Spanish Orange Cake

We love this flourless (gluten free) and fat-free cake as it’s perfect with a cup of tea or coffee any time of day. The only butter or oil used is for lightly greasing the cake tin! A beautifully moist, dense and aromatic cake, tasting not unlike one of those sponges drizzled with syrup, but without all those extra calories. It keeps well for several days if you can resist it that long, and an exceedingly adaptable cake too, in that it can be served as a delicious pudding. Just warm individual portions for a few seconds in a microwave and serve with cream, ice cream, custard or crème fraise.

Serves: 8-10


2-3 whole oranges (approx 375 grams)

6 large eggs

225 grams white sugar (caster is best but any type is suitable) or 125 grams sugar substitute

250 grams ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder (optional) (or gluten free baking powder)

Dash of Cointreau/orange liqueur (optional)


1) Put whole oranges in pan with some cold water and bring to the boil.

2) Partially cover with lid and cook gently for 2 hours. Don’t allow to boil dry.

3) After 2 hrs discard water and allow oranges to cool.

4) Once cold, cut fruit into pieces, leaving skin on but removing any pips or hard/thick cores.

5) Butter/oil 8 inch spring-form tin or loose bottom cake tin. I grease mine and line with a large round, paper cake case, also very lightly oiled.

6) Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190ºC/170°C Fan/375ºF.

7) Place chopped oranges in food processor and blitz.

8) Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190ºC/170°C Fan/375ºF.

9) Separate eggs whites into a bowl. Whisk until light and fluffy. (You can leave the eggs whole, but whisking egg whites first makes for a less dense texture.)

10) If your processor bowl is large enough, add egg yolks (or whole eggs) and other ingredients to pulped oranges and mix well in short bursts before gently folding in the lightly whisked egg whites.

11) If your processor bowl is small, transfer oranges into a larger bowl, and remaining ingredients and stir well by hand before gently folding in egg whites (if using whisked).

12) At this stage, taste the mixture for sweetness and stir in extra sugar/sweetner if required.

13) Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for approx one hour. The cake is done when a skewer will come out clean. I suggest covering with foil after 40 minutes to prevent the top browning too much. If you find the mixture is too much for your tin (especially if using whisked whites) pour extra into a smaller tin and bake as above although the time needed may be shorter – I call this extra one the chef’s treat.

14) Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. When cold, remove from tin and remove paper case if used.

This cake can be made with same weight of lemons (although you may need more sugar) and a drop of lemoncello (optional), or clementines.

The next time I make this I will be adding cocoa powder to the mixture, or maybe some melted chocolate, to make a chocolate orange cake. I will let you know the outcome.



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