Gluten-Free Orange Almond Cake

Neither my mom nor I can remember when the recipe for a delicious gluten-free orange almond cake that uses whole oranges (yes – rind and all) came into our lives, but it remains one of our favorite family desserts. I remember making it for a 2010 New Year’s Eve party and writing out the date on top in slivered almonds. And it’s a triumph for me to have created a gluten-free orange almond cake version that it a fabulous way to start the day!

When I make the original cake for dessert, I love to slice it in half and add a thin layer of marmalade or raspberry jam and then top with a cloud of coconut whipped cream.

I made it recently for my son’s fifth birthday and it occurred to me as I was running out the door breakfastless one morning that I could grab a piece for a relatively healthy breakfast. After all, the cake itself is just oranges, almonds, eggs and sugar. And three of those four things can definitely be part of a healthy breakfast.

I found the cake so filling, I wasn’t hungry for ages, and I loved how well it traveled. So I set out to make a sugarless version that would be yummy for breakfast, loaded with protein and just as delicious with yogurt and berries as it was with whipped cream and jam.

The end result is a moist, healthy protein-packed cake that needs just a little sweetener and can also be baked up as muffins. It holds up well when flax meal eggs are substituted, which means it can easily be your next gluten-free, vegan breakfast recipe. You can have this gluten-free orange almond cake as a protein-packed and fibre-rich snack or dessert, too – it’s so versatile!

Note: this is a great recipe if you are cutting back on sugar, even the natural ones. You can make the recipe without the maple syrup and then add some to taste drizzled on top. That way everyone can use the amount they like and you end up using less overall.

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Gluten-Free Orange Almond Cake

Gluten-Free Orange Almond Cake

  • Author: Maya Henry
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8


  • 2 large organic oranges
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 2/3 cups almonds (finely ground) OR 3 ¼ cups almond meal (not almond flour)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (optional, or for garnish)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coconut oil and 2 Tbsp almond meal for preparing the baking pan


  1. Put oranges whole and unpeeled in a saucepan with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer them covered for about 1 hour. If they start to split, take them out– they are done. Drain and cool. Puree in a food processor or high-speed blender.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  4. Pour into an 8-inch springform pan or cake pan greased with a 1 tsp coconut oil and dust with almond meal.
  5. To make muffins, prepare 8 cups of a muffin tin the same way and divide batter among muffin cups.
  6. Bake 60 minutes until browned but still moist (test with a toothpick).
  7. Serve cake or muffins drizzled with maple syrup to taste and optional yogurt and berries.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Breakfast

Header Image: iStock/AlexeyBorodin 

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4 responses to “Gluten-Free Orange Almond Cake


    Hi Maya, my cake has strong bitter orangy after taste. Did I do something wrong or the cake should taste like this? Thank you:)

  2. Academy of Culinary Nutrition

    Hmm. Were your oranges organic? If they weren’t, perhaps there was a pesticide on them that gave the cake a bitter taste. Also, since this recipe uses whole oranges, maybe the pith in the ones you chose were extra bitter.

  3. Jill

    60 minutes? Is that right?

  4. Academy of Culinary Nutrition

    Yes, it is!

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