Gluten Free Almond Orange Cake Recipe

Gluten Free Almond Orange Cake Recipe

Considering my (maiden) last name is O’Neal, you can probably surmise that I am a tad more familiar with a gluten-free Easter than a gluten-free Passover. In fact this year I am invited to my very first Passover. I am thrilled as there is no better way to learn about cultures and customs than to sit down at a dinner table and experience a traditional meal.

I am also experiencing a bit of anxiety. I was asked to bring dessert and I know there are dietary restrictions for Passover but a survey of my Jewish friends did not prove fruitful; everyone gave me different answers about what was OK and not OK, and every conversation ended with, “just Google it.” Google helped a little but I was still confused. Is dairy OK or not? A lot of the desserts contained no dairy in the way of butter or cream but had chocolate, however there was no warning to make sure the chocolate was dairy-free. Is this something one is just supposed to know? One thing everyone said was that Matzo is traditional and yet Matzo is made from wheat so it is not gluten-free. Added to my dilemma are dietary restrictions of the guests, gluten for some, grain for others and corn for another.  Oy vey!

Google did tell me that nuts, fruit, eggs and sugar are allowable for Passover so I decided to play it really safe and create a gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free cake made with almond flour and brightened with orange.

I wanted to make the cake pretty so I frosted it with a dairy-free (and vegan) orange butter cream made with coconut oil and Wholesome! Organic Powdered Sugar – for over a year now, Wholesome! has not used cornstarch in their powdered sugar, so I have covered all my bases of no gluten, dairy, grain, and corn. And because I know my hostess is trying to cut back on refined sugar I sweetened the cake with Wholesome! Organic Sucanat which is nothing but 100% Certified Organic Sugar Cane made by simply crushing freshly cut sugar cane, extracting the juice and heating it in a large vat. Nothing is added and nothing is taken out and it just happens to taste amazing with almonds. Whew!

I got a little worried that maybe I should not have frosted the cake and told my husband I had never seen a frosted Passover cake, to which he replied, “You’ve never seen a Passover Cake, period.” Good point.

I hope this Gluten Free Almond Orange Cake recipe is appropriate for Passover and if I didn’t get it right I apologize in advance and just in case I am also taking some Mocha Macaroons and a recipe for chocolate almond pie I saw in Bon Appetite.  Obsessive?  Maybe, but better to be safe than sorry!

BTW – want to try some Wholesome! Products?  Enter this great $100.00 Giveaway !

gluten free, dairy free almond orange cake

5 from 1 vote
Gluten Free Almond Orange Cake Recipe
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Gluten Free Almond Orange Cake Recipe

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 924kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More



  • 3 cups finely ground blanched almond flour
  • 1 cup Sucanat - use divided
  • Zest of 4 large oranges - finely grated (about 5 teaspoons packed)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • ¼ cup coconut oil - (in solid form)
  • 1 pound Organic Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 4-6 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice


  • ¾ cup sliced almonds
  • Sugared orange zest - (recipe follows)

Sugared Orange Zest

  • cups organic sugar - use divided
  • 1 cup water
  • Zest of 1 orange taken off the orange in thin strips with a zester



  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously spray 2 – 9 inch round cake pans with gluten-free, non-stick cooking spray. Cut circles out of parchment paper and line the bottom of the cake pans with the parchment and lightly spray it with some more cooking spray.
  • In a food processor fitted with a steel blade combine the almond flour, ½ cup Sucanat and orange zest and process for 30 seconds to combine and grind a little. If you do not have a food processor, you can skip this step and just whisk it all together but if you use the food processor the cake will have a finer texture.
  • Separate the egg yolks and whites into two large mixing bowls. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff, glossy peaks. In the mixing bowl with the egg yolks add the remaining half cup of Sucanat and salt and beat on high speed until thick and almost doubled in size - about 2 minutes. Stir in the almond mixture. Take a large spoonful of the beaten egg whites and mix into the yolk mixture and then gently fold in the remaining whites until the mixture is no longer streaky and is well combined. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling. While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the coconut oil for 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and the vanilla and turn the mixer on low. Add the orange juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture reaches the consistency of butter cream frosting - creamy and spread-able but not too thin. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high and continue to beat for 5 minutes.
  • To assemble the cake, place one layer of fully cooled cake, top-side down, on a cake stand or platter. Tuck a few small strips of waxed paper under the edges to keep the platter clean while frosting. Spread some frosting on top of the cake then top with the remaining cake layer, bottom side down. Frost the sides and the top of the cake. Gently press the sliced almonds into the frosting around the sides of the cake. Chill the cake for about 30 minutes then remove the strips of waxed paper. Garnish the top of the cake with sugared orange zest if desired.

