gluten free homemade orange cake recipe

Paleo Orange Cake

This Paleo Orange Cake recipe, made with 6 healthy ingredients is one of our favorite desserts. It consists of whole oranges, almond flour, eggs, honey, salt, and baking soda. Yup, that’s all you need to make this easy paleo cake recipe. It is the perfect festive holiday dessert for Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, and Passover.

I know it seems weird to make a cake with whole oranges. However, using the orange as well as its peel adds a rich dimension of flavor to this cake. Yes, that’s right, you use the entire orange including the peel in this recipe!

Print Recipe
Paleo Orange Cake
  1. Wash the oranges and boil them whole (peel and all) for 1 ½ hours, or until soft
  2. Place whole oranges (peel and all) in a food processor and blend until smooth
  3. Pulse in eggs, honey, almond flour, salt, and baking soda until well combined
  4. Pour batter into a greased 9-inch cake pan
  5. Bake at 375° for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean
  6. Cool in the pan for 2 hours
  7. Serve

The idea for this easy paleo cake recipe came from one of my favorite cookbook authors, Claudia Roden. Her recipe is called Gateau a l’Orange. Nigella Lawson also has a recipe for a citrus cake using both fruit and peel. Her version is made with clementines, rather than oranges.

I think this paleo cake recipe would be incredible with lemons, though I imagine some adjustments would need to be made if experimenting with this more sour citrus fruit. I haven’t tried that, if you do please leave a comment and let us know if it works.

Here are some of my other easy paleo cake recipes:


  1. Ann Gimpel says

    I used a 9″ round cake pan per the directions, and the cake overflowed badly. Oven cleanup will be a chore. I’ve never had that problem with any of your other baked goods, so frankly I don’t understand it. But you might want to file away that I live at 8K feet. I’m still waiting to see how the cake that’s left in the pan comes out. It has about 20 minutes left to bake.

    • Elana says

      Ann, oh goodness! I haven’t ever had that happen with this recipe regardless of the altitude I baked it at –I often bake at over 8,000 feet when we are in the mountains. I wonder if it’s possible that the oranges you used were very large. In any event, I hope what’s left was delicious :-)

  2. Zoe Lau says

    Thank you so much for the recipe! My sister and i have made it twice and we love it! Made a few changes because the cake was slightly moist, other than that we have made variations of this cake. The second time we added raspberries in it and made a beautiful coconut yogurt glaze on top! Absolutely luscious! Thank you we love your recipes!

  3. Kim says

    I made this earlier this week for my mom’s 70th birthday cake. My mom loves a treat once in a while of orange chocolate, so I frosted this cake with your Paleo Chocolate Frosting. Everyone loved this cake and said it was AMAZING! I made two cakes – one with only one orange because of some of the readers comments saying the cake was too wet, and one with the two oranges as you wrote the recipe. Both were good, but I should not have doubted your recipe….two oranges worked beautifully. Yes the cake with one orange was a bit drier but two oranges was not “wet” just deliciously moist. I think this has become my new dessert to bring to all gatherings. And absolutely easy peasy to make! Thanks again, Elana for another winner.

  4. MamaCassi says

    I read about this cake years ago- I think Nigella’s version. And think I may have tried it. Then a friend came over to do her baking for the week and this was her ‘treat’ for the week and I was excited to have an excuse for baking a treat.

    It was perfect. I ground and sifted my own almond flour (we didn’t plan ahead fare ouch to have ordered real almond flour) and we doubled the recipe using a vitamix instead of a food processor, and it is definitely on the list of must make again soon!

    My kids especially loved it. I came back fm find the middle of the last three slices gone and a guilty three year old begging tearfully for one more piece.

  5. Sasha Cannon says

    Thank you for a fantastic recipe (and double thanks for no coconut in it!!) I have never been much of a baker…my cakes are always pathetic, but this recipe worked out beautifully!! The only deviation I made was replacement of honey with Sukrin Gold syrup, and only 1/2 cup since my husband is diabetic. The cake was exactly as pictured, and tasted super delish. You made my day. I will be trying lemon variation for sure. Persimmon, maybe?

  6. Maureen says

    Yummy! Made with 2 large and 2 small eggs, added 1 t. vanilla and 1/2 c. honey. Made in a square 9 inch pan – took 40 minutes. Will definitely make again!

  7. Abbe S says

    I am a loyal follower of you fantastic site and recipes. Please tell me what brand of almond flour you use. I typically use almond meal from Trader Joe’s. thank you for your reply and for sharing your creativity, suggestions, and stories.

