This moist orange almond cake is made with whole oranges – skins and all. It is low carb, gluten free and sweetened with stevia.
I’ve been meaning to make this cake for ages, ever since a geeky recipe conversation with a close girlfriend.
Are you a food geek?
I am the geekiest of food geeks. To me, talking food has the same effect as a strong cup of coffee. It wakes me up in the loveliest kind of way. It puts me in a good mood. It’s just the best thing ever!
You start explaining a recipe to me and I will feel bright and bushy-tailed immediately. How long did you whisk it? On what shelf in the oven? What exactly did it taste like? There can never be enough detail.
I imagine it’s a bit like trainspotters feel when they listen to someone describing the Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer, wagon by wagon. Or like 10-year olds feel when they watch a Minecraft YouTuber.
This orange almond cake, guys. It’s the bomb!
The cool thing about this cake is that contains ALL of the orange, flesh and skin. You simply cook your oranges in water for 1 hour until they are nice and soft. This also makes the skin taste less bitter. Then you puree the whole orange until you have a fragrant, tasty pulp. You are literally using all of the fibre an orange has to offer, which slows the absorption of the sugar in the fruit. And you get all the taste.
Oranges are relatively high in carbs – one fruit has around 12 net carbs due to the fructose content. But since we are only using 2 oranges for a cake that yields 12 good size slices the carb count per slice remains low at 4.4 net carbs.
The origins of this type of orange cake are found in the Mediterranean, from Spain to Iran and possibly even further. There are countless recipe variations online.
But the sugar, guys! 250, sometimes even 300 grams per cake. We can do better than that, right?
I don’t like my sweet dishes too sweet and have used only 16 drops of liquid vanilla stevia in this recipe. This amount is equivalent to 4 teaspoons of sugar. If you don’t have stevia, you can use xylitol or erythritol instead.
One important thing to note is that oranges differ greatly, depending on variety and time of year. Some are very sweet, some less so. Some have thick skins, some have thin ones. That’s why you should always taste the batter and adjust the sweetness if needed. My oranges were VERY sweet and had a surprisingly thin skin. A thick-skinned orange will result in a more bitter batter, therefore you might want to increase the sweetener to offset it.
The other thing worth mentioning is separating your eggs and beating the egg whites until stiff peaks form. This might seem like a hassle, but it will result in a much lighter, fluffier cake texture. I’m actually doing this by hand with a whisk as I do not have a traditional mixer. Don’t attempt to whisk egg whites with a stick blender or in a food processor, by the way. I’ve tried. It does not work!
Lastly, I’ve called this orange almond cake a “breakfast cake” because it’s exactly the kind of thing I like to eat when I feel all egged out. It is filling, nutritious and tastes great – just like my popular Grab & Go Low Carb Muffins or this moist sugar free banana bread, which are also made with ground almonds.
This recipe is designed for ground almonds or coarser (regular) almond flour. If you want to use super-fine almond flour (the one that looks very similar to wheat flour) you would need less as it is more absorbent – about 2 cups plus 2 tbsp.
Nothing, NOTHING though should stop you from having your orange almond breakfast cake as a dessert. It certainly is perfect with a strong cup of coffee – any time of day.
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Orange Almond Breakfast Cake
- 250 g / 2 1/2 cups almond flour to my UK readers - ground almonds are fine here
- 2 oranges unwaxed, washed
- 5 eggs separated
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp orange extract
- 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
- seeds of 6 cardamom pods crushed
- 16 drops liquid stevia equivalent to 3 tsp sweetener
- handful flaked almonds to decorate
- Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit.
- Line a rectangular bread baking tin with baking paper or use a well-greased silicone baking tin.
- Put the oranges into a pot filled with cold water and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil, then simmer for at least 1 hour. Make sure the oranges are always submerged. This removes the bitterness.
- Drain the water and let the oranges cool down.
- Cut the oranges in half and remove any seeds, then puree in a food processor or with a stick blender.
- Separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. This will make the cake lighter in texture. I did it by hand - it's easier than you think. Just use a clean, dry metal bowl, an old-fashioned whisk plus a bit if perseverance.
- Add all ingredients except the egg whites to the orange pulp and mix. Lastly, fold in the egg whites until well-combined.
- Make sure you test your batter for sweetness and adjust to taste.
- Pour the batter into your cake tin and sprinkle flaked almonds on top.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
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