Let there be cake! Yes I thought it was high time to share another glorious cake with you. This one’s a little bit special too, and quite different to my other cake recipes on the blog. This gorgeous Orange, Almond and Coconut Cake is made entirely with almond and coconut flour, giving it a really unique texture – think moist, luxurious and dense, almost like a fudgy tort. If you’ve tried a classic almond based cake then you’re halfway there, but this one is even more unique in that it’s made with no eggs or sugar, which are normal key ingredients in almond flour cakes. Sugar gives them sweetness of course (which I’ve reduced dramatically), while eggs help to bind and rise. Without the eggs, I had to improvise!
A number of test trials later, and I’m pretty darn excited to share this finale version with you. Not only is the cake incredible, it’s also topped with the most divine, decadent, citrus cream cheese icing. You’ll want to eat the icing on its own (and I did!). If you’ve got a special occasion coming up (birthday, engagement party, anniversary) – I highly recommend bookmarking this little number. Or better yet, make it this weekend, just so you can taste test it in advance to make sure it’s 100% amazing!
I created this cake for a special occasion myself – my incredible mum is turning 60 tomorrow. 60 years young! My mum is the most amazing lady and I have so much love and respect for her – not only did she raise us four kids, she also now helps me out with Mila every week – week in, week out. I couldn’t do what I do – my Be Good Organics blog and business, our online store, my Naturopathic and Nutrition studies, and look after our little girl, without my mum. So mama – thank you, you’re the best, and I can’t wait for you to try this cake tomorrow.
The quagmire that is coconut flour
Back to our recipe, its key ingredients are almond and coconut flour. If you’ve ever pondered buying a bag of coconut flour (or have a lonely container sitting unloved in the cupboard), but have never known what to do with it, this cake is for you! Coconut flour is incredibly absorbent and works quite differently to other flours, so you can’t replace it one for one in other baking recipes. Which is why I have had it on my mind for a while now, to create a bespoke recipe for you, so you’d be able to learn how to use it. Coconut flour, like the almond flour in this recipe, helps to give this cake a super dense texture. It’s also high in protein, fibre, healthy fats, and naturally gluten and wheat free. Even more importantly though, it’s a chance to broaden out your nutritional intake, by incorporating a different food in your diet. I would love for you to get to the point where you can happily have not one, but five different flours in your cupboard, and feel truly confident about how and when to use them all (and them not to go stale and attract weevils in the meantime!). So I hope this cake recipe will get you excited about trying out coconut flour.
There’s a little bit of prep with this cake, in that you need to boil the oranges for an hour beforehand, but it’s pretty easy – just set the pot on a low boil, pop the lid on, set a timer, and walk away. You can do this the same day, or the day before if you like. The actual cake itself takes no more than 15 minutes to mix together, then pop in the oven for 60 minutes and you’re done. Once it’s cooled, add all your icing ingredients to a blender until silky smooth, then pour over your cake. Decorate with edible flowers if you can find them, then share and devour!
I hope you give this gorgeous and unique cake a try, and would love to hear about your egg-less coconut and almond flour baking experience! If you share yours on Instagram, tag me in @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics, so I can come say hello and see how lovely yours turns out too.
Have a glorious weekend, and til next time, stay happy and well.
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Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
- 1 c almonds
- 1 c coconut flour
- 1/2 c coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 tsp guar gum optional, see notes below
- 2 whole oranges
- 1 c orange cooking water
- 1/2 c coconut cream
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 drops orange essential oil optional
Citrus Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 c cashews soaked 2 hours, rinsed & drained
- 1/3 c coconut oil melted
- 1/4 c water
- 1/2 lemon juice, flesh & zest
- 2 tbsp coconut nectar
- Pinch sea salt
- Day/hour before: Pop both oranges (skin on) in a pot with water, bring to the boil, then put the lid and reduce to a low simmer for one hour. Keep one cup of the cooking water aside.
- Bake day: Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F) on fan bake, and line the sides and base of a small 19 cm (8 inch) spring form cake tin with baking paper and then sunflower or another neutral oil. Make sure the baking paper comes up just over the tin (to hold your icing in place).
- Blend the almonds in a food processor until a fine flour forms. Then add the remaining dry ingredients and blend again until combined. Turn out and sift into a large bowl - any bits that won't sift through, just pour on top of the other dry ingredients.