  8. Abby says

    Thank you for this, Elana! Very delicious! Made it today for a pre-4th of July family get together and everyone loved it! Even “most” of the little kids. ;) I made the following changes: 1 medium orange instead of 2. And about 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. of honey instead of 3/4 cup. It cooked in about 35 minutes. I also made a chocolate frosting to put on it after it cooled. (1/4 cup coconut oil. 1/8 cup cocoa powder. 1 tablespoon honey) Then I stored it in the fridge for a few hours for the coconut oil to solidify. Served with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

  9. Claire says

    This recipe both intrigued and concerned me. Two oranges could weigh half a pound or two pounds! I saw Elana’s comment that they would weigh in at about 1.25 pounds so that is how much I put in. Brought it for Easter dinner. One of the guests is grain free so I always bake with her in mind. My cake turned a little brown (too brown) on the sides… Other than that was lovely. Moist, yes. Orangey, yes. I served w Elana’s whipped coconut creme from her paleo book. Will make over and over again. Would it help to turn down the oven?

  10. Danielle Devine says

    I am embarrassed to say that I have literally made this recipe exactly as listed, 6 times in two weeks and each time it came out perfectly. It leaves my guests swooning and is a hit everywhere I bring it. At Yesterday’s Easter Egg Hunt and Potluck it was a grand success and it will be the dessert on my Passover Seder table later in April. Thank you so much for such a wonderful recipe!

  11. Brenda Hardiman says

    I made this for the 1st time and used fresh picked kumquats and orange. The combo with honey is fantastic. I’ve been following your recipes for a while. Thanks!

  12. Lisa says

    I made this twice now in the past week after not having made it since my first attempt a while back.
    I made the following changes –
    Smaller oranges
    3 eggs
    2/4 maple syrup + 1/4 honey
    It’s moist but not soggy and I prefer the sweetness. Plus maple syrup is fodmap friendly.

  13. HBA says

    I followed this recipe exactly, using two organic medium oranges. It stuck to the pan when I removed it two hours after baking it as the recipe stated. Also, it was so moist I would describe it as wet. I loved the taste of it! I will make it again and try adding 1/3 cup of coconut flour. Also, I will line the pan with parchment paper and grease the paper. In the meantime, I am going to cover my cake with a vegan chocolate ganache to hide the breaks in the cake that resulted when I turned it out of the pan.

  14. Julie says

    I wanted to make this recipe as is, but didn’t have all ingredients. Subbed 1 cup fresh pulverized pineapple for oranges, Trader Joe’s Almond Meal for Almond flour, Steen’s Cane Syrup for agave/honey, and added 1 T. coconut flour (it seemed too watery). I oiled and baked in nonstick bundt pan for 40 mins. It’s came out great – a real treat! Only problem was it stuck to the pan. So next time, I really want to try the ‘real’ recipe and will line a cake pan with parchment paper. Thanks for a wonderful recipe base!

  15. Heather says

    Here are my variations for a Lemon version without a food processor:
    I sliced my lemons and cooked down with a bit of water and extra lemon juice. I also put a vanilla bean pod (seeds removed for glaze, later in the recipe) in. I cooked so long & slow that I was able to mash any lemon rind left intact with a pasty blender and a wooden spoon. Added a heaping tsp of palm shortening

    Using Pat Williams’s suggestion, I upped the eggs and combined in her order- 3 egg yolks plus agave, then stirred in the cooked down lemon mash. Added flour mix (2 cu almond flour, baking soda, salt) and watched in amazement as it puffed up! Whipped 3 egg whites to soft peaks and folded it in.

    Put in TWO 9″ pans which I had greased with palm shortening (non-hydrog) and then added a touch of butter and a sprinkling of lemon sugar (sugar, vanilla seeds, lemon zest).

    Removed after 30 min. when browned. Didn’t rise at all; clearly needs some experimentation on that front. Topped with Vanilla Sugar glaze and Lemon Simple Syrup glaze, which was the only “sugar sugar” (as opposed to agave) I used in the recipe.

    Even gluten free friends liked it!

  16. Pam says

    I made this cake into a firetruck for a Fireman Sam birthday party. I’ve posted photos on my website Normally when I make this cake (and we make it often) I use chocolate frosting. However, my daughter did not want a brown firetruck, she wanted a red one, then a yellow one, then at the last minute a pink one. This was so good with coconut frosting. All the kids (and grown ups) loved it. If you haven’t made this yet, I highly recommend it.

  17. Mel says

    It is a wonderful recipe. I decided I would try this recipe as tea cakes. First time I used 2 medium size navel oranges. Too moist. Yeild 24 tea cakes.
    Yesterday tried 1 med orange, perfection. Yeild 18 tea cakes. I am assuming the amount of orange should weight no more than 1 pound, per Nigela Lawson’s website.

    I did try this with 2 small lemons as well.. I added 1/3 cup poppy seeds to almond flour prior to adding to food processor. Once again perfection.Yeild 18 tea cakes. Unfortunately I added a honey glaze from another chef, which turn out more like a toffee candy coating topping. Next time I will leave well enough alone.

    Elana, have to say I love your Fig Newton recipe as well. One of my all time favorites as a child. I have tried your original recipe and have also changed it up a bit for a diabetic friend. I dehydrated strawberries, and used Cary’s sugarfree maple syrup to make Strawberry Newtons. Turn out wonderful.

