Almond-Orange Cake with Vanilla-Orange Frosting

An amazing gluten-free, grain-free (dairy-free optional) cake with buttercream frosting and candied orange zest. Perrrrfect for any celebration or holiday.

Almond-Orange Cake with Vanilla-Orange Frosting

Amazing texture and flavor! A total crowd pleaser!

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 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!

Original post…

Happy birthday to me! This ALMOND 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!

gluten-free grain-free almond orange cake #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes


Recipe from Simply Glutenfree, 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: Almond flour, sugar, a pinch of salt, lots of orange zest and eggs.

gluten-free grain-free almond orange cake #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes




The key to the cake is carefully separating the egg whites and egg yolks then whipping each until they are light and airy.

Then when you add the almond flour mixture and mix them together, you do it until they are just combined. You don’t want to over mix.

The frosting is made with butter or dairy-free butter, confectioner’s sugar, a pinch of salt, vanilla extract and lots of fresh orange juice.

gluten-free grain-free almond orange cake #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes

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.

gluten-free grain-free almond orange cake #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.comThe final finishing touches take just an extra 15 minutes and are worth it! And here I’m referring to the candied orange zest and the sliced almonds.

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.

For those celebrating the Jewish holidays, this cake was actually originally shared by Simply Gluten-Free a Passover cake and my friends who’ve tried it say it’s better than any Passover cake they’ve ever tried.

gluten-free grain-free almond orange cake #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes

Hope you love it as much as we do!

Scroll down to see the recipe and leave a comment if you try.


5.0 from 2 reviews
Almond-Orange Cake with Vanilla-Orange Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Gluten-Free, Grain-Free cake is a real treat! It has become a birthday cake tradition for me because it's so delicious! Recipe via Simply Gluten-Free with a few adaptations.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free optional
Serves: 10-12 servings
  • 3 cups finely ground blanched almond flour
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • Zest of 4 large oranges, finely grated (about 5 teaspoons packed)
  • 8 large eggs, room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Vanilla Orange Frosting
  • ¼ cup butter or dairy-free alternative, softened (we have made it with both butter and Earth Balance soy-free sticks)
  • 1 pound Confectioners (powdered) Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 4 – 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, start 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
  • 1½ cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • Zest of 1 orange taken off the orange in thin strips with a peeler
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Separate the egg yolks and whites into two large mixing bowls.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Stir in the almond mixture.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.
  11. Note: I often make the cakes a day ahead and then frost the next day.
Vanilla Orange Frosting
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. 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
  1. Combine water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then add the orange peel.
  2. Let boil gently for 10-15 minutes or until the zest is tender.
  3. 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.
  4. Can be made several days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Assemble the cake
  1. 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.
  2. Gently press the sliced almonds into the frosting around the sides of the cake.
  3. Garnish the top of the cake with sugared orange zest if desired.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

4 thoughts on “Almond-Orange Cake with Vanilla-Orange Frosting

  1. This has become my new FAVORITE cake to make and eat! Simple, clean and easy ingredients make it pretty quick to throw together, and even better to indulge in!

    My family even said “I can’t believe this is GF, it’s soo good!”

    Would recommend for any occasion!

  2. I have never made a cake from scratch before. When I saw this and read the ingredients I knew this was the ONE! Admittedly, it was work, but it was also lots of fun! I followed the directions to the tee. It is absolutely delicious. The icing is smooth and creamy and to die for! Thank you so much for the step by step instructions! Will be making this again and again. My new go to!

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