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Whole Orange almond cake - gluten-free, paleo, low-carb

Whole Orange Almond Cake

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Oranges: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: British
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Fall in love with the classic flourless orange almond cake with toasted almonds and basil cream – one of my favourite desserts. Made with whole oranges (including the rind!) and almond meal, this cake is gluten-free and grain-free and can be made with sugar or sugar-free sweetener (which is how I make often make it).


2 large navel oranges 

6 large eggs (room temperature)

Sugar-free sweetener equivalent to 1 cup (200 g) of caster sugar 

2 + 3/4 cups (about 300 g) ground almonds/almond meal 

1 heaped teaspoon of gluten-free baking powder

To finish the cake:

2 tablespoons honey or orange marmalade

About 50 grams (2 oz) of flaked almonds

1 tablespoon icing sugar for sprinkling 

Optional: extra orange for garnish 

For basil cream:

1 cup heavy cream

6 basil leaves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup Greek yoghurt or plain yoghurt 

Extra basil leaves for styling 


  • Ideally, make this cake in a 22-23cm (8-9 inch cake pan but could also be made as a loaf or square cake) 
  • Prepare the oranges. Wash the oranges but don’t peel them. Place whole oranges in a pot and cover them with cold water (they should be completely covered). Bring to a boil and cook for 1 hour. 
  • Strain and rinse the cooked oranges, then cool slightly so you can handle them. 
  • Preheat oven. About now, preheat the oven to 160 C / 320 F (140 C fan). Grease and line a cake pan with baking paper. 
  • Puree the oranges. Cut into 1-2 cm cubes and remove any seeds. Leave the rind on. Place the orange pieces into a food processor or use a stick blender or a blender. Blitz on high 3-4 times, scraping down the sides in between until it’s pureed. It should be pretty smooth but it’s okay if you can see a few little bits of the rind. Set aside.
  • Make the batter. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sweetener until pale and frothy (about 2 minutes on high). Add the orange puree and stir through. Add the almond meal and baking powder and stir through. 
  • Bake cake. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  • Toast almonds. In the meantime, add the almond flakes to a small frying pan and cook over medium heat until toasted to a golden brown. Start by stirring every 30 seconds to a minute and then stir more frequently as they start to change colour. Set aside to cool. 
  • Decorate cake. Remove the cake from the oven and cool it in the tin completely before removing it. To finish the cake, spread the honey or marmalade on top of the cake into a very thin layer and sprinkle with toasted almonds (they should stick to the top better with the sticky honey). You can sprinkle it with a little icing sugar but optional. 
  • Make basil cream. While the cake is cooling, make the basil cream. Whip the cream until thick and fluffy, then add the chopped basil leaves and whip them together for 10 seconds or so. Add vanilla and yoghurt and stir in or whisk in. Set aside (keep in the fridge if needed).
  • Serve the basil cream on the side or you can put a dollop on top of the cake. 


The nutrition label below is for cake with basil cream. Here are the macros for 1 slice of cake (based on 8 slices) with no cream: 339 calories, 12.8 g fat, 18.3 g total carbs, 2.8 g fibre, 11.5 g protein.


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 400
  • Sugar: 10.8 g
  • Sodium: 62.2 mg
  • Fat: 18.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.2 g
  • Fiber: 2.8 g
  • Protein: 12.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 157.6 mg

Keywords: Oranges, Almond Flour, Orange Cake, Almond Cake, Gluten-Free Cake, Whole Orange Cake, Flourless Cake, Grain-free Cake, paleo cake, paleo cakes, gluten-free recipes

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