    Thank you for your continued dedication to a healthy lifestyle.

    • Mel says

      Oh my, failed to mention that today I decided to try the lemon and orange again, without the glaze I used in prior attempt. I don’t know if anyone had any falling center in their cakes as they cooled. I did, sooo I did a bit of investigation, and Nigela, uses baking powder, not baking soda. As well, she stated on her blog that there is gluten free baking powder. Went to my local Whole Foods, and sure enough there is a Hain Brand as well as Dr. Oetker. Grabbed the Hain, and what do you know, no sinking in the middle of my lovely tea cakes. While the little lovelies were baking, I went on line and found a sub for gluten free baking powder, which is far less expensive than what I purchased. 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, to 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda(baking soda). Will have to try that next time. By the way baking these as tea cakes in a nordicware 12 square space pan, was 10 minutes, then rotate pan, and bake an additional 10 minutes. 20 minutes to heavenly goodness. Great recipe Elana.

  18. marlene says

    Hi Elana

    It sounds like a great recipe!
    Have you, or has anyone you know (of), ever made this with lemons instead of oranges? Can hardly wait to find out!… Of not, i will soon give it a try (and report back)…

  19. Rita says

    Thanks for recipe. I like to try this.
    Have you ever measure 2 Oranges how much pure will be? Like is it going to be 2 cup orange pure?

  20. Courtney says

    Thanks for a great recipe… I made cupcakes from this recipe for my son’s 2nd bday. And used a basic paleo choc frosting recipe from coconut oil, organic cocoa & organic raw honey. Really yummy. My non paleo guests were impressed. Thanks again.

  21. says

    I made this cake on a Sunday for a dinner invite, which was cancelled. It sat in the fridge until Saturday morning when I used it for a bake sale-and it was still good. I think some cranberries would go really well with the spicy orange flavor.

  22. Elana Wilkins says

    I better clear up I”m not “The” Elana! Ha! I made this tonight with some changes. I did not boil the oranges. I used 1 large orange and 3 clementines. I used the peel and discarded some of the white area because I didnt want any bitterness. I put the peel and oranges in my vitamix and blended it together. I then added 1/4 honey and 1/2 cup Lakanto all natural zero glycemic sweetener ( sold on amazon) it bakes exactly like sugar yet there is NO spike in blood sugar and zero calories. I also added 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Added the other ingredients as listed and baked in a 9 inch square pan that was greased and floured with almond flour. I baked this for 50 minutes and cut into 16 squares. It baked perfectly. It turned out a dense cake that is just delicious. I like mine with a small dollop of whipped cream or a person could use whipped coconut cream. Excellent recipe. Thanks!!

  23. Eva says

    So I made this tonight and it was FABULOUS. I was worried it was going to be a bit better because of all the orange pith, but it wasn’t. I used my own almond flour (because I have a vitamix and love using it) and it was a little soggy, more like a pudding in the middle. But I’m going to assume that is my fault because of the flour. Didn’t matter anyways, because, again, it was FABULOUS. I’m going to use it as a birthday cake for my Aunt this weekend. She isn’t gluten free, but I am. And if I’m baking the cake it is going to meet my dietary restrictions ;)

  24. Sara says

    Hi, I was just wondering what the nutritional info is for this cake. Especially calories, I am on a very strict diet and calorie count is crucial for me ight now. Thanks. I’ve already made it, and can’t wait to try it!

  25. Glyn says

    I love whole orange cakes, they’re just so….orangey! Thanks Elana for this recipe, I just made it and it has come out beautifully! So moist and delicious. I will be serving it with some Paleo ice cream for dinner guests this evening – provided I don’t eat it all before then!

    For all of you out there prone to a little substitution…I subbed out the agave nectar for 1/4 cup of raw honey (I didn’t have any agave nectar) and 1/3 cup crystallized erythritol to cut down the carbs a little. Worked a treat!

  26. Laura says

    I just used this recipe as the cake part of a plum upside down cake. Heaven! I served it with some homemade heavy cream yogurt cheese, which tasted a bit like crème fraiche and finished it by drizzling some of the plum sauce from the plum reduction. I’m so grateful for your fabulous baked goods recipes. It is making being on the SCD diet so much more approachable and successful!

  27. Veronica says

    I made this, and it’s my new favorite recipe … it’s so easy. I doubled the recipe and froze 1/2 of it … it freezes very well. Think it was done in 35 minutes .. depending on size of pan and if it was on top or bottom oven shelf.
    It is really moist but that’s what makes it delicious.

  28. Lesley Ramsey says

    Made this with 3 small clementines and a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder, also had no agave so used golden syrup..not so healthy but fabulous cake!
    The texture was very like ginger cake so next time I will try with some molasses and is really lovely, THANK YOU !!!!!

