Eating a gluten free diet starts out as this big, daunting thing. How will I eat the things I’m used to eating? How will I live without cake? Which products should I buy? But then you realize you don’t need to replace familiar things. Instead you just need to look at food in a new way. For me, gluten free often means ‘unhealthy.’ Many gluten free products are made with starches and fillers and lots of sugar. They don’t really taste that good and they certainly aren’t good for you.
Then I began to look at healthy ingredients and realize that yes, cake can be made primarily of almonds; It doesn’t need flour at all. And it certainly doesn’t need starchy, gritty and gross for you rice flour (ew!) I started to realize that taking a whole foods approach is the best way to go anyway. Flour of any sort isn’t really that great for you so instead I aim to create food that is healthier over all and just happens to be wheat free too.
And this is how I came to make this Grain Free Orange Almond Cake. The cake itself is paleo. There are no grains, no dairy and the sugar is maple syrup. Paleo cake.
I threw this all out the window when I slathered it with cream cheese icing. But I mostly did that for pictures. And because it was father’s day and I wanted to treat my husband to something decadent. You could serve this cake with a simple fruit puree sauce and it would be just as lovely without the naughty sugar and dairy. I will make this cake again, and often, without the icing because it is a really yummy Grain Free cake and why shouldn’t we have yummy things?
- 1 cup almond butter
- ½ cup maple syrup (the real stuff!)
- 1 cup almond flour or meal
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- 3 eggs
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 250g bar of cream cheese
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 3 tbsp orange juice
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 6 drops yellow food colouring
- 2 drops red food colouring
- Prepare the orange zest and orange juice and set aside.
- Pre-heat your oven to 350F
- Prepare an 8" round cake pan with parchment paper in the bottom (not the sides)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl and with electric hand beaters add all your cake ingredients including the prepared zest and juice.
- Mix on high for 2 min.
- Batter will be thin - pour it into your cake pan and bake for 35-45 min until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for 15min.
- Run a knife around the edge of the cake and tip out of the pan onto a cooling rack.
- Allow to cool completely.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or with hand beaters, beat butter and cream cheese together.
- Continue beating and add the orange zest and juice.
- Stop your beater and add in half the icing sugar, mix on low until sugar is combined and add in the rest of the sugar.
- Beat well until all sugar is combined.
- Add in food colouring until desired colour is reached.
- Garnish with slice of orange
If you wanted to make a layer cake then double this recipe to get two layers. You’ll find this cake rises well and finishes a nice dark colour. It’s not burnt. It’s just the almonds that make it that colour. Your whole home will smell of almonds and oranges if you bake this cake – it smells amazing as it bakes. Enjoy!