Recipe: Moist & Subtle Festive Orange Cake
In my attempt to make a paleo friendly Christmas trifle I started playing around with a sponge cake recipe. For some reason I had orange in mind, probably because I am a big fan of gluten free orange cakes. I wanted to make something similar but not as sickly sweet and soaked in syrup as the orange cakes you get in cafes. When the cake came out I decided it was going to become its own thing even though I used some of it in the trifle (coming soon).
It keeps well in the fridge and has a lovely orange flavour that is subtle enough for kids and sensitives palates. I think it’s a perfect cake for family gatherings and afternoon teas.
For the cake
- 2 oranges, peeled and flesh roughly chopped
- 1 banana, roughly chopped
- 3 eggs
- 4 tbsp coconut sugar (honey, maple syrup or rice malt syrup can all be used)
- 250 grams almond meal (just under 2 cups, for US cups it’s about 2 1/4)
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
- 1 tsp orange blossom water (optional)
For the topping
- 1 large orange, juice squeezed
- 3 dates, pits out and chopped
- 1 tsp honey (optional depending on how sweet you want it)
- Remaining orange and banana mix (see instructions)
- 1 tsp butter/ghee or coconut oil
- Pomegranate and macadamia nuts (berries, pepitas, flaked almonds can be also be used)
- I also used some homemade candied orange
- Preheat oven to 170°C/340°C. Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) springform pan with coconut oil (butter, ghee or macadamia oil are also fine) to lightly grease. Line base with non-stick baking paper, use scissors to cut it into a round shape.
- Place orange and banana in a blender or a food processor. Process until thick and smooth and set aside.
- Beat whole eggs for 30 seconds. Add coconut sugar or your preferred natural sweetener and beat for 2-3 minutes, until thickened and glossy (it should double in size).
- Add almond meal, orange and banana mix (measure out 1 cup), orange blossom water and baking powder (sprinkle all over rather than in one spot). Using the lowest setting on the electric mixer, whisk the mixture for a minute until all well combined. Pour into the baking tin and flatten the top with a spoon, don’t bang the tin as you want to retain air bubbles in the mix.
- Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
- Once the cake is out and cooling. Add orange juice, dates and the remaining orange and banana mix to a small saucepan and bring to boil. Turn the heat to simmering and cook for 5-6 minutes, until the dates have softened up and start to dissolve into the mix. Use a whisk or a fork to mash the dates further into the mixture. Finally add butter (or coconut oil) and whisk for another 30 seconds until incorporated. Set aside.
- Remove the cake from the tin and turn it upside down on a serving plate. Peel off the paper. Pierce the top with a fork about 10 times in different places. Use a spatula or a spoon to spread the orange ‘glaze’ over the top. Sprinkle with pomegranate and nuts.
Preparation time: 25-30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Number of servings: 8-10