  29. Melissa says

    Has anyone measured the amount of orange puree they end up putting into their cake? I used 3 small organic oranges and they yielded 1 1/2 cups of puree. The cake was very moist and had a mushy mouthfeel, but still cut and looked like cake. (it was done in 35-40 minutes). It wasn’t bad or anything, but I’m wondering if I should be using less puree.
    I topped mine with a glaze made from powdered sugar and fresh orange juice and then we served the cake with sliced, fresh strawberries. Very good!

  30. Mizzmk says

    Has anyone tried this recipe w grapefruit?? Am going to try but if anyone has experience please do share!

  31. Leana Alba says

    I have made this recipe twice – both times a disaster. Burnt on the outside and doughy on the inside. I have tried using smaller oranges but to no avail. I think 4 eggs might be one to many or perhaps it needs more almond flour. I love the ‘thought’ of this cake but so far i am very disappointed by the results.

  32. Pam says

    I just made this. I doubled the batch hoping for a double layer cake, but the pans were so full I made three.

    However, the reason I’m writing is 35 minutes into the baking process I smelled burning. The tops are all dark brown. I see the original recipe by the other person says to cover with aluminum foil to prevent that from happening. I don’t think making it thinner played into the burning since the same amount of surface area would have been exposed.

    Hopefully I will be able to skim the dark parts and salvage the cake. 1 pound of almond flour! This is frustrating.

  33. Susan Gallagher says

    The cake was out of this world! It’s new FAV. I was skeptical about putting the rind in but it is wonderful! My cake starting too dark too after about 30 mins. so i covered mine with foil. :)

  34. Susan Gallagher says

    Mine is in the oven right now! The AROMA of the oranges boiling was heavenly… I can’t wait to try this! :)

  35. ItalianCypress says

    I didn’t have two oranges to spare or the time to wait for them to boil so… I made a pineapple upside-down cake instead. I just replaced the oranges with half of a small pineapple thrown right into a blender. I placed a thin layer of agave, followed by a few slices of pineapple, and some no sugar added maraschino cherries in juice. It is still hot but a sneaky-taste-test-before-it-is-ready says it is going to be AMAZING! Next time I make this, for I am sure I will, I plan to take some of the pineapple juice out as it interfered slightly with the baking process. The cake is cracked versus whole because of it. Just a thought.

  36. Evelena says

    Thanks for the great recipe! I used 3 small organic juice oranges (1 lb total), and substituted honey for agave. I baked it in an 8×8-in. pan instead, at 350 for 50 mins. My husband and I both loved how moist and orange-y the cake is. The bottom of the cake stuck just slightly to the 8×8 pan after cooling for close to 2 hrs.

    I calculated the approximate nutritional info using Myfitnesspal and above ingredients (1 lb oranges with peel, and honey):
    Calories Carbs Fat Protein Fiber Sodium
    Total: 3140 331 131 78 45 2183
    Per Serving: 196 21 8 5 3 136

  37. says

    I have made about 4 of these in the last 5 days and they vanish quite quickly. The last one I made I decided to try adding a tsp of coconut flour and a half tsp of almond extract. It has added so much depth to the texture and the flavour. Sprinle flaked almonds over the top and it’s orange cake perfection :) My friends were fans before of the gluten free creations I replicate from this site, but now they are putty in my hands!

  38. says

    I made this today for friends and they were all blown away (as was I!) It was so simple and totally delicious! Thank you so much. This has made a lot of people in London very happy!

  39. QueenJellyBean says

    I made this Saturday and it came out perfectly.

    – I omitted oil entirely, substituted an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce.

    – Instead of 2 oranges, I used 1 orange and 2 lemons. (Lemons boil to softness more quickly than stiff organic oranges, BTW.)

    – No cake pain available, I used a 10-inch steel skillet, lined with parchment paper.

    – I reduced agave by 1/8th and added a hard shake of stevia. Too sweet for me, I’ll reduce Agave by 1/3 next time and not add stevia.

    I LOVED the citrus puree and could eat that plain! Great base for moist cake.

  40. says

    I made this recipe with Meyer Lemons today and did not change a thing. (I had about 3/4 cup of ML puree) It’s absolutely fab. Since the Meyer Lemons are “sweeter” than regular lemons, it had enough agave for my tastes. I’m so happy I found a lemon cake recipe that’s GF, tasty and easy to make! Thank you Elana, once again!

  41. A.Z. says

    Hi everyone. I must admit that I have never left a comment regarding recipes before. Not for a lack of word, but for a lack of time. I have type 1 diabetes and Hoshimoto’s thyroiditis so my M.D. told me to completely eliminate gluten permanently. I have purchased 25lbs of almond flour and now bake everything on Elana’s website :) My children are happy, my husband is happy and now I can eat yummy sweets with them.

    This orange cake is unbelievably moist, decadent and easy to make. It tastes so moist that my husband said that it was not done when he was cutting it with the knife. I had to hide it from him after 3 pieces LOL. I wonder what the proportions would be for pumpkin, carrot or squash instead of oranges. There would be less liquid than you would get from oranges. I will try to make it with other veggies and fruits and post a comment.

    Thank you so much Elana for your tasty and easy recipes.

