like butter, baking powder and baking oven were also hard to find. Instead of an oven, the Moroccans used to bake with a special pot over a charcoal brazier. Sourdough was used as a natural leavening agent that gave the cake a tangy flavor, crispy, chewy texture, and crackly crust.
Traditional ingredients like cinnamon, almond, sugar syrup (for frosting), orange blossom water, and fresh orange juice were used to give the treat an irresistible flavor. Though there may be improvements in the ingredients and the way the cake is prepared, little has changed.
The special treat graced dinner tables in most of the important local events. No Moroccan occasion is complete without one. Today, this cake is celebrated across the globe and is part of most international cuisines.
Now stay with me as I show you how to prepare a perfect Meskouta like a pro. Read on!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup orange juice (fresh)
4 eggs (at room temperature)
½ cup canola oil
5 ml salt
1 & 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
4 tsp baking powder
Icing sugar (for serving)
3 tbsp orange zest (from fresh oranges)
3 tbsp vanilla
30g flaked almonds
A pinch of saffron strands
- Double sift the baking flour to aerate it properly. Pour it in an electric dough mixer.
- Add salt, cinnamon, saffron, orange zest, canola oil, and baking powder, and mix at low speed for three minutes till all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
- In a separate bowl, beat all your eggs and add the sugar. Whisk them for about three minutes until well incorporated. Transfer to the dough mixer and continue mixing at medium speed for two minutes.
- Preheat oven up to 1800 C.
- Grease the bundt pan and pour the batter into the pan. Bake it for forty minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove and allow it to cool down while on the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring it into a cooling rack—drizzle vanilla syrup on top and dust with icing sugar, topped with flaked almonds.
- Serve your Meskouta cake for brunch with afternoon tea, coffee or your preferred juice. The cake can stay for five days in an airtight container and a week in a refrigerator.