Moist and tender with fresh orange flavour, this Almond Flour Orange Cake is naturally gluten-free and super easy to make. It’s topped with a light and citrusy whipped cream but it can also be enjoyed on its own with a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh orange slices.
This flourless orange cake is a no-fuss single layer cake that’s filled with so much orange flavour, from the cake batter to the whipped cream, it tastes just like a creamsicle ice cream. That extreme citrus taste is due to the fresh orange zest, freshly squeezed orange juice and orange extract, which are all included in the recipe.
If you love this orange almond flour cake, you’ll also want to try my lemon almond flour cake. Both are filled with fresh citrus flavour and have a moist and tender crumb.
Reasons to love this orange cake recipe
- This cake is so moist and tender that it stays fresh for days, so you can absolutely make this one ahead of time.
- It’s naturally gluten-free and easily made dairy-free by using dairy-free whipping cream for the topping.
- You don’t need an electric mixer for the cake batter. It comes together easily with just two bowls, a whisk and a spatula. (Just note that if you opt for the whipped cream topping, you’ll need an electric mixer).
- Unlike some almond flour cakes, you don’t need to separate the egg yolks or fold in whipped egg whites. The 4 eggs in the recipe just go directly into the batter.
- Unlike some orange almond cakes, this one doesn’t require boiling oranges, but it’s still packed with plenty of juicy orange flavour.
Details on the ingredients
Below is a brief overview of the ingredients. The recipe card at the end of this post includes the exact quantities used.
Almond flour – You’ll need blanched almond flour to make this cake. I usually buy it at Costco, but you can also find it in the organic or specialty sections of most grocery stores.
Orange zest and juice – You’ll need about 2 medium-sized oranges to yield enough zest for the batter and the whipped cream topping. You can then use one of those oranges to get one tablespoon of freshly squeezed orange juice for the batter. For the best flavour, avoid store-bought orange juice.
Orange extract – To enhance the orange flavour of the cake and whipped cream without adding more juice (which would be too much liquid for the cake and topping), I opted to use pure orange extract. One teaspoon of extract is equal to about 4 tablespoons of orange juice, so you get big flavour without all the liquid. If you can’t find orange extract, just substitute it with an equal amount of orange zest.
Cane sugar – This type of sugar has a golden colour and a slightly coarser texture than granulated sugar. If you can’t find any, feel free to use granulated sugar.
Oil – Just 1/4 cup of oil helps keep this cake moist. I used extra virgin olive oil but you can also use olive oil, vegetable oil or canola oil.
Eggs – You’ll need 4 large eggs for this recipe, which will add moisture and help this flourless cake rise. Make sure you bring the eggs to room temperature before whisking them with the other wet ingredients.
Baking powder – Used for leavening.
Salt – I used fine sea salt but you can also use kosher salt or table salt.
Whipping cream – The topping for the cake is made with heavy whipping cream. To make this recipe dairy-free, you can easily substitute it with a dairy-free alternative whipping cream.
Powdered sugar – This is added to the whipping cream to sweeten it.
Are almond flour, almond meal and ground almonds all the same thing?
Both almond flour and almond meal are made from raw ground almonds. Almond flour is finely ground and made with almonds that have had the skins removed (also called blanched almonds). As a result, it has a light colour and fine texture. Almond meal is made with almonds that have the skins left on, so it has a brownish colour and coarser texture.
I normally use blanched almond flour as it is easier to find and has a finer texture, which I prefer for baked goods.
How do you zest an orange?
Orange zest is the outer orange skin of an orange peel. The zest is created by finely grating or zesting the orange peel. You can do this by using a microplane zester or the small holes on a box grater. When zesting an orange, only use the orange part as the white pith underneath has a bitter taste.
Before zesting an orange, thoroughly wash and dry it. (If it’s wet, the zest may get clumpy). I prefer to zest oranges that have been refrigerated as this makes them firmer and easier to zest. For the same reason, you’ll also want to wait to juice your orange until after it is zested.
How to make gluten-free orange cake with almond flour
Grease an 8 x 2 inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. (Grease the sides well too so the cake doesn’t stick).
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking powder and salt.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs and then whisk in the sugar, oil, orange zest and juice, and orange extract.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir together until the dry ingredients are incorporated. The batter will be thick.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to spread it out evenly.
Bake on 350F for 24-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
How to make orange flavoured whipped cream
Place your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Add the whipping cream, powdered sugar and orange extract to the chilled bowl and beat on medium-low speed for 30 seconds until the powdered sugar is mixed in a little.
Increase the speed to medium-high and beat the ingredients together until stiff peaks form, stopping as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl. This will take a few minutes.
Once fully whipped, stir in the orange zest.
Top the cooled cake with the whipped cream and serve with more orange zest and/or fresh orange slices.
If the cake is topped with whipped cream, it should be stored covered in the refrigerator and enjoyed within 5 days.
Without the whipped cream, the cake can be left at room temperature for 2-3 days, as long as it’s stored in an airtight container.
The cake (without the whipped topping) can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Just let it cool, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight freezer bag or container. Let it thaw at room temperature before serving with whipped cream or your choice of topping.
