Orange almond wheat-free cake

This cake meets Winkler criteria: easy-to-make, nutritious, delicious.

Fresh-tasting (from the citrus fruit) and so moist – unbelievable because it is fat-free too – no oil or marge or butter used.

[line added thanks to Grazing Kate’s comment below]

I’d eaten it at a special birthday. But how to replicate it? So, I did a Google search for: “oranges almond cake” and up came the recipes. Don’t you just love the internet?

I gave Anthony Worral Thompson’s version a miss. Too complicated.

Here is my organic version of the brilliantly simple one at Mumsnet using four ingredients.

The cast assembled: cooked oranges in food processor, ground almonds and eggs wait in the wings. The fourth ingredient, sugar, missed the photo-shoot.

The recipe

3 oranges or 5 satsumas

Why chose organic oranges? Organic fruit grows at its own pace with less water and more nutrients. In contrast, chemical fertiliser’s rapid growth makes for sappy, disease-prone, more watery, bland tasting crops.

Additionally, because this recipe uses the whole orange including the peel, another good reason to prefer citrus grown without potentially toxic chemicals.

250g ground almonds

Almonds have less carbs and are more nutrition than wheat. Their price has risen because there are not enough bees to pollinate the almond flowers due to the effects of industrial farming on bees’ health. In contrast organic farming saves the bees. Organic almonds won’t have been sprayed with potentially toxic sprays during growing and storage. Kinder to bees, too.

200g sugar (experiment with less)

– or 125g of organic agave syrup which has a low GI, releasing sugar more slowly into bloodstream. It’s worth getting organic because the processing method retains more of the agave nutrients.

6 eggs

from happy, free-roaming, chickens fed on GM-free grain. Organic certification guarantees all of the former. However, if you know your hens, organic certification is less crucial. Personally I believe organic is the norm and chemical farming is the system that should be certified. But hey.

Boil the oranges or satsumas with a lid on until the peel is soft – about an hour.

Drain the fruit and whizz in a food processor, pith and pips and skin – easy as hell and adds fibre and orangey-ness

Add ground almonds and sugar (or agave) and whizz.

Add six eggs and whizz.

Pour the orangey-puree in two lined 15cm tins and bake at 190c for 45 mins – 1 hour depending on your oven. Mine got burnt on the top so I might experiment with a slightly lower heat. Flan tins seemed to work fine.

Turn out and serve with creme fraiche – organic, preferably, so you get more nutrition for your money. The cows lead happier lives too. And organic soil is nurtured and renewed to feed future generations.

Talking about organic, I am going to the Soil Association conference in Manchester next week, reporting for Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen.

PS August 2012 – This cake is such a winner. Here it is filled with organic creme fraiche, covered with melted organic dark chocolate, and topped with cherries for Armiche’s (our Canarian cousin) birthday.

17 responses to “Orange almond wheat-free cake

  1. Sounds delicious Elisabeth….I will try it as soon as time permits. Thanks for your tireless efforts to wake up the world to the many advantages of organic food! And I agree wholeheartedly…’s the chemicalized foods that need to be certified… unfit for human consumption! What an upside down, crazy world we live in!


    • Yes, indeed, Jody – Alice through the Looking Glass or what?

      I wrote the start of a song with Phil about GM, called Little Seed. Maybe I should send it to you?

      Thanks for your talent, voice and music bringing light and love to a mixed-up world!


  2. There’s also a Nigella Lawson version of this book in How to Eat. I always make it at Christmas – a preferable alternative to Christmas cake for me at least. I have to say that people find it hard to believe that it has no added butter or flour in it – it’s so moist and delicious. I always use caster sugar and clementines, but once tried it with lemons and that was good too. I cut the clementines in half (once boiled) and remove the pips – but that’s a personal preference.


    • Grazing Kate!

      How could I have forgotten to mention the unbelievably moist and buttery taste (that comes from the ground almonds)?