  42. Angela says

    Hi Elana,
    I love your site! I’ve had success with a few of your cupcake recipes and the coconut frosting was a huge hit! I’m going to try your orange cake recipe for a family party this weekend. I would like to try and use a bundt pan– I was wondering what you thought of that idea, do you think I would be able to get it out of the pan smoothly after the cooling?

  43. Kate says

    I’ve made this cake a couple fo times, with oranges and with other citrus, and it is always fabulous! I have to share that I just ran into big bags of organic oranges (I will not go near non-organic citrus) on an amazing clearance rack at my local supermarket and am doing cartwheels of joy!! Guess I’m baking lots of orange cake this weekend – maybe muffins and mini-loaf cakes too for Christmas presents!!

    Also, I’m going to boil most of them then freeze the puree in portions so can just thaw out and use as needed – yayyyyyyy!!!!

  44. marsha says

    In a jet lagged stupor, I made a double recipe of Orange Cake for Thanksgiving…but with a few modifications.

    I had 5 juice oranges so I used them all. I used a combination of 1 cup Splenda (to reduce the carbs) and 2 squirts of agave. I measured a little more salt than double…caught myself before doubling the doubled recipe.

    And here’s the Big Booboo…I measured out 32 oz of Honeyville almond flour (double the doubled recipe)! I thought the batter was thicker than it should be, but proceeded anyway.

    It baked in about the same time as the original recipe but it didn’t fall in the middle like it usually does.

    Best of all, it was terrific! The taste (glad I used that extra orange) and texture were just fine. It was not as moist and more cake-like.

    Being diabetic, I love this cake and am happy to have stumbled onto a modification that gives me a choice of textures.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  45. Heather says

    I made some modifications to this cake – I found the original recipe too moist.

    1 orange – boiled for 45 mins
    3/4 coconut sap as sweetener (powder form, like sugar only better!)
    2 eggs

    bake in 8×8 square pan

    still delish, but less moist

  46. Amy H says


    Add a small amount (1/4 – 1/2 tsp) of anise for a nice counter balance flavor. It will be hard for folks to pinpoint the flavor but it brings a bit of an earthiness.


  47. Dianne says

    I made this for a brunch this past Father’s Day Sunday. My niece has Celiac disease and others in the family are following a gf lifestyle. It was very moist and compared to a riccotta style cheesecake. Not sure if it was supposed to result in that format. It took about an hour and half to bake and still seemed to be so moist I was not sure it was done but took it out any way.
    It really turned out great. I followed the recipe exactly as stated.
    I will make this again. It is very refreshing and perfect for brunch.
    thanks for a great website….

  48. says

    I made this for a friends birthday last weekend and it was sooooo good! As it was a special treat I topped it with a frosting of mascarpone, whipping cream, orange juice, and confectioners sugar (not healthy but it was oh so good on the cake). Served with sliced strawberries over it and it was very pretty.

    Elana your website has made gluten-free baking fun and delicious, thank you very much!

  49. David Nigh says

    Hey Elana-

    i’m planning on making this orange cake for my mom’s birthday-

    do you have any thoughts or suggestions for an icing or frosting that would work with this cake? in an effort to make it more “birthday-ish”-

    it’s awesome on it’s own, btw!!

    any advice is gratefully appreciated-

    david from chicago

    • Dianne says

      Actually I was thinking of an orange glaze. Using some of the orange puree that was made (use 1 or 2 tablespoons) and adding conf. sugar and just using it sparingly on cake.

  50. Jen B says

    Just made this for our Passover Seder (I am newly GF), and it turned out looking and tasting WONDERFUL! I didn’t have time to look into any extras for it – glaze or anything else – but I definitely will be making this again, and not just for Passover. Thanks for this recipe!!

  51. rbwolfie says

    This was delicious! Made for guests and hubby loved too. However, we think it is best the next day cold. Thanks for the recipe Elana!

  52. Christina says

    I just made this cake, and it was a huge hit! I will be making it again today for a friend’s birthday. One thing I did differently was to add two dried vanilla beans to the batter when processing the orange and agave. It added beautiful vanilla specks, and an awesome orange/vanilla flavor. Love it! Thanks for this recipe!

  53. Jacqueline Hanzl says

    My husband has Type I diabetes. These recipes look like they would be great for him, but I was wondering, is there any way to get the nutritional information, especially the amount of carbs per serving, since that is how he determines how much insulin he gives himself?

    Thank you,

  54. Cindy says

    This cake is absolutely breathtaking I am soo pleased with the results in fact it was so good I turned right around and made a second one before the oven was cool haahha…Love it thank you so much….My 14 yr old and I changed our diet about 3 months ago (he lost 26 lbs and I lost 36 lbs and still counting) We feel so much better not only because of the weight loss, but because we are no longer putting junk in our bodies….Your website (although I do use others) is my main resource for cooking and baking. Cindy from Kansas

  55. Kirsten says

    This looks great but I am scared to make gluten free cakes now. I use xylitol instead of agave nectar and every time I make gluten free cakes, there is always this green goo at the bottom of the cake. Am I using too much oil?