I used naval oranges for this recipe, but any type of orange will work. Look for oranges with a firm and thick skin, which will make them easier to zest. You’ll also want to make sure they are free of soft spots or blemishes. Organic oranges or unwaxed oranges are ideal for zesting, but if you can’t find any, just make sure you wash the oranges thoroughly.
The recipe calls for an 8 x 2 inch round baking pan. I don’t recommend going any smaller as there will be too much batter for the pan and the cake may sink in the middle. If you’d like a shorter cake, you can use a 9 x 2 inch round pan and reduce the baking time by about 5 minutes.
This orange cake recipe has only been tested with almond flour. I don’t recommend a 1:1 substitution with all-purpose flour as almond flour has a unique texture as well as a high fat and moisture content. If you’re looking for an orange cake recipe made with more traditional flour, this blood orange chocolate cake is made with whole wheat flour.
While you can easily make this cake dairy-free by using dairy-free whipping cream for the topping, the eggs would need to be omitted or replaced in order to make it vegan. Since the eggs are key for leavening in this recipe, I’m hesitate to try an egg replacement such as flax eggs. If you’re looking for a vegan orange cake, however, I recommend giving this orange spice cake a try.
If you’d like to make this cake lemon flavoured instead of orange, just replace the orange zest, juice and extract with lemon zest, juice and extract. Or, you can just give this lemon almond flour cake a try!
How to serve orange almond flour cake
- We love to serve this cake piled high with orange flavoured whipped cream. The recipe makes a lot of whipped cream so feel free to half it. (I may have gone a little over board!)
- For a dairy-free cake, just substitute the heavy whipping cream for a dairy-free alternative. I like to use Silk brand dairy-free whipping cream.
- Forego the whipped cream and top it with a dusting of powdered sugar or an icing sugar glaze.
- Orange and chocolate go together, so you can also top this cake with a chocolate frosting like this chocolate avocado frosting.
- I like to serve this cake with more orange zest and a few fresh orange slices.
Key recipe tips
- Weighing ingredients. I’ve included cup measurements in the recipe but, for greater accuracy, I recommend weighing your ingredients. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, be sure to use the spoon and level method to measure the almond flour.
- Grease the pan well. Cakes made with almond flour tend to brown quickly and stick to the pan easily. To help prevent this, I like to grease the pan generously with non-stick cooking spray (the bottom and sides) and line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper.
- Cooling the cake. You should let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes so it has time to fully set. Be careful not to leave the cake in the pan for too long as it may start to stick to the sides. After 10 minutes, turn the cake out onto a wire rack. Wait until it is fully cooled and then top with whipped cream. If the cake is still warm, the whipped cream will melt off the cake.
- Thick batter. The batter for this orange cake is thick so you’ll want to use an offset spatula to spread it out in the cake pan to ensure the cake bakes up with a smooth and level top.
More desserts made with almond flour
- Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies
- Almond Flour Blondies
- Almond Flour Vanilla Cupcakes
- Almond Flour Strawberry Cake (made with fresh strawberries)
- Almond Flour Banana Cake (with chocolate peanut butter frosting)
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!Print
Almond Flour Orange Cake is moist, tender and naturally gluten-free with fresh orange flavour and a light and citrusy whipped cream topping.
For the cake:
- 2 1/2 cups (260g) blanched almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120g) cane sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon pure orange extract
For the topping:
- 2 cups (480ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup (70g) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
- 1 teaspoon pure orange extract
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- orange slices for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Grease the sides and bottom of an 8 x 2 inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs and then whisk in the sugar, oil, orange zest, orange juice and orange extract.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and use a spatula to stir together until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Be careful not to over mix.
- Pour the thick batter into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to spread it out evenly.
- Bake for 24-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. The edges of the cake should be golden brown and pulled away from the sides of the pan slightly.
- Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the whipped topping, place your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Add the whipping cream, powdered sugar and orange extract to the chilled bowl and beat on medium-low speed for 30 seconds until the powdered sugar is mixed in a little. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat the ingredients together until stiff peaks form, stopping as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Once fully whipped, stir in the orange zest.
- Top the fully cooled cake with the whipped cream and serve with more orange zest and/or fresh orange slices.
- You’ll need about 2 medium-sized oranges to yield enough zest for the batter and the whipped cream. Just half an orange should yield the 1 tablespoon of juice for the recipe.
- Make sure you’re using blanched almond flour and not almond meal, which has a different colour and coarser texture.
- Cup measurements are included in the recipe for convenience but, for greater accuracy, I recommend weighing your ingredients. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, be sure to use the spoon and level method to measure the almond flour.
- To ensure the cake doesn’t brown too much or stick to the pan, grease the pan generously with non-stick cooking spray (the bottom and sides) and line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for just 10 minutes, so it’s cool enough to handle. If you leave it in the pan for much longer, it may start to stick to the sides of the pan.
- We like the whipped cream piled high on this cake, so the recipe makes a lot of whipped topping. If you prefer less whipped cream, just half the recipe.
- If you can’t find orange extract, you can either leave it out or substitute it for an equal amount of orange zest.
- Be sure to check out the other sections above the recipe card for more detailed advice and suggestions for making this recipe.
Keywords: almond flour, orange cake, flourless, gluten-free