Flourless Orange and Almond Cake

I have this recipe for many years, way before gluten-free is “trendy” and few knew what coeliac disease is.

This flourless orange and almond cake remains one of my favourites all these years. It’s wonderfully light and refreshing, and simply melts-in-your-mouth. It doesn’t require many ingredients which is always a bonus. And it’s so easy to make that I’m almost tempted to say that it’s fail-proof. The only downside to this recipe is that it’s time-consuming because you need to simmer the oranges for at least an hour.

Sometimes, I would add a tablespoon of orange liqueur (e.g. Cointreau) to make this cake just that little bit special. For those who like frosting on their cakes, cream cheese frosting with finely grated orange zest will go well with this cake. Today though, I opt for a light brush of warmed orange marmalade over the top of the cake and decorate it with candied orange slices. Of course, this cake will just be as good on its own. Oh, this can be made into cupcakes too, just so you know.

This cake is best serve chilled and a day after it’s made. The flavour and texture of this cake will be so much better after a day or two of rest.

Flourless Orange and Almond Cake

Makes 22cm diameter cake

Flourless Orange and Almond Cake
2 medium size oranges (about 240g each), unpeeled
6 eggs
180 grams (1 cup) caster sugar
250 grams (2 1/2 cups) almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons orange marmalade (optional)

To make cake:
Place whole unpeeled oranges in saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to the boil. Once the water starts to boil, drain water, cover oranges with fresh water, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until the oranges are soft. Remove oranges and allow to cool. Discard cooking liquid.

Once the oranges are completely cooled, preheat oven to 180C conventional (or 160C fan-forced). Line base and side of a 22cm diameter round cake tin with baking paper.

Trim and discard ends from oranges, quarter the oranges, then remove any seeds. Process oranges in a food processor until smooth.

Whisk eggs and sugar in bowl of electric mixer, on high speed, until thick and pale in colour. Reduce speed of mixer, gradually add orange puree, pouring it down the side of the bowl so not to deflate the eggs mixture, until just combined. Add mixture of almond meal and baking powder in 3 batches, along the side of the bowl, whisk until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared tin.

Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely in cake tin, then refrigerate, preferably overnight. Before serving, warm orange marmalade in the microwave for one minute, brush marmalade over cake. Top with candied orange slices.

Candied Orange Slices
1 medium size orange, thinly sliced
250 grams caster sugar
300ml water

To make candied orange slices:
Place orange slices in a small saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to the boil. Once the water starts to boil, drain and discard liquid.

Combine sugar and 300ml water in a saucepan, bring to boil. Once the sugar is completely dissolve and the syrup starts to boil, reduce heat to the lowest possible heat with just barely a bubble breaking the surface. Return the drained orange slices to the barely simmering sugar syrup, cook for about 1 hour or until the zest is transparent and glossy. Cool in the syrup before using, or refrigerate (with the orange slices still in the syrup) until ready to use.

Join the conversation!

  1. I have no doubt this cake tastes just amazing :) I tried something similar last year.. smells so good, great thing for Christmas :)

  2. I can just imagine how delicious this cake must be with the wonderful orange and almond combination. The texture looks lovely and I'm sure it doesn't need frosting as the marmalade glaze sounds perfect to me!.

  3. Thanks for this recipe! Your cake looks amazing :D :D.

  4. I have made this cake, and no imagining needed. It is fantastic. Everyone loved it a lot. Not too much acid from the orange rind. The flavours are all well balanced. Delicious, and easy to make.

  5. Anonymous4.2.16

    Can I use little cuties (tangerines) instead of oranges ?

    1. Belle4.2.16

      I never use tangerines before so I can't be sure. I imagine you probably can. Tangerines are smaller than normal oranges, so I'm guessing you might need more tangerines for this recipe? Maybe 3-4? And tangerine has more seeds in general, so take care to remove the seeds or the cake will be bitter.


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