New! I added a cooking videoto this page so you could see just step by step how to make this gluten-free Almond Flour Orange Cake with Vanilla-Orange Frosting!
It’s a simple recipe, with few ingredients, but it requires more steps and a bit more time than my usual recipes. I have made this cake so many times and wanted to share all my tips in the video and in step by step photos below!
If you’re new to this website, at the bottom of every recipe page is a printable recipe with exact measurements and directions.
Hope you love it!
Update April 2020: This is one of my all time favorite cakes!
I’ve made it for my birthday each year, for the last 4 years!
But…. it was originally a Passover cake!
Recipe adapted from Simply Gluten-Free, some of my friends have said, they’ve never tasted a Passover cake as good as this!
So whether you’re looking for a Passover cake, or a gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free optional cake, or you just want a great cake (!)… I hope you’ll try this one and love it as much as we do!
Happy birthday to me! This ALMOND FLOUR ORANGE CAKE made my day even sweeter.
This cake has become a bit of a tradition as it’s the fourth year in a row I’ve made it for my birthday — it’s that good!
Recipe adapted from Simply Gluten-Free, it’s an old fashioned, made-from-scratch cake that’s gluten-free, grain -free and dairy-free optional but the cake is packed with orange zest and Vanilla Orange Buttercream is made with freshly squeezed orange juice so the texture and flavor is amazing!
Plus the candied orange zest and sliced almonds are the best finishing touches each adding great flavor and texture and making this cake a total show stopped perfect for any celebration!
The end result is a cake that is moist, perfectly balanced & so YUMMY!
And this cake is always big hit!
While the cake takes some time to make/ assemble, the ingredients are very simple and straightforward.
The cake is made with just 5 ingredients:
a pinch of salt
lots of orange zest
There are 3 main steps to making the cake itself.
First you prepare the almond flour by pulsing it in a food processor along with sugar and salt. This helps make the almond flour finer and gives the best texture to the cake.
Then add the orange zest and combine. Set aside.
Next prepare the Egg Whites.
The key to the cake is carefully separating the egg whites and egg yolks then whipping each until they are light and airy.
If you’ve never beaten egg whites until they “peak”, it is actually quite easy and you can watch it in the video on this page. But essentially, you just beat them for a few minutes until they stand on their own or form glossy “peaks”.
These peaked egg whites will give the cake its height as there are no leavening agents in the cake.
Lastly, prepare the egg yolks.
You’ll mix the egg yolks with some sugar and kosher salt until it doubles in size and becomes this fabulous creamy yellow color.
Then you combine the 3 parts.
Add the almond flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture, and mix them together. The batter will be very thick.
And finally slowly spoon in and mix in the peaked egg whites. You may need to scrape down the sides and mixing paddle at first, then it eventually mixes into a beautiful batter. You want to mix on low and do not overmix!
Pour into two prepared cake pans and bake!
Pro Tip: To make sure the cakes come out of the pan easily, not only grease the pans, cut a round piece of parchment paper and place on bottom of pan and grease that too… the cake will come right out of the pan!
Now let’s make the frosting!
All you need is:
butter or dairy-free butter
a pinch of salt
lots of fresh orange juice (Pro Tip: juice the oranges you just zested for the cake and even save it in the refrigerator for a day if you’re not making the frosting right away.)
The key with any frosting, and this one is no different, is making sure the butter or dairy free butter is room temperature so that it mixes well with the powdered sugar.
And this frosting is soooo yummy with all the orange juice.
After the cakes have cooled completely, frost the cake.
I like to frost the top of one cake, place the second cake on top, then frost the top of the second one and then the sides.
Don’t worry if the frosting doesn’t look perfect… the final finishing touches of the almonds and candied orange zest will hide any imperfections!
The candied orange zest and the sliced almonds take just an extra 15 minutes and are worth it!
The candied orange zest is made with water, sugar and orange peel. That’s it!
And it adds great flavor and texture to each bite.
All you do is boiling some sugar and water, then add orange peel, then roll in sugar!
Pro tip: And I usually do this while the cake is in the oven, then let it harden while the cakes cool.
One last Pro Tip: I often make this cake in stages, making the cake and candied orange zest one day, and the frosting and assembling the cake the next.
Hope you love it as much as we do!
Scroll down to see the recipe and leave a comment if you try.
Zest of 4 large orangesfinely grated (about 5 teaspoons packed)
8large eggsroom temperature
Vanilla Orange Frosting
¼cupbutter or dairy-free alternativesoftened (we have made it with both butter and Earth Balance soy-free sticks)
1tablespoonpure vanilla extract
4– 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juicestart with 4 and add as needed to get the right texture - I most often use 5 tablespoons)
Approximately ¾ -1 cup sliced almonds
Candied orange zest
Candied Orange Zest
Zest of 1 orange taken off the orange in thin strips with a peeler
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Generously grease 2 9 inch round cake pans. Cut circles out of parchment paper and line the bottom of the cake pans with the parchment and lightly grease them as well. Set aside.
Prepare Almond flour mixture: In a food processor fitted with a steel blade combine the almond flour and ½ cup sugar and pulse a few times to combine. Add orange zest and process for an additional 30 seconds to combine. If you do not have a food processor, just whisk it all together but if you use the food processor the cake will have a finer texture.
Separate the egg yolks and whites into two large mixing bowls.
Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites, then at very high speed, using a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they form stiff, glossy peaks. Set aside.
In the mixing bowl with the egg yolks add the remaining half cup of sugar and the kosher salt. Then using the paddle attachment beat on high speed until thick and almost doubled in size – about 1 - 2 minutes. It will be a creamy and thick and light yellow in color.
Stir in the almond mixture.
Take a large spoonful of the beaten egg whites and mix into the yolk mixture and then gently fold in the remaining whites until the mixture is no longer streaky and is well combined.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The cake will also pull back from the pans.
Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling Turn over the pans onto a cooking rack, knock gently and the cakes should come out easily. Peel off the parchment paper.
While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.
Note: I often make the cakes a day ahead and then frost the next day.
Vanilla Orange Frosting
Using an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy.
Add the confectioners sugar and the vanilla and turn the mixer on low. Add the orange juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture reaches the consistency of buttercream frosting – creamy and spread-able but not too thin.
Candied Orange Zest
Combine water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then add the orange peel.
Let boil gently for 10-15 minutes or until the zest is tender.
Place the remaining ½ cup of sugar on a plate. Using a slotted spoon or large fork, carefully remove the zest from the liquid and drop into the sugar, tossing to coat. Let the zest dry in the sugar and the remove.
Can be made several days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Assemble the cake
Place one layer of fully cooled cake, top-side down, on a cake stand or platter. Spread some frosting on top of the cake then top with the remaining cake layer, bottom side down. Frost the sides and the top of the cake.
Gently press the sliced almonds into the frosting around the sides of the cake.
Garnish the top of the cake with sugared orange zest if desired.
Hi! My name is Karen, and I’m the mom in our Healthy Gluten-Free Family. My posts and pictures here and on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter are labors of love that allow me to share a very personal journey with you, one our family has taken together — learning, experimenting and sharing how to raise a healthy happy gluten-free family. Read more ...