  56. Nan says

    I love your website and have made many of your recipes. The orange cake sounded good so I followed your recipe, but the idea of boiling the oranges didn’t sit well, so I tried it again. I zested the oranges, and used all the rest except for some of the pith. I just blended the raw oranges and zest in my Vitamix and then added the other ingredients. Much better, fresher tasting, not as bitter. Same consistency too. Like an orange cheese cake, almost.

  57. Carmen says

    This cake has now become my family’s favorite! I have Insulin Resistance and can’t have carbs at all, except nuts & beans, so this is perfect. I can’t have agave but the natural sugars in the oranges don’t seem to bother me. I used Splenda and to combat that “sugarless” feel on the palate, I added the juice of 1/2 lemon, rind from 1/2 lemon, 1 tsp vanilla. No one could tell it was “sugar-free”.

    Absolutely delicious!

  58. Marcy says

    Mine turned out SO GROSS. I went wrong somewhere, like maybe my navel oranges were too large, but I still feel like boiling the oranges turned their fresh appeal into something flabby and a little acrid.

    Does anyone know the purpose for boiling whole oranges? I can’t get my head around it and this recipe’s been a success for so many of you posters. I’m jealous.

  59. Lizzy says

    Amazing! The first gf cake I’ve made that doesn’t taste gf. Mine was done cooking at about 35 min and only about half of it cooled in the pan for for the full 2 hours:) So glad I found your site Elana

  60. says

    Hi Elana!

    I have been wanting to make this for so long, and after I saw yours I decided to dig in. I referenced your recipe as well as two cookbooks that I used. Thanks for turning me onto Claudia Roden’s books. I love the history of food and culture.

    • Mary says

      Hi Elana,
      I’ve just made this and absolutely love it. I was just wondering if you would recommend changing anything in order to make it into cupcakes?
      Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  61. says

    I love recipes that are gluten free by nature, and almond meal cakes are a great example. The orange flavour must be beautifully intense with whole oranges included. You’ve taken a lovely picture too!

  62. says

    Thank you for participating in Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten Free! I just wanted to set the record straight and let you know that although the wonderful Emilia of Gluten Free Day is hosting this month, it is in fact a monthly event with many hosts – next month is hosted by Carol at Simply Gluten Free.

    If you, or any of your readers would like to host a month just pop over to my blog and drop me a comment, they don’t even have to have a gluten free blog, just be prepared to try out something that is gluten free.

    x x x

  63. says

    Elana -I am a doctor who specializes in gastrointestinal health, and kids are becoming a prevalant component of my practice. I am currently putting together a cookbook for my gfcf kids and their parents (emphasizing lunch at school ideas). I don’t have time to put together original recipes, but I like to use recipes I find on the internet and then give credit to the creator of the recipe. Working parents with ADD and autistic kids don’t have time to peruse the internet, yet, they desperately need a variety of suggestions with recipes to be able to feed their kids in the healthy and restricted diets. I would love to be able to use some of your recipes for this book. Each recipe will be giving you credit, with your web site. Is it ok with you?
    PS I was looking for ideas for my breakfast and found this wonderful recipe – that is how I happened to be on this page with my question.
    I just recently found your site and I LOVE IT. I am kind of dubious about agave nectar – it is recently getting some bad press – acts like corn syrup! Any comments?
    Thanks so very much

    • Juanita Thomas says


      I have many allergies besides the gluten. I cannot use corn, but am doing well with agave. Sometimes I add a little pure maple syrup, too, for flavoring.

      I would love to have your book when you are finished.

  64. says

    Thanks for your comments! This recipe won’t work if you blanch the almonds yourself, unless you let them dry out for a couple of days –otherwise you will get as Carin did a “mush like goo.” When switching ingredients, unfortunately, unpredictable results usually occur. Hope this helps :-)

  65. says

    As soon as I found this recipe last night, I dashed into my kitchen and made this cake. I didn’t have blanched almond flour, so I grinded my own almonds (not blanched, however). I didn’t grind the almonds fine enough but even so the cake was DELICIOUS! Next time I will splurge on blanched almond meal. Thanks for such a delicious treat!! Perfect orange flavor.

  66. says

    I have been looking for a recipe like this since starbucks came out with their cake. I just bought the last seasons worth of valencias from the farmers market sat and am super excited to make this cake. Maybe tonight…

  67. Carin says

    Hi just for comments sake: I tried the orange almond cake using my own home made blanched almond flour and it didn't hold together quite as well :( I blanched EVERY almond myself. Oh well. But still yummy mush like goo mhh

  68. LeAnne says

    Elana – have you tried the new Starbucks Gluten Free Valencia Orange Cake? It's a copycat of your recipe. in a muffin form with sliced almonds and an orange syrup on top. All in an individual wrapper. Truly fabulous! They should re-name it Elana's Gluten Free Valencia Orange Cake! So nice to have a gluten free alternative at Starbucks.