Sugared Orange Zest

  • Combine 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then add the orange zest. Let boil gently for 15 – 20 minutes or until the zest is tender. Place the remaining ½ cup of sugar on a plate. Carefully remove the zest from the liquid and drop into the sugar, tossing to coat. Let the zest dry in the sugar and the remove. Can be made several days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Do not throw out the sugar water the zest was cooked in, it is terrific stirred into iced tea.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Almond Orange Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 924 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 164mg55%
Sodium 66mg3%
Potassium 233mg7%
Carbohydrates 134g45%
Fiber 6g24%
Sugar 122g136%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 298IU6%
Vitamin C 15mg18%
Calcium 159mg16%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Almonds Baking Cake Corn Free Holiday Orange Passover Traditions
  1. Alta
    April 18, 2011

    Kosher for Passover or not (I have no idea) it looks delicious! If you have leftovers, send them my way!

  2. Doreen
    April 18, 2011

    I’m in the same boat, have no idea about what is ok or not for Passover but this looks beautiful, I am sure your hosts will love it!

  3. April 18, 2011

    This is a really nice cake. I’m sure everyone will appreciate.

  4. April 18, 2011

    this looks delicious and I don’t even like oranges! I’m sure I could substitute something though – yum! Also, congrats on the book launch!

    1. Thank you! Do you like lemon? This is just as good with lemon- use 5 teaspoons (packed) zest for the cake and lemon juice for the frosting…

  5. April 19, 2011

    Incredibly gorgeous, Carol! I’m just imagining how awesome this cake tastes. As fabulous as it is pretty, I imagine. :-) Wish I was going to the event where it’s being served. I’d take a slice of the chocolate almond pie and a few marcaroons, too! (Good thing this is virtual eating!)


    1. Thanks Shirley! Wish you live closer, we could reality eat together :)

  6. Hayley
    April 19, 2011

    Looks great! I just made a Middle Eastern orange cake for my Seder tonight. It is a Stephanie Alexander recipe and you can find it on Google. To answer your questions, if you keep strict kosher you cannot have dairy after eating meat. Ashkenazi Jews cannot have any grains like rice or beans however Sephardi Jews can. It can all be very confusing. Hope this answers some of your questions!

    1. Thank you Hayley! I was really getting confussed about this and so worried about offending anyone due to my ignorance. I appreciate you taking the time to shed some light.

  7. Dawn Michelle
    April 19, 2011

    Just wanted you all to know I went to the website to BUY the powdered sugar and it states that it DOES have cornstarch in it. WAAA! I was really disappointed. No making this cake for me. And it LOOKS so yummy! Sigh….

    1. Hi Dawn,

      As of a while ago Wholesome Sweeteners stopped using cornstarch in their powdered sugar and switched to tapioca starch. On the website it says “corn starch or tapioca starch” because some stores may still have the older version on their shelves that contain cornstarch. If you look at the ingredients on the bag it will list organic sugar and which ever starch is used in that version. The powdered sugar DOES NOT contain both tapioca and corn starch, it is either or. So YES you can have powdered sugar and make this cake :) Just make sure the ingredients are listed as “organic sugar and tapioca starch” not “organic sugar and corn starch”.

      Hope this helps!

  8. April 19, 2011

    This looks and sounds wonderful! Super easy too. I love that it’s orange flavored. :) Very seasonal.

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  10. April 20, 2011

    Lovely! I make a similar cake to this for Passover, and the frosting is gorgeous too!

  11. judie
    April 20, 2011

    Enjoy life chocolate is dairy and gluten free and good for Passover.

  12. ALthough I cannot help with the Passover dietary restrictions, I just have to say that this cake looks just amazing! I think it is PERFECT!! Kosher or not, I want this now!!

  13. April 20, 2011

    Hostess checking in here. The cake was perfect! I adored the chocolate cake and the raspberry sauce. YUM! I will definitely be making the flourless chocolate cake. Thanks so much for coming and for elegant deserts! We should have told you that anything yummy goes with our particular tribe. Bring it all on!

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  15. Tammy
    May 14, 2011

    I’m about to make this delicious looking recipe but I have a bit of confusion. In the cake preparation instructions you say to combine the almond flour, sucanat, and orange jest. I’m wondering if you mean just the orange zest with a z here? The jest includes water, so it wouldn’t make sense to add a wet ingredient at that stage, but I just want to double check. Thanks!

    1. May 15, 2011

      Sorry Tammy, that was a typo – it should have said “zest” not “jest”, I have fixed it. Your instincts are correct and thanks for pointing this out to me!

      1. Tammy
        May 21, 2011

        Thanks Carol. The cake turned out amazingly delicious by the way! Gluten-free baking has been pretty hit and miss with me so far. After juggling multiple flours and starches it was so refreshing that this cake had so few ingredients yet turned out perfect.

        1. May 21, 2011

          Yay Tammy. Thank you for letting me know!

  16. June 10, 2011

    Thank you for your nice Information. I like it very much. I will try it at my home.

  17. Michele
    December 13, 2011

    I made this cake, it looked beautiful, but it was very very dry

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  21. Rebecca
    April 8, 2015

    Just had to share…what a great recipe!!!! I made this for Easter and it was a hit! It was soooo good. I will definitely make this again.

  22. deborah
    April 14, 2016

    Can I use regular sugar or powdered sugar instead of “suncanat” and if yes, which would be better?

    1. Gluten Free & More
      April 18, 2016

      Deborah, Yes, for the cake regular sugar would be best.

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