Recipe: Orange and Almond Cake (Flourless)

Recipe: Orange and Almond Cake (Flourless)

First of all, let me wish all of the mommys out there a Happy Mother’s Day!
Secondly, you should stop whatever you’re doing right now and run to the kitchen to make this cake!
Made of cooked and pureed whole oranges, it is not like any other cake I have ever tried. You get the full zesty flavour of oranges and a texture that is almost creamy. Impossibly moist without being heavy, this cake makes me think of pudding.

I suppose I should have adorned my little orange cake with a cream cheese frosting and some pretty orange peel curls, or maybe I should have piped some rosettes of frosting around the outer edges. I should have done something to make it a little showier, something to make it more photogenic. Don’t you think it needs something to give it a more appetizing appeal?

Trust me, plain, unadorned, this cake sells itself on first bite. Bake it and you will see.

I first spotted the recipe a few months ago (maybe during the Christmas Holidays?) but there was one ingredient that caused me to hesitate…the oh-so-expensive Almond flour.

My gut seems to be happier when I avoid grains, so I have been using a lot of nut flours but they do not come cheap. For example, one pound of almond flour yields approximately 4 cups. If we look at a Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour (1 lb, 453 grams) package, it usually costs $12 – $15 CAD. That’s a whopping $3 per cup, times the 3 cups required for this recipe, equals $9 and that’s before adding the cost of 3 organic free range eggs (its a personal preference), a cup of unrefined sugar and a jumbo unwaxed seedless orange. I figure it cost me about $12, or $1 per slice to make this cake.

I suppose if I were to solely consider the health benefits, this treat would be worth every bit of the dollar per slice price tag but I still wish I could find a reliable, less expensive source for uncontaminated blanched almond flour in Canada. I have seen it priced as low as $1.50 per 100g or about $6.75lb in the bulk foods section at some grocery stores but there is a high possibility of cross-contamination with scoop-it-yourself bulk food.

If you know of a good online source for blanched almond flour here in Canada, please share, I would love to know.

My cake is darker than the original because I used coconut palm sugar instead of fine white castor sugar. I’m wondering if I could make an orange cake with honey as the sweetener and how about the addition of a few chopped pecans? Yep, a super moist orange cake made with honey and a light sprinkling of pecans, now doesn’t that sound good?

As for the original source, my research suggests the recipe first appeared in a 1968 release of “A New Book of Middle Eastern Food” by Claudia Roden but apparently the recipe for flourless orange and almond cake was omitted from subsequent updated versions of the book.

In 2004, the recipe, attributed to Claudia Roden, made an appearance in “The Cook’s Companion” by Stephanie Alexander. I first spotted the recipe on Scandi Foodie, who found the recipe on I guess it shouldn’t be surprising to find the recipe on these Australian sites, I hear some version of this classic orange cake can be found in most coffee shops in Sydney and Melbourne.

Orange and Almond Cake (Flourless)
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Summary: A simple recipe for a moist and tasty flourless orange cake. The only difficultly you will find with this cake is the amount of time you have to wait before you can eat it.
Gluten Free | Grain Free | Dairy Free | Egg Fee | Refined Sugar Free | Real Food | Vegan | Vegetarian | Paleo
*** Always refer to packaging labels for the most up to date allergy information
  • 2 oranges or 1 jumbo orange, best if unwaxed and seedless
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1 Cup coconut palm sugar, or powdered unrefined sugar substitute of choice
  • 3 Cups blanched almond flour
  • 11/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • small amount of icing sugar and orange rind curls for garnish (optional)
  1. Place the orange(s) in a deep saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  2. Return to saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for another 15 minutes (this apparently reduces the bitterness of the orange peel). Drain.
  3. Refresh under cold water. Drain. Coarsely chop orange(s). Remove and discard any seeds.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
  5. Place the cooked orange segments, peels and all, in a food processor or blender and process until fairly smooth.
  6. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together.
  7. Add orange puree, almond meal, baking soda and almond extract, gently fold until just combined.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. The cake will be dark brown, with a centre that is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the centre will come out clean. Set aside to cool.
  9. Transfer cooled cake to a serving plate, sprinkle with icing sugar and decorate with orange rind (if desired).
Variations: ***Please keep in mind that making substitutions will change the final outcome.

~ Add a handful of chopped pecans to the batter before baking.
~ Frost with a cream cheese frosting.


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Laureen Fox
Laureen is an enthusiastic amateur cook and Canadian Food Blogger from Vancouver BC. She loves spending her days creating good wholesome food in this Fox Kitchen. Evenings will find her blogging about the best that living without gluten has to offer.

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  1. Vicky says:

    Laureen! I Love orange cake, this looks lovely! I haven’t cooked with coconut palm sugar, I must try to find some! Honey does work really well though with almonds especially if you buy a mild version.

    I find it hard to get the hang of cup measurements. When I filled my cup with almond flour, it weighed 95g which is a lot less than your measurements. My cup size is 240ml and actually came from Canada. This is why I love my digital scale!

    I can buy 500g (half a pound) of high quality almond flour for £3.00 when I buy in bulk which is a little less than 5 Canadian dollars. I buy from a specialist nut importer. In the shops it is £5.25. It seems you are paying a lot more than we are!

    I love my cakes plain so to me it would be perfect without the cream cheese! Have a lovely weekend!

    • Laureen says:

      Hey Vicky, nice to see you again. This orange cake was a first for me. I don’t think I’ve ever tried a cake like it before. I do love it! I think I will try a honey version some time. Yes, the almond flour I’ve been using here is expensive and I do have a digital scale but I guess I don’t use it as much as I should. You know that old saying about teaching old dogs new tricks? That’s me with my old trusty measuring cups :)

  2. Chaya says:

    Thanks for a cake for my hubby. I love when I find something already gluten-free so I can just bake it. This is being featured at Bake With Bizzy.

    • Laureen says:

      Chaya, thank you so much for choosing to feature this recipe on your Bake With Bizzy blog hop! I hope your husband enjoys this cake as much as I do. I pulled a piece out of the freezer to have today and I’m happy to report it freezes fairly well :)

  3. Your cake looks wonderful just as it is. I can just imagine how moist and delicious it tastes.

    I believe almond flour is actually just ground almonds…so I wonder if you could buy blanched almonds in bulk and just process them in a food processor? I’m not a hundred percent sure about this, and I know almonds are still expensive as it is, but it might be worth a ‘Google’. Although I would definitely pay $1 a slice for a piece of this lovely cake :-)

    • Laureen says:

      Thanks April. I think you are right about grinding whole blanched almonds. I will have to price them out a few stores to see if I can get a good deal. I buy and sometimes grind the raw skin on almonds from Costco $10 per 1.36kg bag (3lbs) seems to be a pretty reasonable price but I still might be able to do better buying online.

  4. Alea Milham says:

    What a lovely and delicious cake! I really admire your use of nut flours. Almond flour is quite expensive here too. However, there are times when it is definitely worth the cost!

  5. Fran K says:

    I Love this! Simple ingredients, (all of which I have on hand, cept the orange) and it sounds so good! Hope to make it this weekend.

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