‘Free from’ orange and almond cake

‘Free from’ orange and almond cake

B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself

I get loads of requests for ‘free from’ recipes. I used to be quite wary of them, thinking that cutting out tried-and-tested ingredients would result in lack of flavour or disappointing textures. I was glad to be proved wrong by recipes from friends and family. The beauty of this variation I came up with is that it’s not just gluten-free, but also dairy-free.


Quantity Ingredient

For the orange curd

Quantity Ingredient
3 large eggs
90ml runny honey
1 large orange, juiced, zest finely grated
75g coconut oil, plus more for the tin

For the cake

Quantity Ingredient
2 large oranges
5 eggs, separated
200g caster sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
225g ground almonds
50g flaked almonds
icing sugar, to serve

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
food processor, (optional)
23 cm springform cake tin
wire cooling rack
cake-cutting wire, (optional)


  1. First make the curd. Beat together the eggs and honey in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the orange zest and juice and the coconut oil and place over a gentle heat, all the time keeping the mixture moving. Do not be tempted to turn up the heat to speed up the process, or you will end up with orange-flavoured scrambled eggs. Keep heating and mixing until the mixture thickens. This should not take long (about 10 minutes). Once thickened, pass the curd through a sieve into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge.
  2. Next make the cake: chop the oranges (unpeeled, but remove any pips) and heat in a saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water. Cover and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the oranges, or they will stick and burn. Once cooked, blitz to a pulp in a food processor, or finely chop, then put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a 23 cm springform tin with baking parchment, using coconut oil to stick it to the tin.
  4. Whisk the egg whites with half the sugar until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and the almond extract until they become light and glossy.
  5. Gently fold the cooled puréed oranges and ground almonds into the yolk mixture. Fold in the egg whites, a few spoonfuls at a time, to retain as much lightness as possible.
  6. Pour into the prepared tin, smooth out, sprinkle the flaked almonds on top and bake for 50–60 minutes. Keep an eye on it for the last 20 minutes; you may need to cover it with foil if it starts burning.
  7. Check the cake is cooked through: a cocktail stick poked in the centre should come out clean. Release from the tin and set on a cooling rack.
  8. Once cool, cut the cake in half with a cake-cutting wire or serrated knife, spread the cooled orange curd on the bottom half and put the other half on top. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.


  • This recipe has a level 2 (intermediate) difficulty.


  • This is a great after-dinner cake and goes really well with a glass of amaretto.

    If you don’t need it to be dairy-free, it also works with a bit of mascarpone cream or vanilla ice cream on the side.

    You can also turn it into a chocolate-orange cake by whisking 50 g cocoa powder into the egg yolk mixture and reducing the ground almonds to 200 g.
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