Campari & Orange Dazzle Cake

We are all born with the same taste buds. But, I am always intrigued by what flavours we develop and grow to love as individuals. Sweet, sour, salt, bitter, savoury.  The fifth, umami, according to some, largely the cheffing fraternity, is THE KILLER TASTEBUD.

I see myself as a sour bitter kind of taste. Which makes me sound  rather unappealing, but that is me in terms of taste. Obviously an acquired one but aren’t we all. A kind of Campari & Orange dazzle cake kind of person.

My all time favourite alcohol is Campari and favourite cocktail a Negroni. I could drink either limitlessly given half a chance. I love it so much that I could even drink Campari neat. That worried me until I looked on the Campari website and realised you can have it on the rocks, phew.

I have dedicated a Pinterest board to my Campari love and have spotted a very attractive vintage poster which I must buy in order to realize my obsession.

Just to prove how much I  enjoy it, I have dedicated a cake to it. When Choclette (Chocolate Log Blog) came up with the theme for this month’s WE SHOULD COCOA (co-hosted by Chele at Chocolate Teapot) as Cocktail Inspiration, I knew right from the start it had to be based on a Campari Orange Passion Cocktail. In other words, Campari, orange juice, brown sugar and soda.

I also wanted to make a cake that could  be part of the Fairtrade Big Fair Bake Competition hosted by Foodies 100 as I buy and support Fairtrade products.This cake uses Fairtrade dried pineapple which happens to be my children’s favourite dried fruit at the momen. They cannot eat enough of it.

It is a way in which I like to contribute towards ensuring farmers get a fair price for the produce they are growing.The  buying of  Fairtrade  products often benefits the farmer and ensures safer working practices for them and their crops. It can also contribute to improvements within the community such as better educational facilities and access to  good healthcare as well as supporting

Vanessa Kimbell (Goddess on a Budget)  visited Uganda recently to discover the world of vanilla production and what Fairtrade means to the producers. She visited the only fair trade vanilla farm, producing Ndali. Her findings have been featured  on Radio4’s Food Programme.

Vanessa is hosting an event next week at Fortnum & Mason, an Ndali Vanilla Gift Swap. I was lucky enough to attend her Christmas Gift Swap and what a day it was. A perfect day with good food, bake exchanges and meeting fellow bloggers. The beautiful setting, again Fortnum’s holds special memories for me.

So, here we come to my cake. It is a Fair Trade Cocktail on a plate. You will either love it or hate it…………………………………………………………………………………………………………


Campari & Orange Dazzle Cake

Adapted from THIS RECIPE.

Ingredients :- Makes 1 cake for 8-10 people

  • 200g caster Fair Trade sugar

  • 200g butter

  • Zest of 2 oranges

  • 200g ground almonds

  • 100g polenta

  • 2tsp baking powder

  • 3 free range eggs

  • 50g bag of Fair Trade dried pineapple soaked in orange juice for 1 hour (enough just to cover) finely chopped. I also added the soaking juice to the cake mix.

For the dazzle/drizzle topping :-

  • 1tbsp Campari

  • Juice of 1 large orange

  • 100g granulated white Fair Trade sugar

Method :-

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.

  2. Cream the sugar and butter together until light & fluffy.

  3. Add in the orange zest and some of the polenta, almond and baking powder mix.

  4. Alternate adding the polenta mix with adding one egg at a time to prevent the mix from curdling.

  5. Fold in the pre-soaked and finely chopped dried pineapple.

  6. Place the mixture into a lined round baking tin (approx 20in) and bake for around 35-40 minutes depending on your oven.

  7. Once out of the oven make little slits in the cake with a sharp knife so the sugar topping can soak into the cake.

    For the Dazzle/drizzle topping :-

    -Combine the sugar, Campari & freshly squeezed orange juice in a bowl then pour it over the cake covering all the top which should create a crunchy sugary, mildly alcoholic layer.

-This cake was delicious served with Mascarpone on the side. Even my children ate some despite the Campari, although my 4yo did worry that the police might come and tell us off for feeding them a boozy cake.




  1. says

    Absolutely fabulous Laura, although I don’t think I’d describe you as sour and bitter 😉 You had me fooled, I wouldn’t have guessed Campari – shows how much attention I’ve been paying to Pinterest (also trying not to use ! too much). Your cake sounds delicious, I think I’d be on the love it side of the fence, although if you asked me, I wouldn’t have a clue what Campari tasted like. Thank you very much for joining in with the cocktail birthday celebrations with We Should Cocoa.

  2. says

    I’m completely fascinated by the way we taste things and how those develop. My brother, who adored brussels sprouts aged 3 turned into a vegetable hater and, aged 29, is only just emerging from the other side. I love the bitterness of Aperol, but can’t quite cope with Campari as a drink. However baked into a cake with lots of sugar and that lovely pineapple, I’d definitely be keen to try a slice. It looks delicious!

    • says

      I do think tastes change radically from childhood to adulthood. Sometimes for the better and sadly in the case of your brother, not always the way! Campari in this cake is not too strong, actually not strong enough for me!

  3. says

    I like Campari too and Negroni (a bit strong??!!). I use to be a good girl and drink cocktails every week. Now I can not remember the last time I drank a cocktail. This cake sounds so good a very Italian. I like the idea of the drizzle Campari Topping.

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