Best Ever Orange Almond Cake

September 25, 2011

Orange Almond Cake

This, my dears, is a love-at-first bite cake. I’ve been courting this exact Orange Almond Cake for over a year. We had a fleeting affair when a mutual friend introduced us, then the cake and I lost touch. The search was on. I missed it. Missed it’s super-orange flavour, mouth melty-ness and general squidginess. And the scent! That heady aroma of sweet orange and earthy almonds. I’ve had brief flings with other flourless orange cakes since, recommended by well-meaning friends and family, but they just didn’t stack up.

All I knew of this famed Orange Almond Cake recipe, was that it came from the Women’s Weekly. Which number in the thousands! And then, a chance encounter. Was it the same fabled one I remember?

With champion-level patience I waited for the cake to cook, then cool. The first cut: it slides through the cake like slicing a cloud, making an enticing squidge sound. As the first slice is removed, a warm rush of orange-scent is released. The spoon effortlessly falls through the slice; the first mouthful dissolves away on the tongue. Oh my God, this is IT. This is “The One”. One Orange Almond Cake to rule them all….




  • Use quality oranges. If they’re bitter, the cake will be bitter.
  • NO shortcuts on the boiling oranges step! Boiling reduces the bitterness of the orange pith and softens the rind. Failing to do so will result in a bitter chunky cake, which is nasty ‘yo.
  • Navel oranges don’t have pips, but other varieties do. Once boiled cut them open, check for pips and remove them!
  • Watch the baking time carefully. Other bakers have reported variable baking times, ranging from 45-60 minutes. Keep a close eye from 35 minutes onwards and check with a skewer to see if it comes out clean.
  • Use a springform pan, and let the cake cool in the upright position. Do not attempt to turn the cake out , because it’s a squidgy one and it will fall apart. A broken cake is a sad cake.
  • Tins: I used a 22cm round springform tin, filled to around 2/3 – 3/4 full. If you’re making a smaller cake, stick to the 2/3 full rule and turn the leftover batter into cupcakes or something equally marvellous.

You Will Need:

480g Oranges (two navel oranges approximately)
220g Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
6 large eggs
250g Almond Meal

Place whole unpeeled oranges in saucepan. Cover with water. Boil with the lid on for 30 minutes. Drain the liquid, fill with fresh water and boil for 1 hour. Trim the green ends, cut the oranges into quarters and check for pips. Place oranges into a food processor and pulverise them to a pulp. Leave to cool to room temperature.

Line a 22cm round springform cake tin with baking paper and grease the sides with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius, or 160c if fan forced.

Beat eggs and sugar with electric mixer on high speed until fluffy and pale, which should take 3-5 minutes (stop before ribbons form). Beat in the baking powder. Fold in the almond meal and orange pulp.

Pour into tin and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a skewer into the centre comes out clean. For me, at 30 minutes the top was getting nice and brown, so I covered it with aluminium foil to minimise burning. At 45 minutes, mine was shrinking away from the sides of the tin and passed the skewer test.

Allow cake to cool upright in the pan. Do not attempt to turn out. When cool, dust the top with icing sugar if desired.

Serves 10

Recipe found on SBS Food, which is identical to the Stephanie Alexander version in The Cooks’ Companion, which is extremely similar to the Australian Women’s Weekly version. All equally awesome.


  • Viviane

    Ah, the greatest orange almond cake of them all….this looks fabulous. Hmmm we need to sort out how to transport slices via web…. :)

  • Kari @ bite-sized thoughts

    Oooh. I can imagine your joy on discovering / finding this recipe! I’m sharing it somewhat, in fact :) Thanks for sharing – this is bookmarked already.

  • Winnie

    What a beautiful looking cake!
    Looks very very tasty too

  • Di-licious

    Ooohhhh….it does look lovely. I baked Steph’s recipe for Fathers Day last year and it was very moreish. Nothing says “Hello Afternoon Tea” quite like Orange and Almond Cake….would you like one lump or two?

  • ck

    I’ve been eyeing this recipe off for more than a year myself, on the SBS site, and I think you have just given me the kick I need to make it. Looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  • Tori (@eat-tori)

    I’m so thrilled to have found you and count myself so lucky for having spent the last hour reading through your archives- such fantastic distraction. Orange almond is one of my favourites- particularly with creme fraiche ice cream (Jane Strode’s recipe for it is fantastic).

  • Emma

    I’ve seen this recipe around for a while and am in love with it. I love almond meal in cakes but the most extreme thing is the whole oranges! I love that.

