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Flourless Orange Cake Recipe

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This flourless orange cake recipe is a delicate and moist gluten-free cake bursting with fantastic citrus flavor. 

Orange Flourless Cake

Have you ever boiled oranges? I never had.

I’ve boiled their rinds and cut up orange slices for orange marmalade, but I’ve never boiled them whole.

At least, that was until I tried this gluten-free orange cake recipe.

As strange as it may seem to dump a whole orange with the rind on and everything into a pot of boiling water, just know that there’s a method to the madness.

If this recipe for flourless orange cake is any sort of proof of what boiled oranges taste like, then just know that they’re positively delightful.

flourless orange cake crumb image

Flourless Cake

One of the key parts to making a perfect flourless orange cake that has a light and delicate texture is to use almond meal.

Using almond meal, or almond flour, contributes to an incredibly tender crumb. Plus, it’s gluten-free friendly too!

The almond meal also adds a lovely almond fragrance and flavor, making every bite of this orange almond cake pure pleasure for your palate.

To ensure this cake ends up as airy and light as possible, be sure to sift the almond meal and granulated sugar before you mix them into the cake batter.

flourless almond cake overhead image

Orange Cake Recipe: Prepping Ahead

This flourless orange cake recipe requires a bit of advance planning. It’s not quite as simple and quick as something like my lemon ricotta recipe.

The reason for that is that you need to boil the oranges for this recipe for a couple of hours before you actually use them.

If you remember from my orange marmalade recipe, part of the trick to getting rid of the bitterness in oranges is to boil the rind.

It’s a trick I learned from Jacques Pepin, and while I don’t boil the entire orange for marmalade, I do for this recipe.

After the oranges have been boiled, they’re cut up into smaller chunks and tossed into a food processor, effectively puréed.

That’s why you can boil them whole and get away with it.

After that, the recipe is pretty simple to put together like most single layer cake recipes.

A combination of eggs, sugar, puréed boiled oranges, and almond meal make up this flourless orange cake. There is no oil and no butter.

How you may ask? Well, the ground almonds contain fat, which is enough to satisfy that part of the baking formula.

While I can’t call this flourless orange cake a healthy cake, per se, as it does have sugar in it, it’s at least healthier than a cake that would have used regular flour and any butter or oil, so there’s that!

flourless orange cake recipe close up image

Notes Before Baking:

  • When making this cake, be sure to sift your almond meal and granulated sugar to get them as fine as possible. Doing this just helps guarantee the overall lightness and airiness of the cake.
  • As strange as it sounds, you’re boiling the entire orange. Then, when you cut it up and add it to the food processor, you’re including all of its membrane, skin, seeds – all parts of the orange!
orange almond flourless cake

Orange Almond Flourless Cake

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Boiling Oranges: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes

A light and delicate gluten-free orange cake made with almond meal and whole, fresh oranges.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium oranges
  • 6 eggs
  • 265 g granulated sugar, note conversion below, sifted
  • 250 g almond meal, note conversion below, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4-6 tbsp sliced almonds for sprinkling on top
  • powdered sugar to dust on top, optional
  • baking spray or softened butter for greasing pan

Instructions

  1. Place the oranges in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover the oranges. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Continue simmering for 2 hours. Then, drain the pot and let the oranges cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Using a small, sharp knife, carve out the stem/stalk from the oranges. Make the same kind of shallow, small carving on the opposite end of the oranges as well (the bottom of the oranges).
  3. Cut up the oranges (WITH the rind, seeds, membranes and all) into chunks and place in a food processor. Pulse until you've got a purée, and the only pieces of orange rind you see are the tiny specks; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs together until combined. Add in the orange purée and whisk. Add the vanilla and whisk again to mix. To the wet mixture, add the almond meal and baking powder. Mix until it's all combined well.
  5. Grease a 10 inch springform pan (or an equally deep pan) with baking spray (or softened butter). Pour the batter into your pan before sprinkling the top with sliced almonds. Bake the cake for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes, checking on the cake at the 1 hour mark. Poke a toothpick in the center to check for readiness; it should come out with little to no crumbs.
  6. Let the cake rest in the pan for 10 minutes before lifting the edges of the springform pan off the cake. Let it cool to room temperature, then dust the top with powdered sugar.

Notes

If you have a scale, please use it for this recipe! If not, please note the following conversion:
260 grams of sugar = approx. 1 1/3 cups
250 grams of almond meal = approx. 2.6 cups or a scant 2 2/3 cups

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 10 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 457Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 102mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 6gSugar: 43gProtein: 13g

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188 Comments

  1. what kind of oranges do you use? the ones for making juice (they are usually smaller)or the ones that one usually eats?
    I made your cake quite a few times and it’s delicious, but I always wonder which oranges to use.
    thank you

  2. This is too long to bake @ 350. The cake is awesome, but can easily become too brown around the edges. Check at 45 minutes and also check your oven temperature
    Really yummy with a little dark chocolate sauce drizzled over it.

    1. Hi SJ! Every oven is different, so it may be that your oven gets a little hotter than mine does or some other readers. It’s always good to check on your baked goods earlier than a recipe calls for just to check how things are going, especially when it’s your first time trying the recipe. Thanks for coming back to leave a comment. Chocolate and orange are a great duo! Yum!

  3. I substituted for four clementines and simmered for an hour. Topped with lime glaze. It was amazing and everyone loved it.

    1. Oh wonderful! Thanks for sharing your experience and swaps with everyone. 🙂

  4. Hello, I have made this before and it is amazing! Is it okay to make the orange puree a few days ahead of time and leave this in the fridge?
    Thank you,
    Dita

    1. I think if you’re going to make it the day before, yes, but I find any kind of fresh orange starts to go bitter after a couple of days. So in that case, I would freeze the purée and thaw 24 hours ahead in the fridge to prep for baking. 🙂

    1. Hi Leah! I’ve never done that so I can’t say for sure. I would think not only because it’s a very moist, delicate cake. It’s made with almond meal and has a lot of moisture because of that, so don’t know how sturdy it would be.

  5. This cake is delicious!! We are making it for our churches Spring Luncheon. I do have one question, what’s the best way to store it?

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