- Next, blend all wet ingredients in your processor or blender until super smooth, including the two whole cooked oranges and the reserved orange cooking water. Fold the liquid mix into the dry ingredients, lifting gently as you pour to create air pockets, until only just combined.
- Pour into your tin and bake for 60 minutes in the middle of your oven (not too high as these flours can brown easily). Test with a skewer at 55 minutes, and remove once it comes out relatively dry. If still wet at 60 minutes, bake for another 5-10 minutes.
- Leave on the bench to cool, and after 5 minutes, pop open the springform outer of your tin to let the sides cool also.
- Icing: Once cool, blend all icing ingredients in a high speed blender until super silky smooth like a cream, scraping down the sides and blending again as necessary. Close the springform tin again so the baking paper "party hat" is nice and tight around the cake once more. Then pour your icing on top of the cake - the baking paper and springform tin ring will hold it in place - place in the fridge overnight to set (or even in the freezer if you're in a rush).
- Once firm, remove the tin outer and base, and baking paper, and using a sharp knife, run around the edge of the cake to remove any bits of icing that have bulged out (it tends to). Try to refrain from eating said icing off-scrapings. Fail (but enjoy it immensely). Decorate with edible flowers and serve with natural coconut yoghurt and fresh mandarin segments if you like. Enjoy!
- I love adding a few drops of orange essential oil to the "Wet" ingredients to really enhance the orange's flavour. If you choose to do this, make sure you're using a high quality, food grade essential oil - I personally use (and love) these ones here. If you'd like to learn more about the incredible therapeutic benefits of plant-based essential oils, and how you can use them in your life, check out my introductory workshop here.
- This slice is naturally gluten and wheat free due to the use of almonds and coconut flour, and also egg free. This makes the texture very different to a regular cake, much more moist, dense and delicate (as opposed to light and fluffy like regular white wheat flour cakes). It should still slice cleanly (as in my images above), but will be soft, tender and moist when scooped into with a spoon. Test with a skewer and cook for an extra 10 minutes if it still comes out quite wet. If you prefer a more robust strong cake, I recommend adding 1 1/4 teaspoons of guar gum to your flour mix (a natural plant-based bean which will help hold the flours together, in the absence of gluten and eggs).
- Note that all oven temperatures are slightly different, so definitely skewer test this cake before removing, and add extra bake time if it's still quite wet (and thus your oven is cooking a little 'under' than mine). The size of your oranges will also determine whether your mix is a little more wet, and thus may need an extra 10 minutes of baking to dry them out sufficiently. Have a play! Enjoy!
- It will be very moist, almost fudge like, but it should still slice cleanly. It won’t have the same texture as a traditional egg and flour cake, as I've used almond and coconut flour and no eggs, so it is more like a moist torte. You need to leave it to cool completely and after icing put in fridge to set.
- Boiling the oranges helps to enhance their flavour, so if you have time, I highly recommend it. I have also tried this recipe with two fresh oranges, and whilst it is still delicious, the flavour is much more intense (and superior) with the cooked option. Try both if you like, and decide what you prefer!
- In case you're wondering, yes you do boil the oranges whole - skin, pith and all! Then blend them again whole with the wet ingredients and reserved cooking water. The inclusion of the orange skin gives a richer orange flavour as well as a hint of bitter orange zest, which is lovely contrasted against the sweet lemon icing. If you'd prefer to not have this bitter contrasting element, you can remove the skin and just blend the flesh (possibly better if this is for kids, although Mila loved this version as is).
- If you forget to reserve some of the orange cooking water don't fret, just replace with plain water - it will just have slightly less flavour, so you may want to increase the coconut sugar by 1-2 tablespoons.
- You can pre-boil the oranges the day before if you like, then just leave on the stove or in the fridge until you're ready to blend.
- I've used quite a small cake tin, a 19 cm (or 8 inch). This makes the cake nice and high which makes it look extra decadent. Be sure to line your cake tin both the base and the sides with baking paper - that way you can pour in the liquid icing and it will set nicely on top of the cake, like in my pictures.
- Sifting the dry ingredients, and then folding in the wet without over mixing, will help to give you a nice light cake (in the absence of eggs, which normally make cakes light and buoyant).
- This cake freezes brilliantly, either without the icing, with the icing on, or even sliced into individual slices. Simply pull out what you need onto the bench or fridge to defrost for a couple of hours before serving (less for individual slices).
- A handful of poppy seeds are also a fantastic addition to this cake, adding a lovely crunchy contrast to the moistness of the cake.