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: 335

67 thoughts on “Flourless Orange Cake Recipe”

    • Hi Nancy! I’ve never done this recipe with lemons so I can’t say for sure. What I can tell you though is that lemons don’t have any of the sweetness that oranges do, so you may need to play around with the amount of sugar you add to compensate. 🙂

      Reply
  1. I made this cake with 3 small blood oranges and about 1/3 cup of sugar instead of the full amount and it still turned out amazing! Such a great little treat with my coffee in the morning.

    Reply
    • Hi Susan,

      Yes you can use almond flour. The almond meal tends to work a little bit better, but I’ve had people email me telling me they felt like the almond flour worked just fine. Almond flour just tends to be a tad bit finer than almond meal. And yes ground almonds = almond meal. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Is there a substitute for the eggs that can be used in this cake? I really want to try it tomorrow but don’t have eggs and don’t want to go out.

    Reply
    • Hi Nehal! I wouldn’t substitute out the eggs. This recipe has a lot of moisture from the oranges and a really delicate crumb because of the almond meal, so it really needs the eggs to help bind and give structure to the cake. Normally, if you’re doing a recipe and there’s a single egg, you can get away with some kind of egg substitute. But this cake needs 6 eggs, so I would just wait until you’re able to stock up on eggs to ensure you get a successful bake. 🙂

      Reply

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