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Candied Sour Orange & Almond Cake

Aran Goyaga

Yield: Yields one 9-inch cake.

For the topping of this simple gluten-free citrus cake, the sour oranges are lightly candied in vanilla syrup, which makes a nice sweet-and-sour contrast. The candied oranges and syrup are also wonderful served over vanilla bean ice cream. If sour oranges are not available in your area, try using kumquats. Unsprayed, thin-skinned oranges are ideal for this recipe.

This recipe is excerpted from Small Plates & Sweet Treats. Read our review here.


  • 1 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
  • 1 lb. small sour oranges, seeded and thinly sliced (do not peel them)
  • 2/3 cup gluten-free almond paste
  • 4 eggs
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup millet flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan. Add the vanilla bean and seeds to the pan. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Add the thin slices of sour orange and cook them for 10 minutes, until translucent. Do not boil the syrup; just gently simmer it. Remove from the heat and keep the candied oranges in the syrup.
  • Combine the almond paste, 1 of the eggs, orange zest, and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on medium-high speed until a thick and smooth paste forms. There might be some small lumps left, which is fine. Add the remaining 3 eggs. Switch to a whip attachment and whip the mixture for 5 minutes on high speed, until thick and pale in color.
  • Add the millet flour, baking powder, salt, and melted butter. Whip on high speed for another 30 seconds, until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with a circle of parchment paper. Grease the paper and pan and pour in the batter. Bake for 30 minutes. When a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, it is done. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Invert it onto a cooling rack.
  • Serve the cake with the candied sour oranges on top as well as some of the vanilla syrup.

    small plates and sweet treats: my family's journey to gluten-free cooking


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