  • Holiday Baker Man

    I have everything to make this tomorrow. I just went Christmas supply shopping. :)

  • distribution scotland

    I like all kind of the Cake and here you have shared a very yummy cake which is Orange Almond.The Recipe which you have explained here is very nice i will defiantly try it at my home.

  • Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    Orange and almonds are such a winning combination, end with usually a moist and as you described aromatic delicious cake.

  • Alison

    ah, we love this cake – and lately we’ve been swapping the oranges for an equal weight in apple or pear puree. yum.

  • Drew Murray

    I used to bake this cake for our restaurant but my variation; you poured a simple lime syrup over the cake straight out of the oven. Could not make enough of them.

  • GourmetGetaways

    I know the feeling when only one flavour is the correct recipe. Based on your recommendation I will be making this cake as my next baking project! It must be good :)

    Thank you for sharing xx

  • Alison Borgas

    This is a cake I’ve been wanting to make for years. I made it today; and it has turned out very well… Thanks for the detailed instructions!

  • msihua

    How will I know if the rinds aren’t bitter? Would I be able to tell just from picking them up? I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  • Mutablis

    I have been making this wonderful cake for over 20 years, and it is attributed Claudia Roden by most people including Stephanie Alexander. Now that you have discovered this beauty, it should become a regular baking (and eating) pleasure.

    I never worry about the bitterness of the oranges, and use the original recipe’s 250g caster sugar. Oh, and don’t obsess too much about the weight of the oranges. This cake will never be the same every time you make it! Sometimes it will be very moist and other times just moist (but never dry), and the freshness of the almonds and eggs will also impact on the final result. Just relax and enjoy as this is a very forgiving cake!

    I always use a 24-25cm springform tin, and just a ballon whisk, spatula and a large bowl once the oranges are cooked and pureed. I only whisk the eggs and sugar by hand for 2-3 mins until well combined, then just fold in everything else,

    If you can never have enough chocolate (which I assume is most of us), and love Jaffas, try this variation: increase the baking powder to 1 tablespoon and add between 150-200g best quality chopped dark chocolate. Yum. It’s one of my most requested cakes.

    The one thing that no one mentions is that unless you buy organic oranges, they will be waxed. This is not easy to remove before cooking

    Oh, and I usually cook double the oranges, or equivelant tangelos or honey murcott mandarines (lovely variations), and puree and freeze the extra. Sure does make it quick and easy to cook the next one!

  • Doll Cottage

    Fabulous cake! Especially cause it’s so easy to bake and so delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe with us!

  • Christina @ The Hungry Australian

    Perfect timing. I have a 3 kg bag of oranges sitting on my kitchen bench and was wondering what I should do with them. I always think oranges have such an uplifting, feel-good scent. I can’t wait to make this cake.

  • Miss Kimbers @ Fruit Salad and Mixed Veg

    Oooo this looks like a perfect afternoon tea cake! Yum!:)

  • Baking Crazy

    Thank you! This recipe is perfect, so moist and tasty.

  • Cassandra @foodmyfriend

    Yum! I think my nana makes a very similar cake. I always request it at birthday time. So nice with a simple cup of tea!

  • Bryan

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and your tips for success. I made it yesterday and it is so easy and fuss free unlike a few others I read. So beautiful just with a dollop of double cream!

  • Darren

    My wife loves a good almond cake. My next cake to bake.

  • Valerie Lam

    My family loves fruit in cakes, and this recipe is unique because real fruit pulp is incorporated. Thanks for the recipe! Will be saving this for Christmas.

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  • kbcfan

    Hi There! It’s my 1st try and I am excited. I boiled the oranges for one hour, drained and reboiled them for 45 minutes. When I pureed them in blender, the puree is extremely bitter. So, I was wondering whether or not to proceed with the rest of the recipe? Is it normal for puree to be bitter and it will vanish with sugar, eggs, almond and baking? Or, if your puree is tasting nice and sweet, then only you should proceed with the rest of the procedure. Pls reply quickly…. Thanks,

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  • Rachel Page

    Wow says it all. This may well be my new favorite cake.

  • Jessica

    Hi! Just wondering… what is the best way to store this cake? Does it need to be kept in the fridge?

  • Chris

    This is a claudia roden recipe. Has nothing to do with women’s weekly. They must have lifted it.
    You will get a much more consistent bake if you use a loaf pan. Also cooking to the point of coffee dark brown helps create a stronger crust but doesn’t dry out the crumb. Leaving you with a deceptively moist cake that holds well in an air tight container for over a week.

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