      Thanks for mentioning it – I have added a line, with credit.

      Yes, such a good addition to heavy Christmas fare. Good idea.


  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Orange almond wheat-free cake | Real Food Lover --

    • Hi Young Wifey

      Your slightly tongue-in-cheek approach to dedicated domesticity on your blog amused me!

      Let us know if you try this recipe and how you get on.

      Very best wishes


  4. I am not one for cakes, but the recipe seems and sounds very simple. I shall try it out during one of my quieter weekends.
    Enjoy the conference and update me/us when you can.


    • Thanks, Nina. I am not cake-crazy either but this one is well-worth it.

      Congratulations on the publication of your book

      African Fusion Cooking.

      Love yam, and mango, and fou-fou, and chilli, and…. Not many books on African cooking around, as far as I know. This is exciting.

      Good luck with letting as many people know about this book as possible!

      (Hope you are using Facebook and Twitter too, to spread the word…)


  5. Although you see fat free, don’t egg yolks contain above average cholesterol.

    Wouldn’t it make sense to use only the whites? Or maybe 3 eggs and 3 whites.


    • Hi Dan

      First of all congratulations on Darts Farm winning ‘Best Local Food Retailer’ in BBC Radio Four’s Food and Farming Awards.

      Egg yolks do indeed contain cholesterol but they also contain most of the egg’s nutrients.

      The idea of using less of the yolk seems wrong! I think there is a lot of misinformation about cholesterol…

      Here is some info on the great cholesterol debate.

      And I am not against good fats either such as butter and oil. We need them for our health.

      I am against bad fats such as hydrogenated fats found in so-called “cheap” junk food.

      Here is some more information on butter = good fat.

      What do you think?



  6. This cakey tart sounds absolutely delicious. I´m going to try it out as a slice I think. I wonder how it would taste using 1 part lemon & 2 parts orange….hmmm, will get back to you on that.

    Thanks for giving me the perfect excuse to eat dessert today.


  7. I love cakes. I am getting fat now because of too much food. Is theres any way to control it?


  8. Hello Elizabeth
    Tried the cake and I must say, it was quite nice and very moist. I did not serve it with creme fraiche but with a dollop of ice cream – very naughty!
    Thanks for your congratulatory words on my book – it’s been hard work. Sales are moving but very slowly. Have you bought the book itself? If not, why not grab a copy via and leave a comment on your thoughts? My problem at the moment is getting someone at some of the newspaper magazine, features department to do a little feature on me, i.e You magazine, Sunday Mirror weekend magazine, etc. Do you know of names that I can make contact with? If you don’t , don’t worry, I shall keep pressing on.
    In the meanwhwile, keep well and hope to hear from you soon.


  9. I really want to try this cake, but don’t have a food processor. I’ve seen similiar recipes using blitzed, boiled oranges and I like the look of them. Having said that I have a KitchenAid blender, maybe that will work?
    I love the buttery-ness almonds give cakes, I’m sure this cake is delicious. Elisabeth you might also like to try a recipe of Nigella’s I tried recently, which was Venitian carrot cake and is made with olive oil, almonds, carrots, sugar and eggs. Very moist, delicious and healthy.



    • Thanks, Claire.

      Yes, I know what you mean about recipes using equipment that I do not possess…Yes, try the blender to blitz the oranges – I’d like to know if it works.

      My food processor was inherited from my mother in the 80s – not exactly state-of-the-art…And I picked up my hand-blender second-hand. Sometimes I think: Winkler, surely you deserve proper power-tools…But then what about the part of me which thinks we should all power-down? Aie – no shortage of ethical dilemmas…


    • And Claire, yes, the Nigella cake recipe does sound delectable. Although, Nigella does tend to go a bit mad on sugar quantities. I spend my life reducing sugar in most recipes…

      I made this Orange Almond cake again yesterday, using 125 mls of date syrup. It was great – just sweet enough.


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