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Orange & Almond Cake

James Ransom

Servings: 6 to 10

When you see that you have to boil oranges for 2 hours to make this recipe from Middle Eastern cookbook author Claudia Roden, you may be tempted to thumb to another cake, but I implore you to stay put. When you boil oranges for that long, their bitterness slips into the water, so you can take advantage of the whole orange, thick spongy pith and all. When you blend your soft, chastened oranges in a food processor with a handful of other ingredients, you get a creamy, gluten-free, dairy-free batter. After it bakes in an unusually hot oven for a good hour, you get a cake that browns at the edges but looks like something between a tres leches cake and an Orange Julius on the inside. It sets up just barely, staying so pudding-like that, when you cut into it, if you haven’t read this far, you will think you screwed something up. You didn’t.

This recipe is excerpted from Food52 Genius Recipes. Read our review.


  • 2 large oranges
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups plus 2 Tbs. ground almonds
  • 1 cup plus 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Butter or oil, for the pan
  • Flour or more ground almonds, for the pan


  • Wash and boil the oranges (unpeeled) in a little water for nearly 2 hours (or for 30 minutes in a pressure cooker). Let them cool, then cut them open and remove the seeds. Turn the oranges into pulp by rubbing them through a sieve or by putting them in an electric blender or food processor.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter and flour a cake pan with a removable base, if possible. (I used a 9 by 3-inch round cake pan, and you can use oil and almond flour if you’re going for dairy-free and gluten-free.)
  • Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the ground almonds, sugar, baking powder, and orange puree and mix thoroughly. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 1 hour, then have a look at it—this type of cake will not go any flatter if the oven door is opened. If it is still very wet, leave it in the oven for a little longer. Cool in the pan before turning out.


Reprinted with permission from Food52 Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore, copyright © 2015. Recipe courtesy of Claudia Roden. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


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Reviews (3 reviews)

  • jane | 11/16/2019

    Wished I'd read tortellini's review. My cake came out burnt on the outside and pasty and undercooked on the inside. It was also quite bitter. I've since searched other recipes that call for the same amount of sugar as almond flour, unlike this recipe. I would love to know exactly what bibietlolo did for it to come out amazing. What brand of almond flour did you use? I used Bob's red mill finely ground almond meal. I used two large Valencia oranges and they were still bitter after two hours of boiling. So, does anybody have any suggestions? I don't want to give up on this recipe because I think it could be really good.

  • tortellini | 01/21/2018

    A word of warning to everyone: This recipe comes from a British site and the time and temperature are off. IThe first time I tried it, it was burned after 50 minutes. I did some research and found that the temperature is supposed to be 360F not 400F and it cooks for 50-60 minutes. Shame on you Fine Cooking for not double checking the instructions!

  • bibietlolo | 05/01/2016

    Amazing! I made this cake last night for a small dinner party. It was a real hit. One of the best cakes I have ever made. I prefer making my own almond flour using whole almonds (not blanched) as the textue is more rustic. I used my vitamix for puree the oranges which made them light and silky smooth. Serve it with crme fraiche and a nice dessert wine!

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