Paleo Orange Almond Cake

paleo orange cake recipe

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.

paleo_orange_cake_2 (1 of 1)


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


  1. 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.
  2. Place orange and banana in a blender or a food processor. Process until thick and smooth and set aside.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

paleo_orange_cake_3 (1 of 1)


Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. Here at Cooked & Loved you will find simple, delicious recipes worth sharing. From new dishes to old-time favourites with a twist, this is the food I cook and love. More about me here.

PS. Some posts contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

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  1. What a beautiful colorful festive cake this is. My naturopathic doctor had me come off eggs recently for health issues. Any substitute for them that you are aware of that would work Irey?

    1. Oh no, not the eggs! Nature’s superfood. Well, I have never tried this without eggs and there are 3 of them so it’s one of the key ingredients. What you could try is use more banana to bring in thickness and fluffiness and maybe some coconut cream. Other people soak chia seeds, which they use instead of eggs. They turn into thick, jello like mixture and I assume act as emulsifiers/binder. You’d have to test it.

  2. I loved the actual cake- it was fluffy and spongy (like a regular cake made with butter, sugar, dairy and artificial horrible stuff) i found the icing very bitter, i added the honey but perhaps the oranges are out of season in South Australia, i may have to try when they come back in and have a much sweeter flavour. Thank you for a wonderful recipe, i find so much joy and happiness when looking at your website, i love the look of everything xo

  3. I love this recipe!
    I made it first for a Christmas cake, and did it 2 times again, I still love it, and that’s my preferred recipe!
    I will do it again tonight, to bring for a dinner

    Thank you!

    1. Yes, you can make it a day ahead. If you store the sauce in the fridge, you might have to reheat it as it might thicken when cold.

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