  69. says


    Hmmmmm. My guess would be that 2 oranges would weigh in at more than a pound, not sure exactly how much more though. Maybe go for 1.25 pounds? I have been meaning to make this cake with lemons (of any and all sort) and bet it will be amazing with the Meyers.

    Let me know how it goes :-)


    • LindaRose says

      Elana? Have you made this recipe with lemons? Any adjustments required??
      I have all your cook books and love them.

      • Elana says

        Linda, thanks for your comment and nice to meet you here! I haven’t made this recipe with lemons in place of the oranges so not sure how that would go :-)

  70. ~M says

    Hi Elana,

    I’m starting to audition Pesach recipes and bought some Meyer lemons (on sale!) to make a version of this cake. I weighed out the Meyer Lemons to be 1 lb because Nigella’s version calls for 1 lb of citrus. Would you say that the 2 oranges you used are equal, more, or less than 1 lb? I hope you are enjoying the navel oranges over there as much as we are over here! Thanks!

    Thanks so much, as always!

  71. Kristin says

    I modified the Orange Cake recipe yesterday to make a Lemon Poppyseed Cake. I used 6 small lemons in place of the oranges. Everything else I kept the same, except that I added 20 drops of stevia and 1T poppyseeds. It turned out well, very moist and tasty. Not too tart, not too sweet and very filling. Thanks for the inspiration!

  72. Dawn says

    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. I decided it would also make beautiful carrot spice muffins – so I went with your original recipe and added cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg alone with a few grated carrots and a couple of handfuls of raisins. You may need to increase the almond flour by 1/2 cup. They were fabulous and very moist.
    Next up – banana cranberry oat muffins using this as the basis and certified GF oats. Thankyou!

  73. Shirley says

    Just a note to Carolyn, Elana gave you a solution for this cake :-), but I just wanted to mention that you can still flour your pans even if GF. After you grease them, you just pour a little of your GF flour into the pan and tilt it and turn so the flour will go over the greased area. Then dump out the excess. (It shouldn’t be much left to dump out, if any.)

  74. says


    Thanks for your comment. I changed the instructions to read “cool the cake in the pan” after you left it. I think this will do the trick. Let me know how it goes.


  75. says

    I tried making this on Thanksgiving and I almost had it, except that when I tried to transfer the cake from the pan to the cooling rack it broke in half:( I was really disappointed, but I want to try it again, even just for the smell of warm citrus. What can you recommend for me so that this doesn’t happen again. In the old days I would have “floured” my pan, but that’s not a possibility anymore. I’d really appreciate the input. Thanks!

  76. says

    Elana – Thank you so very much for this yum recipe! Our whole house smells like lovely oranges – I added whole cloves and a cinnamon stick to the boiling water to really take advantage of the citrus fragrance :)

  77. says

    Kim -I bet that smelled amazing, though sounds as if it might taste a little too strong –did it work?

    Chris -I haven’t posted a pumpkin apple soup recipe, though wish I had one, it sounds divine.

  78. Brent says

    Someone wrote that they loved your pumpkin apple soup recipe. Could you post or send it to my e-mail. I’d love to serve it at our thanksgiving meal.

    Thanks for your website and fabulous recipes!

  79. Kim says

    I just made this cake, and my house smells wonderful. When I boiled the oranges, I threw in half a dozen whole cloves. When everything was done boiling, I tossed the cloves in the food processor too – not sure if they’ll make a difference in the cake since I probably boiled all the flavor out of them, but I couldn’t help it. It’s just such a lovely combination of flavors and scents. I can’t wait to try the cake! I’m taking this and another non-GF cake to work tomorrow for my birthday – let’s see which one goes faster! :) Thanks, Elana!

  80. says

    fran -I take it you are not baking in the U.S. You can go to this website for conversions; I found it by googling “convert ml to cups.” For the exact weights of specific ingredients I would weigh them on a scale and then use the aforementioned chart to convert the recipes, though if you don’t have a cup to measure out the ingredients, then this wouldn’t work so it might not be a helpful suggestion. You could always post this question in my forums, there are lots of helpful folks over there and many from Europe.

    MamaBear -Thanks for your lovely comment; I also enjoy connecting with people passionate about food.

  81. MamaBear says

    Looks fantastic! Can’t wait to make it :) Thanks for all your recipes. I love that they are wholesome, flavorful & satisfying. I’m always looking forward to browsing through all of them, both old and new! I’m grateful to find other people who eat similarly & are as passionate about food as I am.

  82. fran says

    I finally found agave nectar in a health food store, but could someone please tell me how much ml 1 cup of agave nectar exactly is?
    And does anyone know how much grams are in 1 cup of almond flour, I think it is around 100 grams per cup. It would be greatly appreciated if i could get the precise numbers ;)

    • Bernadette says

      I would like to try this recipe with another fruit puree—passionfruit.

      How much does the two pureed oranges measure out, so that I could make an equivalent substitution?

  83. says

    ~M -Thanks for your comment and for inspiring me to post this recipe. I am looking forward to trying it with other citrus!

    Pat -Your lemon version sounds delicious.

    Chrissy -Hope you liked it as much as we did :-)

    Veggiegirl -Thanks!

    Ruth -Peel and all; thanks for pointing out that the instructions weren’t clear enough, I edited that to be more straightforward.

    Sue -Peel and all :-)

    Robin -I like the chocolate drizzling idea.

    Laurinda -Yup, peel and all; you are welcome!

    Cate -You are welcome, and no, don’t peel the oranges.

    Miranda -Yes the whole thing; glad you found us here :-)

    Mariella -You are welcome; thanks for your comment.

    Magma -Removing/substituting even one ingredient in a recipe will change the entire recipe and you may need to make significant adjustments when doing so –as you are basically experimenting and will achieve varied (and not always good) results. In this case, I would just recommend rolling the dough in a bit more almond flour to make it drier. This is generally the trick for oily dough (no matter what type of flour you are using).

    ~M -Thanks.

    Sarah -Thanks for your comment. Have fun baking sans the xanthum.

    Hayley -That sounds delicious!

    melissa -Thanks for your comment. I would first get an oven thermometer to see if your oven is baking correctly at the temperature it is set to. If it is, then I would remove the cake at 35-40 minutes and reduce the baking time, rather than turning down the heat. Also, you could try to bake it on a lower oven rack than you did the first time…Hope this helps and let me know how it goes.

    Shirley -Thanks for another great comment. Enjoy the cake!

    Terri I like the idea of using a mild olive oil in place of the grapeseed. Thanks for sharing your substitution tip.

  84. Terri Kirkner says

    I’ve made at least half of the recipes on this site and only use Oliovita delicate and mild olive oil for baking rather than the grapeseed oil and love it. The oil is so light and basically has no taste.

  85. Shirley says

    As soon as I saw this, I immediately thought of Nigella’s recipe which I have always pondered, but never tried. Yours looks easier. I have two oranges that I bought to make wassail for my support group’s open house tomorrow (that recipe is from Stephanie’s A Year of Crockpotting blog,, but I am very tempted to make this recipe this evening and buy more oranges tomorrow morning. ;-) Not sure if I have enough almond flour though. :-( Ordering that is on my “to do” list. If not, I will make this VERY soon. Thanks!

  86. melissa says

    the flavor of this cake is great. but the outside burned a bit t 375 for 45 minutes. to prevent this, would i turn the oven down and bake longer? thank you.

  87. Magma says


    I was excited to find your beautiful website which is very similar to the way I need to eat (minus so much sugar). I made your fig newton recipe, without the sencond sweetener, and was dismayed to find how oily the cookie “dough” was. Have you tried it with less oil? I did use your recommended brand of almond flour.


  88. Mariella says

    Sheer bliss! We all adore oranges or anything citrus-related. This recipe many times simplified reminds me of Sicilian almond cake sans marzipan.
    Mmmm, I’m trying it this weekend….Thank you so much for sharing.


    P.S. Love your photography!

  89. Miranda says

    Hi there! I’ve just found your site and I can’t wait to try *everything*. My step-mother is on a gluten-free diet, I’m diabetic, and we’re both very much into healing through food.

    Before I dive in to this one I wanted to make sure:
    when you say boil and process the oranges “whole” you mean peel and everything?


  90. Cate says

    Hi Elana-
    First I want to say I made your chocolate chip cookies(the ones with the grapeseed oil) the other day and they were FABULOUS! Thank you!

    Question: In this recipe did you peel the oranges?

  91. Laurinda says

    This sounds great & the picture looks irresistable! One question, though, do you blend the oranges with peel & pith? Thank you for all the wonderful recipes!

  92. Sue says

    Just making sure… since you’re cooking the oranges whole, I assume you put the whole orange (unpeeled) into the food processor??

  93. Ruth says

    Oooohhh.. My boys love orange.
    When do you peel the orange? Or does the whole
    orange, peel and all, go into the blender?

  94. Pat Williams says

    I make this same (almost) cake, using 1 2/3 c. almond flour. Also I use three eggs, but mix the egg yolks and sugar first, then add the fruit puree and almond flour, and then the stiffly beaten egg whites. I make it frequently using two or three lemons. I don’t make any other changes, but it is tart!

  95. ~M says

    Don’t forget Pesach! :) I made it for Pesach last April with meyer lemons and used 1.25 cups sugar instead of the 1 cup + 2T sugar for oranges. You could probably even sweeten it less with meyer lemons (as opposed to regular lemons). I’ve also made it with satsumas. I think lime, lemon-lime, or even grapefruit could be excellent, too! I love the smell of the citrus simmering! By the way, this seems to be a very “forgiving” recipe since I used relatively course almond meal (with the skins on) and it worked beautifully and tasted great, albeit rich!

    Thanks so much for posting this!

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